I’m sure you will have heard the saying ‘food for thought’ but have you ever considered the phrase ‘thought for food’?
In 2016, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition (Hashimoto’s disease) and told to go on medication that would most likely be lifelong (thyroxine). At that point, I was on the verge of giving up my career and the prospect of a normal life. In fact, at that point, I was pretty much housebound.
Then I discovered something called the Lightning Process. It was only then, that I realised the power of the mind-body connection. I ditched the prescription and regained my physical health.
The power of thoughts and our neurology
We have around 60,000 thoughts a day and every single thought produces a chemical response through the release of hormones and neurotransmitters. Just for a moment, take yourself back to a momentous life event – something that really impacted your life in a positive or negative way.
How does it feel to connect with that memory?
Essentially, you’re accessing the neurology that triggered a very specific chemical response and, in doing so, you trigger that chemical release in much the same way. Even something as simple as thinking about a drink you managed to poison yourself with – sambuca, whisky, whatever it might be! Think about it long enough and you’ll do a great job of triggering off those nauseous feelings again. So when we access thoughts and memories, we produce feelings and emotions, which produce changes in our chemistry.
Which brings us to the question – if what we focus on and the thoughts that we have, have a physical component, what does this tell us about the power we have to influence our health?
Mind-body in the wider world
Interestingly, the principles of mind-body connection show up a lot in examples of ‘placebo’, but they are also used a lot in sports performance.
In one study, researchers asked a control group lift a weight with their little finger, whilst the other group did nothing physical, but simply IMAGINED they were lifting a weight with their little finger. Over time, they found that BOTH groups had developed muscle mass in their little finger despite the fact that only one of them had physically exercised that part of their body.
But it’s not just about imagining yourself well or believing that you are being healed with some magical treatment that influences our physiological health. It’s the way in which we speak to ourselves, the beliefs that we hold about our own lives, and our capacity to thrive that influences our health for the better. It’s the way that we respond to the environment around us and the choices that we make in our lives that get us on the path to health.
Thoughts feed the body, like water feeds the soil – psychology feeds our neurology; neurology feeds our physiology.
So how can you influence yours?
So how can you use your thoughts to influence your health and, ultimately your life, for the better? How can you be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be?
I’ll be talking about all concepts mind-body and providing tools to take away with you on Wednesday 25th September at Farnham Museum.