Conversations about perspective and mindset run rampant in the health and wellness field, and for good reason. You may be an optimist, a pessimist, or a “realist”. You may see the glass half-full, half-empty, or even entirely empty no matter how much water is in the glass. But however you view the glass, you can’t deny that there’s a very clear link between mindset and health.
The definitive link between mindset and health
If we want to get energetic for a second, we could talk about how clearly your mindset and thought patterns can shape your health – illness, vibrancy, recovery, and it even triggers genes to turn on and off. Epigenetics is a fascinating field of research that discusses how genes are turned off and on by environmental triggers, rather than simply being “born with it”.
However, environmental triggers aren’t only on the outside. Inside we have thoughts that create energy – i.e. stress and anxiety, anyone? They create vibrations that permeate our being. That energy is carried with us through our day, affecting how our cells behave and attract similar external energies.
Law of attraction: How like attracts like
Have you heard of the law of attraction? Like attracts like. If your thoughts are positive, uplifted, and excited, chances are you’ll welcome events and experiences that reflect similar emotions. If your thoughts are negative, exhausted, overwhelmed, you may notice more of those emotions entering your life through external struggle.
There are different energies associated with our emotions. Positive emotions allow us to vibrate at a higher frequency, while negative emotions cause us to vibrate at a lower frequency. We attract similar frequencies to those we are vibrating. Not so surprisingly, lower frequencies are associated with illness and disease.
Have you ever noticed a similar scenario to this in your life? You’re going through a tough time, and your car breaks down. Then your house floods. Then your significant other leaves you. It’s as if everything is happening at the same time and you have no idea what is going on. With each event, you feel more and more depressed. You fall into that victim mentality and convince yourself that you’re just not worth feeling happy.
This is clear evidence of the law of attraction. As you feel more bummed about where things are going, your energy drops. As it continues to drop you continue to attract these “negative” experiences.
Getting stuck in thought patterns
I mentioned the victim mentality. Do you identify with it?
We often get stuck in thought patterns that don’t serve us. Ones that make it challenging for us to learn, grow and evolve. Some common, negative thought patterns include:
- I am not worthy.
- Why is this happening to me? (Victim mentality)
- I am unloved.
- I fear the world around me.
- I am too weak.
- I am not fill-in-the-blank.
Our brains are constantly changing. The term neuroplasticity refers to the way that our brain builds, destroys and rebuilds certain connections. If we have the same negative thoughts repeating in our mind over and over, we are strengthening these negative thoughts – these connections in our brain. However, if we consciously recognize these negative thoughts and work to change them, we can create new connections in the brain. The more we use these new, positive connections, the stronger they become. The less we use those old, negative connections, they start to deteriorate.
Our thoughts have so much more power than we realize.
How do we use our mindset to be healthy?
There are a number of amazing tools at our disposal to improve our mindset and our health. The best part? They’re free!
However, they’re also some of the most challenging tools to master. They require a sense of self-awareness and ability to recognize habitual thoughts and behaviours. We are all capable, we just need to believe we are.
1 | Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are an incredibly effective tool to adjust our mindset and focus on positive and uplifting thoughts. Positive affirmations can be used during times of fear, anxiety, illness and recovery, but also during times of happiness and excitement.
Positive affirmations give us clarity. By repeating a phrase that starts with “I am…, Life is…., etc”, over long periods of time, those thoughts become second nature. Your brain starts to believe them.
Some amazing affirmations that I like to use to optimize my health include:
- I am healthy, I am happy, I am strong.
- I am alive and life is beautiful.
- I am safe in my home and in my life.
- I trust that the universe will support me in all of my endeavours.
- I am financially abundant and have enough money for my needs to be met.
You may notice that some of these are situation-specific, and some are just great to repeat to ourselves on a daily basis. I recommend looking up some amazing positive affirmations and seeing if any stick with you. Repeat them to yourself in the morning, and throughout the day. Put them on your phone as your background. Put them on your bathroom mirror, your fridge, your computer. Remind yourself of these positive thoughts regularly and you’ll notice you start to believe them over time.
2 | Write everything down in a journal
When we have negative thoughts, some of us ruminate on them for hours, days, weeks. Instead of allowing yourself to obsess over them, get out a notepad and pen, and journal. Write down all of your thoughts, fears, negative experiences and emotions that go with them. Empty your thoughts onto that page. When you’re done, you’ll feel lighter. You will have released a lot of those thoughts and put them to rest. They don’t belong inside of you anymore.
3 | Have faith
This isn’t to say you need to be religious, but trusting in something – anything – will help you to feel more comfortable in your life. You may put your trust in the universe, in a God, in energy. Whatever you choose, choose to trust.
Trust can be hard for so many of us. It’s common to meet people who have been burned by trust before. But if we trust that things will be okay – that they will work out – we are more likely to adopt an optimistic mindset. With an optimistic mindset and positive thoughts, we attract positive energies and positive experiences. Believing we are victims in this world and are destined for doom is not an uplifting way to look at life. We didn’t evolve to experience constant doom, gloom and depression.
4 | Ditch negative thought patterns
I mentioned some common negative thought patterns above. The key to adopting a healthy mindset is recognizing what thought patterns you hold onto. Do you find yourself using the same excuse often? Do you feel limited by what you believe to be true? Do you feel like you’re not enough or unworthy?
These thought patterns keep us from growing. They hold us back, and stop us from thinking beyond our excuses. We don’t believe that we are powerful – but we are. We don’t believe that we are worth love – but we all are. Every single person. We don’t believe that we are knowledgeable enough – but we all have a gift to give. So identify those thought patterns, and start to trust that they aren’t real. You are capable of anything. Don’t sell yourself short.
Shifting your mindset is not easy
But let me tell you, it’s totally worth it. I used to be incredibly pessimistic. And while I still have my moments, I’ve come to trust in the universe. I had a hard time trusting life when I was younger, which made me doubt miracles and kept me from believing things could “work out”. But I’ve been through some things in the past few years that has changed my perspective.
Life is too short for negativity, pessimism and depressive thoughts. We are meant to thrive. Getting out of your head and getting into a different mindset is challenging, but it might be the best thing you can do for your health.
It was the best thing I did for mine.