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“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”-Mahatma Gandhi
As the ball drops and we kiss the nearest cutie, it begins, a New Year. The New Year brings new promises that we make to ourselves: to eat healthier, exercise more, stop that bad habit, or heal a relationship.
I propose that you make a promise to yourself in the thought department.
According to research, we can experience up to 70, 000 thoughts per day, and I believe that our thoughts have the most powerful effect on our ability to reach our goal(s). Thoughts directly stem from the beliefs that we have, and they are predominately self-enriching or self-destructing. We, as humans, have the unique ability to choose our thoughts each moment.
Learning to control our thoughts rather than letting our thoughts control us is a task worth undertaking. Many people spend restless nights not being able to “turn their thoughts off,” wishing they could sleep, fearing things that will never happen or repeating negative scenarios over and over. If this is something that you struggle with realize that you have the power to change your thoughts one at a time. Each time you experience a thought sabotoging your well-being, change the channel of your mind. Sometimes bringing to mind those things and people you are thankful for is a great place to start.
Each moment a thought comes in, e.g. “I want to lose weight,” notice the following thoughts. Are they self-empowering or self-destructing? If they are destructive ones like, “Ugh, I have to go to the gym, I can’t believe I ate those extra 200 calories today, I hate my belly,” then change the channel of your mind. Get on the channel of positivity. “I have a strong body that will get stronger. I forgive myself. I love myself enough to stop binging on sugar.”
Researchers such as Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD, and others, have proven that thoughts and beliefs have important effects on our biology. If you create powerful positive thoughts, you will witness your whole self changing for the better. Usually, when we struggle to meet our goals it is because we are not getting to the root of change, our thoughts. We simply cannot change our external lives if we do not first focus on the internal self- talk driving our actions and our hormones.
If you would like, try this exercise for fun: sitting still, think of a stunning pine tree forest, and notice how it feels to inhale the aroma in your imagination. Now imagine driving near a skunk after it sprayed. Smell it in your imagination, does this change the feeling you have in your body? These different thoughts create varying hormonal changes within you in a matter of seconds. You are not physically in either location, but your mind for a moment was, and it created a cascade of changes within your endocrine system allowing you to experience different sensations.
Long term changes happen from the inside first. The quote from Mahatma Gandhi sums it up simply. Our beliefs and thoughts ultimately become our destiny. If you want to quit smoking, eat more greens, or forgive someone you love, do it because you love your lungs, your arteries, yourself. If you have a goal, allow it to have value internally and make it from a positive place. If you do, your changes will last.
Tamara Joy Patterson was raised in Northern California and lives in Palo Cedro with her husband and their two children. She is a graduate of CSU, Chico, and Clayton College of Natural Health with degrees in Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, and Natural Health, and is a certified mind-body expert and ACSM certified exercise specialist. Tamara has been in the health-and-wellness field professionally for more than 12 years as a wellness expert, college health instructor and yoga teacher. To learn more about Tamara Joy you can visit her website at: www.tamarashealinggarden.com
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