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thinking health sickness

Your thoughts and emotions directly affect your health. This is why healthy thoughts are essential. We now know from the study of epigenetics and the brilliant work of Dr Bruce Lipton that every thought you have affects you at a cellular level. As humans, we consist of around 50 trillion cells. Our thoughts affect all of our cells, organs, and 11 systems, which in turn can either support us to be well or increase inflammation and potentially make us sick.

{ This article was originally published on Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh Website }

Over the last 23 years of clinical practice as a naturopath, I have seen a direct relationship between mind and body first-hand. A client might come to us with a bad report of disease or infertility. The best treatment often incorporates both mental and physical wellness solutions.

 

We see miracles in our clinics each week by supporting our clients to find their mind-body healing balance. It has motivated me to do a post-grad study with a Masters in Neuroscience. Through the study of neuroscience, this link between mind and body health has led me to coin the term I use with my clients as Psycho-Neuro-Inflammation, for we see each day clients who have repressed trauma and trapped emotions acting as blocks to their healing.

Your body doesn’t know the difference between a stressful external trigger or your toxic internal thoughts and a real-life threat such as a truck speeding towards you on the street. Your body automatically goes into emergency mode – fight or flight – thinking that you need to act quickly to move out of the way of that truck so your body gets ready to take ‘flight’ (in this case, you would not choose to fight the oncoming vehicle). 

When this occurs, the stress hormones released down-regulate genes, and due to the size of our neocortex, we can turn this stress response on with thought alone. Our body then reacts physically, for our heart rate goes up, adrenalin and cortisol are released, and we experience vasoconstriction of our arteries if we face a life-threatening situation. At this point, all of your blood leaves your gut and shunts into your arms and legs, getting ready to fight, freeze or take flight since it reads this negative thought the same as a real danger. 

Being in a state of emergency mode on occasion is no issue, for the body is designed to visit this physiological state to protect you and restore the healing equilibrium supported by your parasympathetic nervous system. The problem arises when we allow things to trigger us each day, and we spend the whole day in and out of emergency mode. If we face an actual life crisis, our stress becomes chronic, and we pitch a tent in emergency mode and live here for a season, which increases inflammation and the potential for disease and poor health. I have seen this link repeatedly, particularly with clients in abusive relationships and my clients on the fertility journey. These two groups experience massive trauma of various degrees, both emotionally and physically, so it takes a healing protocol to support such clients’ minds and bodies to reduce inflammatory stress and succeed with their wellness goals. 

I have personally walked out my healing of trauma from being both of these examples. I was physically and emotionally abused in a very toxic relationship in my 20’s, developing an eating disorder, a breast cancer lump, and I even have two false teeth for the abuse was so wrong. Then in my 30’s we were told we would never have children, IVF probably won’t work, and we should look at adoption. I chased after my healing, did lots of research, applied these protocols into my own life, and I’m now thriving; and we went on to have three children naturally. I used naturopathic mind and body wellness protocols in my life and my client’s lives for over two decades with great success. All of us, to some degree, have had our degree of trauma and seasons of high stress, so getting this mind and body connection in sync and reducing inflammation will serve us all well.

So how can we find our mind-body balance and reduce toxic thinking to reduce inflammation so we can be free of our past and walk into our incredible futures? I’ve compiled my top tips on how you, too, can get your head in the game and think on purpose so you can shift into the best version of yourself.

 

1. Balance Your Seven Pillars of Wellness

Over the history of my career, I have seen seven main areas that affect our overall health. As a result, I always treat my clients holistically, for when we nourish these seven pillars, the client shifts into wellness, as the body has the right components to heal itself. The Seven Pillars of Wellness include nutrition, sleep, movement, mindfulness, supplementation, body balance and environment.

We are all identically different, but as a starting point, eat more organic whole foods with more plants and less animal meat. Drink 2-3 L of purified water per day.

Give your body rest and good restorative sleep so it can heal. Choose a type of movement, or exercise that you love, to strengthen and help (rather than punish). Practise mindfulness techniques daily. Supplement your body nutrition with organic whole food supplements due to the reduced quality of most foods we eat. Keep your body and skeleton in balance with complementary therapies such as osteopathy.

Last but not least, make sure that your environmental health is in order, so you don’t expose yourself to non-organic skincare, and chemicals are all vital cogs in the wheel to keep your mind and body functioning. Do all this to support your long term wellness.

Not sure where to start? You can take our Free Wellness Quiz to help you take your first steps towards long term wellness.

2. Start Your Day Right

How you start your day is critical if you want your day to flow, so this is now a non-negotiable part of my wellness routine. I always start with wellness water, 500ml of room temperature or warm purified water plus the juice of 1/2 a lemon, freshly grated ginger to taste and fresh mint leaves torn into the water, so I feel mentally and physically strong for my day. You have been fasting through the night, so this is a great way to break your fast. 

3. Grow Your Mindfulness Muscle

As I sip my wellness water, I do 20 minutes of mindfulness prayer and meditation to reduce my inflammation and support my health. Don’t make this overwhelming. If you are not used to this ritual, start with 5-10 minutes.

To be well, you need to think on purpose, for your mind is thinking anyway, so you might as well make your thoughts work for you.

The key to manifesting and making this work is thinking the thought and feeling the thought right into your heart and entire body.

An Easy Ritual to Get Your Healthy Thoughts Started

Sit quietly and focus on your breath and run through your day in your mind like a mind movie. See yourself moving through your day elegantly, responding kindly to triggers and staying out of emergency mode.

Imagine all of your cells in optimum health, your mind and body working as a team for your greater good.

Any issue that could bring you stress, see yourself handling this efficiently, and stay “in-flow”. If healing, a healthy baby or something else you desire, feel this right into your bones. Stay with this feeling for 2 minutes and feel yourself in optimum health and your life in harmony to make you smile.

If, at any time in your day, you slip into emergency mode or fear, take three deep breaths and return to this state of bliss to train your nervous system out of inflammatory thoughts and to maintain your vibration of faith, gratitude and healthy beliefs.

4. Cultivate Self-Love & healthy thoughts

The world may need you, but you also need you.

Like when you’re on a plane, and they announce to put your oxygen mask on first in the event of losing cabin pressure, it is the same in life. Unless you are supported and walk-in self-love and understanding, how can you offer that to others?

I use inner child work with my clients to cultivate self-love. Often it is our inner child who is rejected, displaced and abandoned. For we grow up and get so in our heads, we no longer live from a place of being integrated with self-love.

Most of us have made mistakes as adults, and loving ourselves now is tricky, but thinking of the child version of ourselves can allow self-love to flow.

So each morning and night, take a few moments to send your inner child love, think about specific memories and put your hands on your heart or belly to connect with your child and offer unconditional love and understanding. Establishing healthy thoughts is essential. 

Forgiving yourself is vital. We are our own worst enemies, so let yourself off the hook, learn from your mistakes and choose to be kind and walk out your healing in a loving way. A great way to cultivate self-love is to start journaling.

5. Establish healthy thoughts -Scream it Out

I love primal scream therapy and coaching my clients with this method to release trapped emotions and trauma.

I do this work one on one in my retreats or over Zoom, which works very well. I marry this with emotion code, biofeedback and muscle testing, and we can quickly get to the root cause of a client’s trapped emotions acting as blocks to their healing.

An excellent place for you to start is to allow yourself to feel a negative/trapped emotion and allow this feeling to bubble up inside your entire body to the point you feel ready to scream into a pillow. Repeat this three times, so you permit yourself to feel this emotion, no judgement. Scream it out so you can let it go!

If you have significant trauma, I would do this as a practitioner, but for many, the feelings of fear, sadness, anger and grief can be felt and released safely. The simple act of self-love of allowing yourself to feel this emotion is powerful, for often, as adults, we push these emotions down, which make us sick.

6. Balance Your Gut-Brain Axis

Emotions freely experienced and expressed without judgment or attachment tend to flow, supporting our health.

Repressed emotions, however, can lead to mood disorders, digestive issues and disease.

One of the key ways to reduce inflammation is to support your body’s ability to digest food and your emotions. By supporting healthy blood sugar regulation and gut health, you will feel physically more balanced, keeping inflammation at bay and allowing yourself to live from a grounded place to deal with your emotions.

Ensuring you have an excellent organic source of protein and good fat at each meal, such as nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, olives, or vegan yoghurt, is a beautiful blood sugar balancer. Hence, you feel mentally and physically strong.

Increasing fibre, high in prebiotics, is also great to support gut-brain health. I recommend sauerkraut, chia, flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chicory inulin, psyllium husks and lots of veggies to give your good bacteria food it prefers. If you take probiotics, please don’t have them with warm food or liquids, and if you take coffee, please don’t have this with your meal, as this will significantly impair absorption.

Chewing your food is also crucial, so try to chew each mouthful 20 times and put your cutlery down in between bites. Limit liquids to 200ml per meal to not dilute your stomach acids. To support gut-brain-connection, make mealtimes peaceful, don’t watch the news or do a stressful email, for this will impair gut function. 

7. Make Peace with Your Triggers

If you know a particular person, environment or food triggers you – embrace it and offer yourself love and understanding. When we react to our stimuli and feel out of control, this creates a roller coaster of negative emotions.

A great technique is to use a “triggers list”. Get a piece of paper and at the top of one side write ‘things I can change’ at the top of the other ‘things I can’t change’.

Get busy with the things you can change and add them to your list, but be mindful that your list is an ongoing list that will never be empty. List triggers outside of your control that can stress you out in the other column. Honour these triggers and choose to trust that God /The Universe is always working in your favour and visualise these issues resolved, gelling the joy this brings you when all is well in your life. This will allow you to dial down your fear, dial up your faith, and live from a place of thankfulness, which reduces inflammation and supports optimum health.

I love this quote by Charles Swindoll:  ‘Life is 10% about what happens to me and 90% how I react to it, for it reminds us that we can choose how we respond to situations which in turn either supports optimum health or can invite disease.

By changing your perception of life, you change your chemistry, supporting healthy gene expression. By staying in gratitude, love and understanding, your body releases chemicals into the blood like Dopamine which brings about a state of bliss and pleasure. Oxytocin and vasopressin are then released, and love flows which also makes you more attractive. The brain then releases growth hormone to maintenance your entire system. 

We, therefore, have nothing to lose if we choose our thoughts and reduce stress for the mind and body respond with chemical reactions that support health and vitality, having a knock-on effect, so we are more attractive to ourselves and others. Many people don’t even like themselves, so using these tips can cultivate self-love and create a life you love.

 

Start Taking Control of Your Well-Being

The Seven Pillars of Wellness are my framework for moving you into full wellness and well-being. We have created the free Rejuv Wellness Quiz to help you understand which three Wellness Pillars you need to strengthen for your long-term well-being. 

Invest five minutes in your health by completing your free Rejuv Wellness Quiz and get your complimentary one-page wellness profile. This actionable summary contains a wellness diagram that identifies your current health and the next best steps toward your ultimate well-being.

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