Did you know that the average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day?
Healing Your Mental Past
In survivorship, maintaining a balanced thought-life is crucial. If you have endured a chaotic or abusive past before having cancer or a chronic condition, it is imperative that you get your mind settled and at rest. I had that type of past and know the weight of it. The more physically sick I was, the more emotionally unbalanced I became, which then caused relationship upheaval and the cycle would just repeat itself. Tired of the cycle, I decided something needed to be done to give me some relief. I eventually found a good and credentialed counselor within a local hospital’s mental health clinic. Between appointments when I would have moments of distress (bad dream, bad neighbor, family issues) I would write down what happened and how the experience made me feel, and when my appointment day came, we would discuss it. While typing her finalized notes after each session she would say, “Wow, we sure seem to cover a lot in a short period!” That was because I took notes, and I was so determined to get better that I did that for three years. My mind went from feeling like it was a twisted up mess, to finally feeling clear. Internally I felt so much better and eventually built up a strong resistance to dealing with the negatives in life. Negatives don’t stop, you just learn how to cope with them better. Getting that help was one of the most important investments I’ve ever made in myself. It was life changing.
The Body Response
Although there’s some controversy, I consider Dr. Carolyn Leaf as an expert on the human brain, and trust her work is based on scientific evidence. According to Dr. Leaf, “Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones.” She goes on and points to research that shows that detoxing the brain by changing your thought life is essential to having good health. This is actually what happened to me the longer I saw my counselor. Dr. Leaf says that when you have lots of negative thoughts a structure forms inside your brain that looks like a tree. The more negative thoughts you have, the more branches that form. But if you practice a healthy mind-set, those trees will “melt” as she puts it.
Take the Test
If you think that your thought-life may be toxic, why not take her quiz? On her website, she has a page called Thought Life where she lists ten questions for you to answer about the things that run through your head at any given time. They are very thought-provoking questions, no pun intended (big smile). The mind is a beautiful and powerful thing, and I found it useful to harness that energy for better physical health!
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein
http://www.drleaf.com (thanks for permission to use the featured image).