We all have thoughts running through our heads every day. There are positive thoughts, negative thoughts, and neutral thoughts. Although we may not be able to control our thoughts, we can control our reactions to those thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts. We choose to label them as positive or negative. If we pay attention to a thought, it results in an emotion. And then the emotion causes biochemical changes in our bodies, including an increase or decrease in stress hormones, which directly affect our health. For example, you might think, “I’m fat.” That’s just a thought, but then you assign an emotion to it, such as shame, sadness, or frustration. That sadness or frustration sends a message to your brain to release cortisol (among other hormones). Too much cortisol has negative health consequences, such as increased blood pressure, decreased immunity, etc. So if you pay attention to your negative thoughts throughout the day, you will have negative health outcomes, such as frequent colds, depression, high blood pressure, nausea, achy joints, and weight gain, which is the very thing you were frustrated about to begin with!! So you can see that negative thoughts can become self-fulfilling.
Here’s a tip about how to stop negative thoughts from creating negative health outcomes. When you notice a negative thought, just notice it. Just notice the thought and don’t assign an emotion to it. When you notice the thought, simple say, out loud or silently, “Cancel cancel.” Then replace that negative thought with a positive affirmation, such as “I am perfect,” or “I am happy, healthy and beautiful.” Now pay attention to the new positive thought. Once you start paying attention to positive thoughts throughout the day, you will notice that you feel happier and you will certainly be healthier.