You Are What You Think You Are ... Think Healthy!
Dr. Cyd Charrow, DSW, LCSW, CPC
Summer is upon us: a perfect time to get serious about your emotional and physical health. So, what can you do to think yourself healthy?
"Thinking healthy" actually works ... It's a basic emotional law of nature...Focus on things that make you happy and you will feel happy. Focus on things thatmake you miserable and you will be miserable. The mind is THAT powerful. And when you focus on health, you enormously increase your chances for supporting health in your life.
A true story from my own life illustrates the contrasting effects mental messages can have on physical health. I suffered for years with debilitating back pain, often hospitalized in traction.
· In my first scenario, a day I started out feeling fine, a back specialist diagnosed me as having "deteriorating disk disease." Leaving his office, I couldn't get the diagnosis and horrible remedies he proscribed out of my mind. I pictured myself "deteriorating", ending up wheelchair-boundetc. By evening, I was in violent physical agony.
· My second, contrasting scenario was a month later. Wearing a back brace, and in great pain, I traveled to New York City to consult Dr. Sarno,author of "Mind over Back Pain" and other such books. His diagnosis was completely different; he acknowledged my physical pain as real – But, not related to physical abnormalities. He told me, I was "healthy". Returning home, the doctor's health affirming words were in my mind and the context formy pain had changed. My back still hurt, but now I viewed it as one would a common cold: uncomfortable but you know it will pass. That was twenty-five
years ago and I have not suffered with my back since then. Today, I AM a healthy person.
We all need to be able to heal ourselves.
Too many people walk around with serious problems of which they are unaware. The "clues", constant headaches, sleep problems, short temper, lack of humor, forgetfulness etc. are often ignored – until too late. Here's an alarming statistic - 50% of all first time Heart Attack victims die. Since we might not get a second chance, it's imperative to make the changes right now.
As a life coach, I am fascinated by the human mind. As a pragmatist, I am interested in what works. You can't eliminate stress completely, but you can choose what you think about.
How do you turn off negative thoughts: finances, weigh, relationships and all the things that bother you? One trick is Substitution
You can't not think about something - because the mind can't interpret negatives. If I say, "Don't think about purple elephants running down your street" you are sure to picture just that. But, if I tell you to think about "a dog sleeping under a tree," elephants don't even come into it. That's the trick – substituting a positive thought for a negative.
Here's how this thinking worked with actual clients.
· Michelle, trying to "diet" kept repeating that she wasn't going to eat candy, bread, and ice cream because they made her fat. We both ended up thinking about those foods! Worse -with this thinking, Michelle wasactually reaffirming herself as "fat ".
· Arnold, came to me following a devastating diagnosis where a doctor concluded, "Well, you probably won't die." What word do you suppose Arnold was left with? Yes, die.
With coaching, they both change their mental pictures and the messages they gave themselves. Arnold replaced death thoughts with those of life and things that gave him pleasure and purpose.
Michelle replaced candy & food thoughts with a focus on achieving an energetic, healthy body.
There are proven techniques to help change your attitudes about you and what you can accomplish. Affirmations, visualizations and other cognitive techniques have helped my clients achieve successes they never thought possible. Here are three suggestions to try yourself:
1. "Act as If" - Until you feel totally confident or purely positive, act as though you are. Your mind doesn't know the difference between fantasy and reality. If you tell yourself things will be terrible, your mind goes "Ok, I know how to do terrible." But – if you affirm thepositive things that are in store for you, that is what you will create.
2. Develop the habit of focusing on what is good in your life. Start each day with a positive thought. End each day with aself-acknowledgement or gratitude thought about your life.
3. Put yourself in health-supporting environments and surround yourself with people who support a healthy you.
Remember: YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE .... And YOU CAN BE WHAT YOU WANT TO BE!
As an experience, certified Life Coach, Dr. Cyd Charrow helps people navigate transitions to lead empowered, positive, fulfilled lives. Working from Florida and virtual practices, she helps clients identify and build upon their strengths so they can work through the challenges they face.
Contact via email: DrCharrow@verizon.net