Think Better to Feel Better

Is it possible to consciously direct your mind so every cell in your body moves toward health, healing and wellness?

Your Brain Runs the Show

Scanning of a human brain by X-rays

Your brain really runs the show of your life, doesn’t it?  

We know that the brain controls every single physical functioning of our body, such as breathing, pumping blood, wiggling your fingers, and reading this article.   

But did you realize that your brain also controls how you feel emotionally? The limbic system is a  group of brain structures, sometimes referred to as the “emotional brain.”

According to “The Brain Encyclopedia” by Carol Turkington: 

Emotions are NOT a state of consciousness separate from the physical brain.  A person’s emotions are produced by brain chemicals intertwined with the physiological processes of the body, so that…

…What affects the body affects the mind and emotions, and vice versa!

Did you catch my earlier post on the

Mind-Body Connection?

Read more…

 

The Good News: The Choice is Yours

When you understand that your brain really runs the show and it has a big influence on how you feel both physically and emotionally, then you can use your brain to feel better — on purpose!

All any of us want is to feel better….to be happy, and feel good physically and emotionally. 

Thoughts of any kind create feelings, which your brain interprets – and then responds by sending signals to your body. 

Thoughts of worry, fear, pain, or hopelessness lead you to feel one way. 

Thoughts of love, contentment, happy times, or dreams for your future lead you to feel another way.

The Bad News

It doesn’t always feel like a choice. 

Sometimes it seems like thoughts and feelings come out of nowhere, as if they were random.  But they’re not.

Sometimes it seems like situations or other people make you feel a certain way. But they can’t. 

Nobody has the power to make anyone else feel any way.  That’s because what you think (conscious or sub-conscious) dictates how you feel.

Only one person has control over your thoughts.

An extreme and inspiring example of this truth comes from a famous holocaust/concentration camp survivor:

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing:

your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”

                                             — Viktor E. Frankl

The choice is yours.

Better Thoughts ==>  Better Feelings

Every feeling has a thought associated with it.  The thought comes first and then a feeling is experienced. 

Sometimes the thoughts are sub-conscious or come so quickly you’re not aware of them.  These are the tricky ones — the ones that seem to creep up on you without you realizing it.

The same rule applies whether or not you’re aware of the thought that led to what you’re feeling:  If you want to feel better, start by thinking better.

To feel better emotionally or physically (or both!!), start by reaching for a thought that feels better.  I call these “better feeling thoughts.”  

Thinking better is the fastest way to start feeling better.

Questions to ask yourself: 

  1. What am I thinking now that contributes to this undesirable feeling?
  1. How much do I practice thoughts that bring me joy?
  1. How much do I practice thoughts that bring me pain?
  1. What thought could I think right now that would feel better?

Create New Neural Pathways in Your Brain

Neural Pathways iStock_000006935562XSmallEven though all these concepts make sense to people, I am often asked:

“Yeah, but HOW DO I DO IT?” 

IT IS POSSIBLE!  Your amazing brain has flexible neural pathways that can be trained how to choose “better feeling thoughts.” 

This is true even if the same old thought patterns have been there for a long time.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen automatically.  It takes training and practice to create new neural pathways.  It’s like reprogramming the thought patterns in the brain.  If you want a new program to run, you have to uninstall the old program and install a new one.