Did you know that our happiness is a choice we make every day? And that it affects our health physically as much as emotionally? I want to look at just a few ways our thoughts affect our bodies… and our lives.
A Negative Mind Hurts Our Body
Our minds are powerful things and they can play many tricks on us (no, not Jedi mind tricks 🙂 ). We know that the brain controls the body, so it makes sense that the thoughts that occupy our brain have a great effect on our health. But maybe we don’t think enough on what damage negative thoughts have on our health. There are so many ways that we can damage our health with our thoughts, but I am just going to skim the surface for now.
Have you ever fought with someone and you got so angry and emotional you couldn’t think about anything else? These negative thoughts can really drag you down and keep your brain active so as not to let your body get the sleep it needs. OR… how about the one about STRESS?? We all have dealt with stress over something. Stress about everything you have to do today, stress over things that are to come, stress over work, stress over relationships. And it is so easy to let it consume us and paralyze us so that we don’t do our jobs well, or even not at all.
We begin to tell ourselves all the things that could go wrong or get scared with the long lists and stressful situations and dwell on them so much we don’t enjoy ourselves and our lives. We are “worried sick.” We no longer have any motivation or desire to do anything. Then we beat up on ourselves.
We are not happy. We find no happiness in doing anything in life. We just give up.
A Negative Mind Hurts Our Happiness
But there is more to this than just being happy, at least, what we think happy means. So let’s take a look at what the word “happy” means. Is it just a fickle emotion? Or is there more to it?
Happiness, in the truest definition, actually means… contentment. And that is more than just a feeling. It is a choice we make. A choice to not dwell on all the bad things around us, things we cannot control, and to look for all the good things that God has given us. Look for the “blessing in the thorns”.
A Negative Mind Hurts Those Around Us
No one likes to be around a “Negative Nancy” all the time. When we are constantly hanging around with someone who is gloomy or complaining about their difficult situations all the time, we not only get very annoyed, but all of that negativity and gloom gets passed on to us and then we start feeling the same way. Thus begins another game of dominoes!
You know that what you are constantly processing and thinking about is eventually going to come out. We can’t keep it inside forever. No one is that good. 🙂
So maybe this week, when you are talking to your friends or family, just try and curb your complaining a little. Because it is really not as bad as you think. Then try practicing gratitude. Because there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. We just have to be willing to open our eyes to see it. And little by little your joy and happiness will begin to grow and you will become a blessing to those around you as well. Be intentional.
A Negative Mind Limits Us
I wonder how many things we have missed out on simply because we let this thought creep in and take over: “I don’t believe I can do that.” So we don’t even try. Words have POWER. Even when they are not spoken out loud.
It’s Not About Surviving
You know, sitting back and just living with all these negative thoughts, just trying to make it through another day, is surviving. Ever heard or said this before? “How are you doing today?” “Oh, I’m surviving.”
And while surviving is not a bad thing (in fact I hope we all do it) it’s not enough to simply “survive”. We should be trying to “live”. These are two different words, but they go hand in hand. Too often I see people (myself included) just surviving. Making it from day to day, not really enjoying all the blessings and opportunities that they have been given, because they are so wrapped up in all the negative things that are going on in their lives. It drags them down. And believing they have to live with it and can’t change it, they focus so much on it and miss the joys of actually LIVING and CHOOSING the thoughts that occupy their minds.
How many times have we missed the beauty, blessings and wonderful opportunities staring us in the face because we were so wrapped up with being consumed by negative thoughts? Even in the darkest of times and the worst of situations, God is still good. We still have a choice.
I want to start living my life to the fullest and being more intentional with my thoughts. Being more positive, not only for my body’s sake, but for the sake of those around me. What will you choose?