Our thoughts and feelings have a profound effect on our physiology.
You may have heard said, “what you think about expands?” All that really means is that what you pay attention to, what you spend psychic energy on, has resonates deeply in your body and has a significant effect on your whole well-being. In fact, the entire science of psychoneuroimmunology is the study of how what our thoughts affect our immune system.
And while we can’t just “wish” toxic feelings away—anger and resentment have an annoying way of hanging around even when we don’t want them there— what we can do is replace them.
And it’s easy to do.
Just make a list, right now, of three things in your life that are absolutely awesome.
Then read it. Carry it with you as a reminder… you’ll know when to use it!
I’m willing to bet if you’re reading this article that you’ve got three things you can point to that are terrific in your life. Even if you’re struggling financially, or in a difficult relationship, or you hate your weight, I’ll still bet dollars to Krispy Kremes that you can find at least three things that are just amazing about your life. (Hint: If you’re reading this, your eyes work. That alone is pretty awesome, even though we usually take our vision for granted.)
Take a look at the moon and stars on a clear night. Or take a walk somewhere quiet and green. Or play with a puppy and get some puppy kisses. Or look deeply into the eyes of another person, preferably someone you love.
There’s awesome all around us– you don’t really have to look very far, you just have to open your eyes (and your heart).
There’s even research to support the beneficial physiological effects of positive emotions, especially awe. Researchers found that the feeling of awe— measured in two different ways—was the strongest predictor of lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines! That means that our thoughts can actually lower inflammation, a major contributor to every single degenerative disease on the planet!
I once did an experiment I called “The gratitude challenge”. I woke up every morning for 30 days and wrote down ten things that I was grateful for. Even if I was in a shitty mood, just focusing on the awesome things in my life brightened my day and got me up on the “right” side of the bed. It’s like working out in the morning—it just sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.
I gave that challenge to the members of my membership site and the feedback was… well, awesome.
When people say “Cultivate an attitude of gratitude”, I’m pretty sure this is what they’re talking about. It’s pretty hard to be angry—or frustrated—or stressed—when you’re focused on terrific things.