Last year, I put Who Switched Off My Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf on my Christmas list and was anything but disappointed in my gift from Santa. Here’s an excerpt on toxic thinking from her website:
87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.
The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick! Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones. There are INTELLECTUAL and MEDICAL reasons to FORGIVE! Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following illnesses: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few. Consciously control your thought life and start to detox your brain!
Medical research increasingly points to the fact that thinking and consciously controlling your thought life is one of the best ways, if not the best way of detoxing your brain. It allows you to get rid of those toxic thoughts and emotions that can consume and control your mind.
For years, I never paid much attention to my thoughts. I simply thought if they were up there, they deserved to be. I didn’t realize that thoughts, when left unchecked, controlled the quality of my life–leading to negative emotions that eventually became destructive behaviors. But what if we could cut off thoughts BEFORE they turned into feelings? Our lives would change! What if we took every thought captive and MADE it obedient to the truth?
As Dr. Leaf and science has proven, toxic thoughts lead to toxic chemicals released in the body, resulting in all sorts of illnesses. I mean, think about it. Your body has to house the brunt of all the fear, anxiety, insecurity, self-hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy–any negative emotion allowed to remain. It makes sense that the chemicals released from those negative emotions result in something physical manifesting in the body.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 4 in God Loves Ugly that explains more:
I know of a woman who came home as her house was being robbed. Her entry startled the thief, causing him to flee out the back window, but in his hasty exit, he was forced to leave several of the items he had intended to take laid out on her bed. Fury and anger coursed through her veins at the invasion that had occurred. Hate and spite for the man who had violated her haven seethed in her body, and she was convinced that he would come back for what he had left. So she made the decision—when he returned, she was going to be ready.
For three days she sat waiting with gun in hand, seething with revenge, anger and fury, ready to unleash revenge. The intensity of her emotions, combined with the power of adrenaline, absolutely ruined her body.
The doctors best explanation was “she basically fried herself.” Those emotions of hate and fury literally short-circuited her nervous system as she sat there for those three days, stewing in her rage. I’m sad to say, she now walks with a walker and is in constant pain with an entire list of medical problems that didn’t exist before the incident.
I’m not a scientist, and I’m definitely not a doctor, but I find it interesting that my years of acne cleared up the more I got free from feelings of self-hatred. I believe my toxic thoughts produced stress and toxins in my body, and they needed to be released somewhere. (I’m not saying this is across the board. I understand what we eat, genetics, and the environment are also factors.) I find it humorous that my years of battling with my weight ended when I finally stopped using my mind and emotions to obsess over it, and the weight easily and naturally fell off my body. I find it hilarious that I used to break out in splotchy, red patches when I would get anxious or nervous, or that my head would ache when my mind would overload with too many stressful thoughts.
I’m not saying that every illness is related to stress and emotions. I’m just saying that I believe we can’t discount that the two might be linked under certain circumstances.
Our bodies aren’t separate from our emotions. They actually have to physically house the brunt of them. Have you ever thought about what years of worry physically does to your body? Or hatred? Or bitterness? Or fear?
What about the opposites? What about the power of positive thinking that produces positive emotions? What if we actually fought to live in the realm of our emotions with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? What kind of health would those emotions actually produce physically?
Have you lived with negative thoughts for so long, it’s effecting your body? Your sleep? Your emotional well-being? Take a moment to evaluate the thoughts you’ve had today. Have they been negative? Positive?
If they’ve been mostly negative, go on the offensive with your thinking. Take EVERY thought captive and make it obedient to the Truth. If you start to have a negative thought about someone or yourself, catch it BEFORE it makes its way down into your heart and becomes an emotion.
It’s time to be free from toxic thinking. It’s time for our heads, hearts, and bodies to live in the TRUTH.