Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
Point to Ponder:
What negative, unhealthy and unproductive thoughts do you have?
The sermon I listened to this morning focused on creating new mental pathways for our unhealthy, unproductive and untrue thoughts. Our pastor referenced two quotes, “Your life is always moving in the direction of your strongest thought" (positive or negative), and “What comes into your mind comes out in your life”. I have heard this before and know it to be true, but being reminded of it is always timely. As to how to re-wire our negative, unproductive and destructive pathways, we have to catch them when they occur, pause and choose a different response, which when continued creates a new positive pathway. One of his examples is when in the midst of negative thinking or stress, people often turn to food, alcohol or drugs as a form of self-medication. After walking on these pathways long enough they become our default response. The good news is by capturing these thoughts as they occur, we can choose an alternative healthy action, make a positive choice, and this productive response become our new default.
I’ve written about this before so pardon my redundancy, but for me, when feeling inadequate, unapproved of and not enough, my negative default pathway is overcompensation. This means I’ll jump through unnecessary hoops, over-do and over-work, just for approval and to please others. Fortunately I’m aware of this negative pathway and when it occurs, I now have the awareness to stop, identify where it’s coming from and change my course. It’s been a very empowering process and it’s saved me time, anx and stress.
So, what does all of this have to do with you and iGnite? Everything, because we are all human and have negative default pathways that prevent us from prioritizing ourselves, our health and our well-being.
As a reminder, according to the book Younger Next Year, “Chronic bouts of long-term stress, such as commuting, loneliness, emotional stress, not enough sleep, apathy, too much alcohol, and TV all trigger the inflammatory process. But, daily exercise, joy, play, engagement, challenge, and closeness all trigger the crucial repair, which combats inflammation and decay and promotes growth. And that’s why the fittest women have one-fifth the mortality rate of the most sedentary women.” I n addition, “Your physical brain runs your metabolism—ceaselessly gearing every organ, tissue and cell to the immediate energy demands of the moment—automatically monitoring every conceivable aspect of your physical being and keeping your whole body in supreme harmony. That’s why exercise is the master signal for growth, because it’s the language of your physical brain.” Here in lies the body mind spirit connection and why catching and replacing common negative pathways like perfectionism, martyrism, procrastination, self-doubt, and fear with healthy, positive, abundant and life-giving pathways is critical to living our most spectacular and youthful life.
Most importantly, far gone are the days we can place blame of our genetics, upbringing or past, because we have the power and ability to retrain our brain and create new neurological pathways. Absolutely negative experiences contribute to the creation of our negative pathways, but just because something “was” doesn’t mean it “is” and has to be forever. Per the wisdom of Mel Robbins, the author of The 5 Second Rule who suffered from debilitating anxiety but overcame it by implementing her 5 second rule, she says, “In 5 seconds you can change anything, which changes everything. You can’t always change how you feel.” For example, like not feeling like exercising, being social, choosing challenge over comfort or choosing to eat healthy or not. However, Mel says, “In 5 seconds you can choose how you act, which moves mountains” . Therefore, as you plan your week, create your lists and determine whether or not to make your health and well-being a priority, it’s the perfect opportunity to countdown from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and take the action that will positively re-wire and re-route your pathways from inflammation and decay to growth and a full and long life!
Countdown from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and take the action to make your health and well-being a high priority.
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