Toxic Thoughts Are Holding You Back From Your Mind-Body Connection
How often do you have negative thoughts? Have you ever wondered to what degree your life experiences affect how you think, perceive, feel, react, and respond? Do you notice that your behavior or your defense mechanisms become triggered by certain issues time and time again?
As humans, we develop “habitual patterns” of behavior that are often based on our past experiences. These habitual patterns begin to shape our personality, our ego, and define who we are. If some of the patterns that are on the negative spectrum begin to rule our thoughts and actions, it may be time to uncover how they may be influencing the quality of our lives.
When awareness and acceptance of habitual patterns are realized, we can take responsibility and choose to shift the “limiting beliefs” to reprogram our minds. With mindful, compassionate, conscious, and supported system we can begin to clear away toxic thought patterns and replace them with higher vibration thoughts. Consciousness and awareness of the mind is the golden key here, and what can transform self-doubt, low self-esteem, injury, and illness into radiant inner health and happiness.
Your Brain on Negativity
It has been estimated that the average brain has anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day and 70% of them are believed to be on the negative spectrum.
For the sake of this article, we will focus on the workings of the mind and look at ways in which we can learn to shift habitual thoughts that are limiting, negative, and depressive in nature.
The development of our core beliefs originates from the time of birth through to childhood and into adolescence. These core beliefs are closely linked and formed from our caregivers, parents, teachers, and our environment. If there was trauma at this time, the natural reaction for a child or adolescent is to create defense mechanisms for the protection and these then go on to become unconscious habitual patterns. Psychologist Maria Stella states “As we grow up the patterns can manifest as addictions, self-sabotage, phobias, anxiety attacks, and other self-defeating patterns that cause us to act unconsciously or negatively.” (Source: mariastella.com)
At a time where anti-depressants, pain killers, and antibiotics are heavily prescribed to overcome unhappiness and illness, what if we can begin to recognize and accept habitual thought patterns that are repetitive and negative and learn how to replace them with positive thoughts based on present moment awareness to begin the healing process?
You Are the Placebo with Joe Dispenza
Researcher and author, Dr. Joe Dispenza, combines the field of quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics in his latest book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How To Lose Your Mind and Create a New One.” Dr. Dispenza explains that you are not doomed by your genes and hardwired to be a certain way for the rest of your life. A new science is emerging that empowers all human beings to create the reality they choose, he says. Dr. Dispenza is convinced that your thoughts can change your reality.
It really is quite a miraculous phenomenon when you begin to break it down. Your body is wired to support and spark neurochemical changes in your brain that move in the direction of positivity and happiness. Specific learned neural patterns of thinking (based on past experiences) interrupt the process and the natural impulses. This is known as “toxic thinking” and certain patterns in the brain are subconsciously created out of the “fight or flight” system for protection and survival. This is a powerful inner working of the body and mind where fear takes over to prepare us to run away or confront a perceived threat. Fear activates the “fight or flight” stress reaction within the body and herein lies the big issue, this inner working in the body de-activates the higher thinking capacity of the brain by cutting off much of the oxygen flow.
Dr. Athena Staik puts it clearly, “the brain is always in either “protective mode” or “learning mode.” When it’s in “protective mode” its otherwise amazing capacity to make informed choices or decisions is not fully functioning. It is no longer in “learning mode.” Thoughts that are charged with negativity are often created from limiting beliefs in the subconscious and carried over from the formative years of our childhood. (Source: psychcentral.com)
Here are a few examples of limiting beliefs:
- I will never be loved because I don’t deserve it
- If I say no to someone, they will reject me completely
- Others are always judging me, I will never fit in
- I am not good enough because I have never been the best at anything
- I will never have enough money
- It’s wrong to ask for help
- Physical or Psychological violence is ok when someone deserves it
How Can I Begin to Change My Thoughts?
Recent neuroscience studies demonstrate that if you truly want to change your life, you need to engage in a conscious study of your thoughts, and over time you may be able to direct your mind-body integration into one of higher vibration and happiness. The key ingredient in your success towards positive change is you….a conscious you…. who is ready to do the work.
Try out the following 6 Steps
- Believe that you can control the quality of your thoughts. Welcome your conscious self as a tracker or a witness of your thoughts to bring yourself into present moment awareness.
- Keep a daily record of your negative thoughts and your limiting beliefs. Write down as many as you can remember at the end of your day. If you have time, write them as they come. You will need 3 days to record your thoughts. Record any focus on problems as opposed to solutions, being a victim in your thoughts, black and white thoughts, or write down when you use “never” or “always”. If you are open to sharing your process, ask a loved one or a colleague to gently remind you when you are speaking in negative language.
- Once you have a gauge on the negative thoughts and their frequency, identify their triggers. Write down specific examples of what set your mind into a chain reaction of negativity. Write down the feelings in your body when you encounter a trigger. Be specific, this acknowledgment can bring you into greater awareness, which can result in changing this habitual pattern.
- The next time you experience a trigger, as if you are flipping a switch, shift a negative thought into a positive one. (e.g. “My work is so stressful” to “How fortunate I am to have a job” or “My children are driving me crazy” into “How blessed I am to have a family.”) Keep flipping the switch.
- In tracking of your negative thoughts, make an opposing column for a corresponding positive thought. This may take some practice, be creative. (e.g. “I’m always exhausted” to “I am calm and ready to receive an excellent sleep tonight.”) This will begin to train your thoughts to be positive.
- Meditate using visualization techniques for mind-body integration, or spend time in nature. Begin to train your eye to see the beauty in the small things. Journal about any shifts you may have experienced in your mind, body, and your connection to your environment.
When we begin to commit to mind-body practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, dancing, painting, journaling, shamanic healing, and spending time in nature our thoughts begin to speak to us in new ways, our subconscious mind meets the conscious mind. Here, we begin to soften our grip on how we want to control every aspect of our lives. We may realize and radically accept the thoughts that once made us who we are don’t work for us anymore. We pay attention to present moment awareness, we train our eye and mind to see the beauty in the smallest things, we practice both envisioning our future dreams and letting go all at once. We wake up to the possibility that we can heal through the power of mindfulness. And we empower ourselves that our thoughts and actions truly can create our reality.
Commit to a mind-body practice
Connecting to Your Meditation Practice
The Heart-Mind Field
82 Ways To Achieve a Higher State of Consciousness
George Gurdjieff was an influential early 20th-century mystic, philosopher, and spiritual teacher. He observed that most humans live their lives in a state of hypnotic “waking sleep. To combat this, Gurdjieff developed a method to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential. These are his “commandments,” simple ways you can progress on your journey towards waking up:
1. Ground your attention on yourself. Be conscious at every moment of what you are thinking, sensing, feeling, desiring, and doing.
2. Always finish what you have begun.
3. Whatever you are doing, do it as well as possible.
4. Do not become attached to anything that can destroy you in the course of time.
5. Develop your generosity – but secretly.
6. Treat everyone as if he or she was a close relative.
7. Organize what you have disorganized.
8. Learn to receive and give thanks for every gift.
9. Stop defining yourself.
10. Do not lie or steal, for you lie to yourself and steal from yourself.
11. Help your neighbor, but do not make him dependent.
12. Do not encourage others to imitate you.
13. Make work plans and accomplish them.
14. Do not take up too much space.
15. Make no useless movements or sounds.
16. If you lack faith, pretend to have it.
17. Do not allow yourself to be impressed by strong personalities.
18. Do not regard anyone or anything as your possession.
19. Share fairly.
20. Do not seduce.
21. Sleep and eat only as much as necessary.
22. Do not speak of your personal problems.
23. Do not express judgement or criticism when you are ignorant of most of the factors involved.
24. Do not establish useless friendships.
25. Do not follow fashions.
26. Do not sell yourself.
27. Respect contracts you have signed.
28. Be on time.
29. Never envy the luck or success of anyone.
30. Say no more than necessary.
31. Do not think of the profits your work will engender.
32. Never threaten anyone.
33. Keep your promises.
34. In any discussion, put yourself in the other person’s place.
35. Admit that someone else may be superior to you.
36. Do not eliminate, but transmute.
37. Conquer your fears, for each of them represents a camouflaged desire.
38. Help others to help themselves.
39. Conquer your aversions and come closer to those who inspire rejection in you.
40. Do not react to what others say about you, whether praise or blame.
41. Transform your pride into dignity.
42. Transform your anger into creativity.
43. Transform your greed into respect for beauty.
44. Transform your envy into admiration for the values of the other.
45. Transform your hate into charity.
46. Neither praise nor insult yourself.
47. Regard what does not belong to you as if it did belong to you.
48. Do not complain.
49. Develop your imagination.
50. Never give orders to gain the satisfaction of being obeyed.
51. Pay for services performed for you.
52. Do not proselytize your work or ideas.
53. Do not try to make others feel for you emotions such as pity, admiration, sympathy, or complicity.
54. Do not try to distinguish yourself by your appearance.
55. Never contradict; instead, be silent.
56. Do not contract debts; acquire and pay immediately.
57. If you offend someone, ask his or her pardon; if you have offended a person publicly, apologize publicly.
58. When you realize you have said something that is mistaken, do not persist in error through pride; instead, immediately retract it.
59. Never defend your old ideas simply because you are the one who expressed them.
60. Do not keep useless objects.
61. Do not adorn yourself with exotic ideas.
62. Do not have your photograph taken with famous people.
63. Justify yourself to no one, and keep your own counsel.
64. Never define yourself by what you possess.
65. Never speak of yourself without considering that you might change.
66. Accept that nothing belongs to you.
67. When someone asks your opinion about something or someone, speak only of his or her qualities.
68. When you become ill, regard your illness as your teacher, not as something to be hated.
69. Look directly, and do not hide yourself.
70. Do not forget your dead, but accord them a limited place and do not allow them to invade your life.
71. Wherever you live, always find a space that you devote to the sacred.
72. When you perform a service, make your effort inconspicuous.
73. If you decide to work to help others, do it with pleasure.
74. If you are hesitating between doing and not doing, take the risk of doing.
75. Do not try to be everything to your spouse; accept that there are things that you cannot give him or her but which others can.
76. When someone is speaking to an interested audience, do not contradict that person and steal his or her audience.
77. Live on money you have earned.
78. Never brag about amorous adventures.
79. Never glorify your weaknesses.
80. Never visit someone only to pass the time.
81. Obtain things in order to share them.
82. If you are meditating and a devil appears, make the devil meditate too.