Most people throughout their days are stuck in mental loops that have them playing over the same scenarios, anxieties, and limited beliefs about who they are and what life is. It is as though we are all stuck in our own particular limited versions of reality, continually re-creating the same types of experiences for ourselves.
This has profound implications on our mental, emotional, and physical balance. From a holistic health perspective, when we create thoughts with “negative” frequencies, we experience emotions that are not harmonious, which literally, over time, can create depression, anxiety, and even physical disease. When we have a belief pattern (repeating thoughts) that some aspect of ourself is not okay, not deserving of love, then our bodies begin to manifest this belief by creating dis-ease. So the symptoms of disease are like a road map pointing to where it is we are not accepting some part of ourself or our past experience .
As a holistic counselor interested in energy healing, I began paying attention to how my thoughts and emotions effect my physical state. I began healing when I started bringing awareness to how I wasn’t accepting parts of myself that were related to painful experiences from when I was a child and teenager. I hid away my pain, sadness and grief, only to have it manifest as Ulcerative Colitis 6 years later. The reason I know it was related to Ulcerative Colitis is because as soon as I began looking at this repressed pain within, noticing all the ways that I was covering up the pain, and the accompanying habitual negative thinking, my symptoms began to lessen and eventually go away. It was pretty miraculous in fact how quickly my health changed, and yet the process was relatively simple. It only takes willingness and openness to look honestly at what’s going on in our minds, and what unresolved pain lies within us, to begin healing.
The first step to breaking this loop is to stop right in this moment and notice the nature of your thoughts for a few minutes.
1. First, focus your attention on your breath…
2. Now notice the first thought that comes up in your mind. Notice the energy behind the thought. How did that thought feel? Was it a thought about something you need to do? Was it a thought about preparing for some future event, or rehashing some past experience? Are you now judging that thought as a good thought or a bad thought?
3. Stop and do this process for a few minutes throughout your day whenever you can remember, all the while noticing whether your thoughts are putting you at ease and making you feel loved, or whether they are causing some form of anxiety and subtle tension within your body.
Really take the time to honestly investigate your thoughts. Our minds have a tricky way of keeping our pain hidden from us by creating a lot of mental distractions. These distractions can take the form of thoughts telling us to achieve more, to be better, to have a better body, a healthier body, more money, more friends, a better job, a better partner, etc. Have you noticed that your happiness is usually dependent on some future event?…even healing yourself perhaps? This distraction can also take the form of constantly looking outside oneself for things to do–television, internet, movies, things related to work, constantly checking email, always having music in the background, anything to distract you from the anxiety that might arise when you stop and feel what is actually going on inside you.
Begin recording in a journal what types of thoughts you notice running through your mind throughout your day. Notice what thoughts arise when you think about your health and your body. What thoughts arise when you think about your past, your childhood, or your relationships? Notice the motivating energy behind them. Is there anxiety, anger, disappointment, subtle feelings of fear behind these thoughts? Or is it love. excitement, or peace that you feel when you have these thoughts? Likely, it is some combination of these varying emotions overlapping each other. When you notice anxiety, dread, or fear, ask yourself, ”Why is this energy existing in my life right now? What purpose does it play in keeping me healthy and happy?”