“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” — Lao Tsu
Most of us at one time or another have felt down or morose. It’s tough to feel happy and positive ALL the time, especially when we are frustrated at work, the weather is crappy and we are alternating between staring at a tall stack of unpaid bills and the last five dollar bill we have left in our wallet. (Bummer, I seriously thought it was a ten!) Life is challenging for the average person and is especially difficult for those suffering from any type of chronic condition or illness. The truth is, it’s simply no fun to be sick, bloated, inflamed or in pain. It demands a ton of commitment to stick to a healthy routine and chose a salad while everyone around you shoves chocolate and wine down their throats. It is normal to feel disheartened, resentful and discouraged during the healing faze of illness but when is enough, enough? Can our negativity be the main reason why it takes so much longer to heal? Are our toxic thoughts making us sicker than we actually are?
I am always hearing people (and I’m guilty too) complain about how frustrating it is to feel like you are doing everything right physically (exercise, healthy food, enough rest) and still you are not seeing consistent improvements in your symptoms. The reason for this is that although good food and a healthy lifestyle play an essential role in well-being, how you feel EMOTIONALLY is actually much more important! This is pretty hard for me to say, and was even harder for me to grasp, as I have always taken a very physical approach to my own healing, believing that toxicity and dietary deficiencies were the main root causes of disease. Although lifestyle is a huge factor in the weakening of the body, how happy we are and how satisfied we feel as individuals is what actually governs our body’s response to the good or bad choices we make day to day.
We have all wondered why some people eat like total crap, don’t exercise a muscle in their bodies, chain-smoke and still never get sick? Well, the reason may just be that they are not stressed, anxious or negative! Maybe they live their lives simply, optimistically and focus on the simple joys they experience every day. OK, let’s get something straight, I am most certainly NOT advocating jumping into an poisonous, abusive lifestyle like this just to see if being happy can save the day, I am simply suggesting that maybe there is more to health than what we ingest or avoid. This is probably the hardest thing to do for most of us, to look inside and detox our minds. I know it certainly is for me. Training yourself to stay focused on the joy of life when you’re in 10 on 10 pain is pretty damn tough, but it is necessary if actual healing is to occur. Sadness, discouragement and hopelessness actually rob the body of vital energy, stealing the life from within you, making it very difficult for your organs and cells to be energized and motivated to work for you. But don’t worry, you don’t have to just lie there in misery…there are things you can do!
Find a way to unleash your inner negative energy. See a therapist, do yoga, speak to those around you, scream into the woods like you’re Tarzan, write in a journal, take off sprinting like it’s the 2013 Olympics, punch your pillows and imagine it’s your ex; do whatever you need to do to forgive those that hurt you, including yourself and move forward with your life. Cleanse your thoughts: try and find the one positive part of every stressful situation. Maybe it’s Celine Dion’s ‘water from the moon’ on Q92 during rush hour (OMG such a good song!), or the extra time you have to flip through a trash mag and read about Kloe kardashian’s latest weight loss while in a ten-person line at the grocery store waiting to buy your sprouts. My energy healer, a truly wonderful man told me (and bear with me, I’m paraphrasing) to “forget everything bad that ever happened before today, it was all a big nightmare. My reality is only what I chose from now on”. It is very liberating to throw away bad feelings and to focus on the now. Lets be realistic, you may not be able to change your entire mindset overnight but try and do what you can each moment to maintain a positive outlook. I promise, your body will notice! You only have one life to live and it is all about what you chose to experience in this moment. Don’t forget to love yourself.