When you are sick, either from something minor like a cold or from a more serious health problem, have you ever noticed how your mental attitude can really contribute to the way you feel?
I can remember throwing myself some pretty good pity parties when I was bed-ridden with the flu or pneumonia or something. Along with feeling very sorry for myself, I would think things like, “I feel so sick.” “My fever is not going away.” “This is just horrible…I’m never going to get better.”
If we’re all being honest here, I think thoughts like these are pretty normal. It’s just the worst to be sick, stuck at home with all of the miserable symptoms that go along with being ill.
I also had a difficult time staying positive while I was recovering from my hysterectomy. I was so sick afterwards and feeling so miserable that my brain played along thinking negative things all day long about how awful I felt.
In the past few months, a few things happened that have really shown me how our thoughts and feelings can impact our health. First, I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine who is a huge believer in affirmations. As we were chatting over coffee, we got on the topic of positive thinking and she explained how ones body will often go along with what ones mind is thinking. So, if we are lying in bed telling ourselves how rotten we feel, our bodies will essentially obey these thoughts and continue to feel sick.
On the other hand, my friend explained, if we make an effort to think positive thoughts about our health and how we are feeling, our bodies will “listen” and respond accordingly. Examples she gave me included phrases like, “I am healthy.” “My body is healing every minute.” “I am well.”
Not too long after this conversation, I came home from work feeling headachy and tired. The next morning I woke up feeling stuffy and with a sore throat. As I reached for the Advil and orange juice, my friend’s advice came to me, and I decided what the heck, I’d give it a shot.
Instead of focusing on how crummy I felt, I repeated over and over to myself, "I’m healthy." "My body is very strong and healing.