There’s a wise old saying that says, “for as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” What does that mean, exactly? It means you become what you think about regularly. Your consistent thoughts become your actions, and your actions change the reality around you. I know this sounds like a bunch of hoodoos, but I promise you there’s science behind it.
If you study Neuroscience, you’ll find out that every time you have a thought, whether negative or positive, your brain will send out neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that will change your physical state. So, if you’re thinking negatively, your brain will send out stress hormones like cortisol. If you’re thinking about the positive things, your body will send out serotonin which gives you the feeling of bliss.
What difference does it make?
That’s the scary part. It makes a huge difference. When your body is overfilled with cortisol, it starts shutting down from the inside out. Cortisol has a specific purpose. It is supposed to go along with the fight-or-flight mechanism to help us in times of crisis.
When we fight off a bear, our body doesn’t care if it digests food, so it stops. It also doesn’t care about cleaning the toxins out of your system, so your kidneys and your liver will stop functioning as well!
Not only that, your cells stop their reproduction process. Every moment of our lives, our body regenerates itself from the inside out. Our cells die and reproduce constantly. This process is also shut down because your brain thinks it doesn’t matter if you’re dead. That’s true if you’re fighting a bear, but unfortunately, we stay in a constant state of stress in our modern society.
This constant state of upheaval will cause massive amounts of health issues. Think about it. What kind of toxins are in your system because you’ve stayed stressed out for years? What type of health problems could we avoid if we found a way to release the tension in our bodies?
A man named Norman Cousins was dying of a deadly disease. The doctors gave him no hope, but he had an idea. I don’t know where it came from or what inspired him to do this, but it saved his life. In 1964, he was diagnosed with a deadly connective tissue disease. When the doctors couldn’t do any more for him, and he knew the only thing he faced was a terribly painful death, he decided to take it into his own hands.
He had been studying biochemistry and how emotions can affect the body. When all medical hope was lost, he decided to take massive doses of vitamin C and combine that with something unique. He created something he called laugh therapy.
Now I know what you’re thinking. It sounds ridiculous, but if you were dying and only looking forward to a slow, painful demise, wouldn’t you try anything too? So he decided to have the nurses read him the comic strips out of the newspaper. Then he would watch comedy videos continuously. He spent as many hours as he could laughing as hard as he could. It was painful to laugh, but he continued the process, knowing that he was filling his body with good healing hormones every time he laughed.
Norman Cousins walked out of the hospital, cured of his illness to the astonishment of his doctors. He wrote a few books and didn’t die until the ripe old age of 75. It had been a full 26 years after his brush with death.
Now I am not advocating that you forgo going to the doctors when you have illnesses or for depression and anxiety. I am encouraging you, however, to add a little bit of laughter and happiness into your daily routine. While you may have to deal with some health problems, a positive attitude will always help you through it better than a negative one will. So, today I ask you, what are you thinking about? (Yes, I know it’s a preposition at the end of the sentence, but it’s necessary—laugh grammar nazis of the world. The point of this article is you need to laugh more! )
Scientists have told us that we have 100,000 thoughts a day or more. They also say 75% of those are negative. I can’t imagine going to the doctor’s office and asking her to give me 75,000 shots of cortisol, can you? It sounds insane, but we are doing this to ourselves every day! No wonder everyone is sick. Now think about this, what if you purposely made yourself think of positive things as many times as possible during the day?
I encourage you to find ways to increase the joyful moments in your day. Whether it’s putting a picture of your child on your computer or pictures of your dream vacation, maybe it’s watching comedy videos when you get home from work. Whatever it is, insert more joy into your life. This year, the theme for Synova Ink Publishing is “learning how to live again.” Let’s all learn how to enjoy the journey in 2023.
Youtube Video “Thoughts Are Things”