ADVERTISING: Advertorial — DR. WAYNE M. FICHTER: Mind-body connection: Part 2

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Research shows us that having negative thoughts or emotions can make us sick and even affect our lifespans. Aside from only ever having positive and happy thoughts for the rest of their lives, what is a person to do?

Well, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for all the negative Nancies out there: by simply changing your thoughts and perspective, you may just simply improve your health.

Preventing disease, and then healing the disease, requires approaching it from three different aspects: physical, spiritual and emotional. There’s a large variety of mind-body approaches that can help you deal with your emotions and develop inner peace and physical wellness.

To avoid the buildup of harmful thoughts and emotions, you need to be aware of our daily thoughts. By paying attention you can identify harmful emotions as they come about, process them and then choose a more appropriate response. One effective way to express your feelings is to talk about them with a friend or therapist, or even journal them.

By eliminating negative thinking, we can actually improve our brain. Replacing negative thinking with positive thinking is training your brain to respond to positive thoughts or thinking. Thinking positive thoughts creates pleasure in the brain, which is a reward. Once we feel that pleasure, of course we want more of it, so give your brain positive thoughts.

How do you feed your brain positive thoughts? Unlike negative emotions that we can hold in our body, positive emotions actually help rid the effects of negative emotions in the body. Positive emotions don’t get stuck in our bodies, but it is believed that they trigger cellular changes that improve the function of the body.

You need to focus on the things that you are grateful for in your life. Try not to obsess about things that lead to negative thoughts. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to hide from issues or pretend to be happy when you feel stressed or upset. It’s extremely important to talk about those negative feelings, but we must focus on the positive things in our life too. There is research out there that shows that having a positive outlook can actually improve your quality of life. But in order to improve your quality of life, you need to find a way to let go of things that cause you unwanted stress and you must make time for things you enjoy.

Here are a few practical things you can use to help alleviate negative thoughts and emotions:

You need to identify what’s causing your stress. When you begin to feel stressed, write down what caused it. Journal how you felt at that moment, your thoughts and your mood. You have to monitor your emotions throughout the day. Once you realize what’s bothering you, then you can make a plan for addressing it.

Positive relationships. We have all been in toxic relationships. All they do is bring stress. But healthy relationships can act as stress buffers. Reach out and talk to friends and family. People who you have a healthy relationship with may be able to offer support, useful ideas or just a fresh perspective as you begin to tackle whatever is causing your stress.

Walk away and calm down when you’re angry. Before you attack and react, take time to gather yourself and regroup. Take a little walk, count to 10, gather your thoughts and reconsider the problem from a different angle.

Keep moving. Exercise increases the production of endorphins, your body’s natural mood-booster. Committing to some type of exercise, even low impact like walking, can make a big difference in reducing stress levels.

Give your mind a break. Stress keeps more than 40% of adults awake at night thinking about stressful things. Research has shown that activities like yoga and different types of relaxation techniques or exercises not only help reduce stress, but also boost immune functioning. To help get a good night’s sleep eliminate or cut back on caffeine, don’t watch the news or read the paper right before bed, remove electronics from your bedroom and go to bed at a consistent time each night.

Journal. Keeping a record in a personal journal when facing negative thoughts can help you to identify and defeat these attitudes. It is also extremely important to journal positive thoughts. So when things are tough, you can see how blessed you really are.

• • •

Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene, 208-966-4425.

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