We all know that our physical health is dependent on the type of food we eat. We can’t get away from the constant deluge of advice, warnings and entreaties from experts, gurus and our Moms! The same is equally true regarding what we feed our thoughts. In fact, when our thoughts are fed a healthy diet we mentally and emotionally feel better and yes, our physical health improves as well!
This classic metaphor dates back to the late 1800s. It transfers the idea of digestion from the stomach to mulling something over in the mind. Food is crucial for the body, and the mind works best when given things to “chew on. Thus if you introduce a catalyst to your thoughts – ruminating should begin.
Our thoughts are electrical responses to outside stimuli. Thoughts create chemical responses that then create feelings in our bodies. Those feelings then create more stimuli which create more thoughts. Uh oh, I sense a hamster wheel coming up! If we encounter something we sense is happy and joyful, our thoughts are then happy and joyful, which produces chemicals that allow us to “feel” happy and joyful. Then when we “feel” happy and joyful our thoughts are happy and joyful creating more “happy” hormones.
Unfortunately the reverse is also true. When we respond in a negative way to outside stimuli – doubt, anger, fear, the body creates chemicals that create “feelings” of doubt, anger and fear. Those “feelings” then become our thoughts and the vicious cycle begins.
THE GOOD NEWS is – when we become aware of the cycle, we can begin to feed our thoughts the food that will create the best results for our bodies – and our feelings. We can begin to notice our thoughts and how we FEED them. We can consciously decide which thoughts to feed. We can actively select the best nutrition for our thoughts.
The First Step – awareness.
Second Step – do something different in your daily routine
Third Step – feed your thoughts a diet of gratitude, joy and compassion.