What do you know about beliefs and how they affect you daily, in all areas of your health and wellbeing? Have you heard the saying, “Start feeling better by thinking better”?
Did you know, if you start thinking better you feel better and your brain performs better? Well it’s true.
Studies show that when your brain is positive, it significantly outperforms your brain than when it is negative, neutral, or stressed in terms of several categories; intelligence, energy, resiliency, how long you can work on a project (focus), how many possibilities you see (big picture), and your health.
Shawn Achor says, “That is now what we’re calling the happiness advantage. Which is, when your brain is positive it actually achieves more than it would have otherwise”.
Shawn Achor, CEO of Aspirant and author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. Harvard Business Review.
Our beliefs affect our emotions and our emotions play a huge role in how we feel. So when we think better, we feel better, and are much happier, more rounded people.
Now I am not talking about walking around like Pollyanna and being positive 24/7, which is not normal. If someone claims to be like this, they are in denial. As human beings we have a full range of emotions.
Emotions like, sadness, anger and depression are emotions we are also supposed to feel. They are your body’s signal that something needs to be changed in your life.
Some Beliefs We Have Serve Us & Some Would Benefit By Being Changed.
For example: I have some beliefs that serve me and I want to keep them. One of them is, “I am a healing machine”. A few years ago I had a third degree burn which completely healed in 3 weeks, (often they can take months to heal).
A negative belief I held for years was, “My body does not work like everyone else’s and I will always be overweight”. Anyone who can see me now will notice that I no longer hold that belief. (YAY!)
Now imagine someone who believes they have the weight of the world on their shoulders, what symptoms do you think they might have?
What if the person keeps saying, “I feel sick to my stomach”? How do you think this person would feel?
Do you think this person may have neck pain, if they keep saying, “xyz is a pain in the neck”?
Your beliefs, and words are very powerful. It is best to be mindful of your thoughts, beliefs and the words you say, as this is key in determining your health and happiness.
Here Are Some Beliefs That Are Not Healthy:
I’m not good enough. – A self-judgment that creates feelings of unworthiness and depression.
She is so beautiful. I wish I was like her. – This belief can create anger, resentment, disappointment, envy.
I hate my body. – This belief can create unhappiness and shame, sometimes causing us to separate ourselves from others.
As you can see beliefs are connected to emotions. Usually the idea, or thought, by itself doesn’t feel bad, it is just a thought floating through your mind.
It is when you have that thought and you have connected strong emotions to it, then it becomes a belief and issues can emerge.
Once you recognise these associated thoughts and emotions then you can change the emotions surrounding your belief, you can change your response.
As I told you, I changed a belief I held for many years. Think about, what did I do to change my belief and what can you to do change yours?
My belief was: My body does not work like everyone else’s and I will always be overweight. It had been reinforced over the years by trying every diet known to man (or woman, in my case) and none of them working!
To change this belief, I started experimenting with food. I have food intolerances and many foods caused me discomfort, inflammation, bloating and symptoms of IBS.
Until I heard about a certain type of eating designed for thyroid patients. (Most of my weight issues came from adrenal dysfunction, leading to thyroid issues).
When I started eating only the foods that were good for my body, I started to drop weight.
As I was dropping weight, my belief that I would always hold onto weight became less imprinted in my mind and I experienced more and more excitement as I was getting smaller and smaller.
Over time, I changed the heavy feeling of despair and being stuck, to the lighter emotion of excitement and happiness. This reflected in my body. As time went on, the old belief transformed to the new belief, and I am smaller.
My new belief is: As long as I eat the foods that are good for my body, I can stabilise my weight for the rest of my life. This is a much healthier belief for me with my new understanding regarding my thyroid issues.
Another way to create change is by using affirmations (make sure you say them with a positive emotion attached). They help to reprogram your subconscious mind. When you start telling your subconscious mind positive things it will believe them.
Just as we have practiced negative self-talk repeatedly throughout the years, we can do the same with positive self-talk too. It will take some time but as they say “practice makes perfect”.
Start to do affirmations daily. Start to make a change. Start to tell yourself POSITIVE things about yourself. Start to live the life you dream of. You can see from my example, how my mindset shifted slowly but as I was seeing the results, change happened faster.
Once the neural pathways of those beliefs are constructed and reinforced, changing your mind and creating the life you want can be a real challenge. There are simple daily practices you can implement to bring about the changes you seek.
The first step to changing a belief is to understand its construct and what keeps us so attached to it.
Now we understand how our beliefs affect our emotions, and we know we can change our beliefs, here are 4 simple steps you can use.
4 Steps To Changing A Belief
- Become aware of the different thoughts that make up your belief. Awareness is key when changing any belief. How can you change something if you are not even aware of it?
- Release the emotions held in those beliefs. Emotions are very powerful when holding onto beliefs. (You see in my example, my emotions went from the heavy feeling of despair and being stuck, to the lighter emotion of excitement and happiness.)
- Shift your perspective so you can see the belief as false. There is no absolute truth. If you look at your belief from another person’s perspective (you could ask a trusted friend), you might find that they do not see your belief as truth.
- Change the energy you hold that makes an idea or thought powerful. Let go of the stuck energy that is keeping the thought in place and exchange it to the energy of anything is possible. When in this mindset, incredible things can happen.
This is a very simple list and it can be used on every belief you have about yourself and your life that you want to change. If you have many negative beliefs, then you can repeat this process. The more you practise, the easier changing your beliefs will become to you.
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Sharon White – Subconscious Mind Expert