Is Your Conscious Mind Killing You?
Your conscious mind is your thought life. It is your self-perceptions and your thought patterns. Imbalance in the mental system makes you unable to properly process stressors that you experience every day, eventually resulting in chronic inflammation at the cellular level. By bringing balance to your conscious mind, you can reduce chronic inflammation and move closer to a state of complete physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Chronic inflammation is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. It is the dirty cop of the body’s police force. By turning our best defenses against us, chronic inflammation undermines our best efforts at wellness and wholeness.
Imagine inflammation as your body’s first responders. In an emergency, the first responders are called out to catch the bad guy or to put out the fire. When the problem is handled, everyone goes home and the body returns to homeostasis. This response is known as acute - or "good"- inflammation. It happens when you get a cut or a bruise, bacterial or viral infections, and other trauma or injury.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is not good and it is not normal.
When your body is chronically inflamed, it means that the first responders have been forced to work around the clock – with no breaks – for weeks, months or even years at a time. This is inflammation run amok. When this happens, the body’s anti-inflammatory responses become pro-inflammatory. This biochemical environment creates the perfect breeding ground for multifactorial disorders like dementia, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and obesity.
The root of all health is in the brain. The trunk of it is in emotion. The branches and leaves are the body. The flower of health blooms when all parts work together. – Kurdish saying
Negative, racing thoughts, poor self-image, critical and judgmental attitudes toward yourself and other people are all signs that your conscious mind - also known as the mental body or mental system of self - is out of balance. Other signs pointing to imbalance include difficulty focusing and making choices, as well as experiencing magnified negative emotions.
This imbalance causes your nervous system and immune system to respond as if your body were under attack…because it is. By your mind.
A negative thought life, poor self-image, and destructive mental perceptions and patterns don’t just stay in your mind. They settle into your body as chronic inflammation and over time, disease.
On the other hand, a balanced mental system or conscious mind is a joy to experience. When this system is in balance, you experience effective goals and efficient actions. Your thoughts of self and others are peaceful, and you make choices that are congruent with your values and your goals. You experience clarity.
Harmony in your conscious mind helps counteract the stressors that you cannot control. So how do you move towards wholeness and harmony in your thought life and self-perception?
Your body hears everything your mind says. – Naomi Judd
It all begins with being aware. Not only aware of your negative thought patterns and self-perceptions but of how those patterns connect with the outcomes you create in your life. You cannot consciously act on something that you are unaware of.
Then you must accept responsibility. You are in control of your own mind and therefore the outcome of its wellness and functioning. You must believe this is true before taking any action steps.
Once you are aware of how your negative thought patterns connect with the outcomes you experience in your life and you have accepted responsibility for the outcomes, it is time to act.
The first action step is to stop getting into relationship with negative thoughts and patterns. Acknowledge them, release them, and shift focus. You must also become conscious of your thought life. Try to notice patterns and pay attention to where you spend the most time directing your thoughts. Notice also how your feelings, emotions, and physical sensations result from your thoughts. Meditate on your core values and beliefs and try to uncover core issues to discover where these thought patterns are rooted. Ask yourself if your thoughts are true facts…or merely perception. And finally, ask yourself if these thought patterns are serving you well now. If they’re not, change them.
You have the power to heal your own life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power. – Louise L. Hay
Effective goals and actions, peaceful thoughts of yourself and others, congruent choices and clarity are more than nice-to-have…they are critical to your physical health and wellbeing. Bringing balance to your conscious mind will reduce your chronic inflammation and reduce your risk for dementia, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other disorders.
In your journey towards wellness and wholeness, remember that balance is not a finish line to be crossed. The target is always moving, and conditions are always changing. By working towards balance in your conscious mind, you will be better equipped to handle the shifting ground of your daily life with equanimity, grace and good health.