Have you ever noticed that when a friend "slights" us, or a work project doesn’t go as planned, it can ruin our whole day? It’s normal to be upset, hurt and even angry when a friend betrays our trust, or says something hurtful. And who doesn’t feel disappointed, frustrated, and embarrassed when the boss isn’t pleased with our work? We experience feelings of joy and happiness at the birth of a child, or love and pleasure when in the presence of family. We’re human, we feel different emotions based on our mind’s perception of the different events and interactions with others that occur in our lives everyday.
Perception (how we think) has a great influence on how we will react or feel in any given situation. Our way of thinking also has a great deal of control over how long we will feel a particular emotion and in consideration of our health – the impact we will allow negative feelings to have on us.
How does the way we think have an impact on our health? Recall the last time that someone said or did something to upset you. Maybe it was on your way home from work today. The driver ahead of you at the traffic signal was focused on something roadside instead of the traffic light straight-ahead. The light turns green, but they didn’t notice and sat idly by. You have things waiting to be done at home, your patience grows thinner, second by second. Finally, you can’t stand it any longer and honk your horn loudly to get them moving. You most likely honk to get them moving. What thoughts, feelings, and physical reactions were you having? Very likely you were thinking: "Idiot! Green means GO! Some people shouldn’t be allowed to drive!" With these thoughts it’s quite likely that you felt aggravated and impatient because of the rude-inattentiveness of this driver. With that it would be no surprise that your blood pressure was raised several points, or that you might have even been gritting your teeth.
You make your way home but you’re still stewing about being delayed by a minute or two. Then you begin thinking about all of the things you need to get done, and before you know it youre snapping at everyone over the slightest of things. To make things worse, you end up with a headache or stomachache all thanks to a driver who couldn’t concentrate on the business of driving, right?
You’re angry, negative thinking and feelings may have begun with the inattentive driver ahead of you at the stoplight, but you made a conscience choice to react to the situation with negative as opposed to positive thinking and to carry that negativity home with you. That driver might have had a good excuse for seeming not to notice the light change and accelerate as quickly as you thought they should. And is the delay of a minute or two really all that big a deal? Is letting your emotional and physical health suffer from the affects of negative thinking worth a moments venting of frustration?
Take control of your overall health by making the conscience choice to not let negative thinking rule your life and damage your health. When a negative thought comes into your mind immediately replace it with a positive thought. This may be hard at first, especially if you tend to think negatively quite a lot. But you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with the openness to experience more of the happier moments in life, less stress, far fewer physical aches and pains, and best of all, better overall health!