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How Your Thoughts Change Your Body

Your brain, spinal chord, and nerves serve as the channel through which your mind communicates with your digestive organs. When you’re about to eat a piece of chocolate, the idea and image of that chocolate travels to the “lower” portion of your brain where emotions and important physiological functions are regulated - hunger, thirst,  temperature,  sex drive, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.. Here, your hypothalamus creates a mind-body connection by translating your sensory, emotional, and thought inputs into physiciologcal responses. Awesome. So why should you care? Because your thoughts on what you eat, directly affect things like your digestion, metabolism, toxicity level, and ability to burn calories vs. store fat. When you have positive feelings surrounding that piece of chocolate you’re about to eat –excitement, joy, gratitude, satisfaction, nourishment – the hypothalamus sends activation signals to your salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. As a result, digestion is stimulated and your body will experience a fuller matebolic breakdown of the chocolate, while simulatenously burning more calories more efficiently. When you have negative feelings surrounding that piece of chocolate – guilt, emptiness, deprivation, distaste, fear, judgement - the hypothalamus sends signals to your autonomic nervous system, stimulating inhibitory responses in the digestive system that prevent your body from metabolizing. The inhibitory signals also travel to your nervous system where they increases the level of insulin and cortisol in your body, causing you to store more of that guilt-infused chocolate as body fat, and reducing your ability to burn calories. The chocolate may also end up sitting in your digestive system for an extended period of time, fermenting over time, diminishing the population of healthy bacteria in your gut, and increasing the release of toxic by-products into the bloodstream. Yuck. So what should you do about this?  Flood each meal with consciousness. Before you dig in, sit down with your eyes closed and allow your body to relax. Express gratitude for the meal you are going to eat and the beautiful body that is going to handle every aspect of digestion for you. Get happy, loving, and excited. As you enjoy your meal, do just that: enjoy it. Continue those good feelings and high vibrations throughout the meal and afterwards. And as you wipe your face, put your fork down, and walk away, shine just a little bit brighter knowing that all the love you are sending your body is keeping you healthier and stronger than you could even imagine. Have you noticed how your food affects your digestion, and even your waistline? Tell us in the comments below! *Image via here

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