When people hear or think about the word “health” the next word to follow in the thought process usually isn’t the word “thinking”. Typically, people relate health to words such as: exercise, nutrition, diet, workout, body fat percentage and the list can go on. However, health isn’t just made up of one or even two things, concepts or ideas. As the title of this article states: The First Principle of Health, there is more than one factor of health. In fact, there are SIX! So, let’s dive into the first and arguably the most important factor or principal of health… thinking.
There is really no delicate way to say this, so here it goes. The reason thinking is arguably the most important principle of health is because we as humans have the ability to take our own life, which overrides every other system of the body. That alone is a very powerful concept regarding the thoughts we have or can have. Statistics show that 90% of people’s thoughts on a daily basis are negative in nature! This is quite scary considering that research by Deepak Chopra suggests we have an estimated 68,000 thoughts per day. If you do the math you’ll find that of those 68,000 thoughts, 61,200 are negative.
Let’s dive a little deeper. Considering there are 1440 minutes in a day and people are awake roughly 16 hours of the day; that means people are having 1.06 negative thoughts per minute! Now, some people just think that thoughts are harmless and don’t mean anything, but I’m sure at some point in your life you had a thought about something, either positive or negative, that triggered a physical reaction in your body.
For example, say you are watching a scary movie at night (with the lights off, of course) and you hear a noise outside your house. The noise was really just a trash can lid blowing over, but you automatically think someone is trying to break in your house to harm you. At that moment your sympathetic nervous kicks in high gear, you feel a huge adrenaline rush down your legs and your ready to fight to the death or run like the wind. And it came from a single thought.
Now, not every negative thought is going to lead to that type of reaction, but at 1.06 negative thoughts per minute… it adds up. I would encourage you to take one day where you monitor your thoughts, especially while you are at work because that is where a lot of peoples stress comes from. Monitor how you feel throughout the day from those thoughts as well as take notice to whether or not you could control or change the situation you are getting stressed about.
There are a lot of situations that are out of our control, but the one thing we can control is how we CHOOSE to react or THINK about them. There is always a flipside to a coin. Meaning that if a negative thought can be had, so too can a positive thought. So, try your best to monitor how many negative thoughts you choose to have and choose to have positive thoughts. By avoiding (as Paul Chek would say) “stinkin’ thinking” you will decrease our overall stress and improve the quality of your health. Therefore, a healthy body starts with a single thought!