Michele Coleman, Ph. D. LMFT
I am just back from the Santa Fe Conference on Integrating Spirituality, Mindfulness and Compassion in Mental Health and Addictions. This is the 29thyear this conference has been held in Santa Fe, but my first year attending. If any of you are counselors or work in the field, I highly recommend attending the conference next year. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The three themes that seemed to tie together all of the speakers is the role of perceptions on the health of our mind, body and spirit. Sleep and exercise were critical components of which I will address each one separately over the next couple of months. The quality of our thoughts is critical in determining the chemicals that are released into our body. When the quality of our thoughts is negative our body responds with producing negative chemicals. Lots of negative chemicals lead to inflammation. It now seems it is the inflammation that causes so many of our ailments. There are things we can do about the inflammation and the first one is watch our thoughts.
Our perceptions determine the quality of our thoughts. Before your kiddo moves in I invite you to take an inventory of the quality of thoughts you have around your job, your co-workers, and your supervisors. Look also at your home and those you live with. Do you tend to complain and see the negative and then make it big? Do you ruminate on the negative and the things you consider to be “wrong”? If so, this might be a good time to start flooding your body with some positive, nourishing and healing chemicals by shifting your perspective. In the book, “One Thought Changes Everything”, Mara Gleason chronicles many lives that were changed for the better just by the individual shifting the quality of their thoughts.
After you take inventory, I invite you to experiment with catching yourself as soon as you notice a negative thought and see how you can shift it. Most importantly, notice how you feel in your body once you change the quality of that thought. Based on how you feel, ask yourself, “Are my thoughts worth paying attention to?”