The body and the mind have an interesting relationship, and research has uncovered that they are more connected than we may think. The body reacts to the mind and its influences. Examples of this are emotions that turn into physical manifestations. Certain stresses, worries, and mental health issues are expressed with the body, without you even realizing it. When you are sad, for example, your body will fold into itself with slouched shoulders and a drooping head. Similarly, when you are happy, your head is higher with your shoulders back. Just like how you are what you eat, you are also what you think!
I find it fascinating how negativity affects our bodies as well as our minds—and what that means for our health.
What Negativity Does to the Body
Negative thoughts can force you into a state of mind where you’ll feel stressed, anxious, depressed, or worried. Your negative thoughts are having a physical effect on you and could be the cause of your backache, neck strain, and or shoulder tension. Not only is negativity making you feel down while causing you pain, it could also be shortening your life span.
Negative Thoughts & The Telomere Effect
The “Telomere Effect” is what researchers consider the impact of negative thoughts on our cells. Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel discovered that the telomerase enzyme protects our chromosones. The telomerase enzyme is influenced by a healthy relationship between our mind and body. When this enzyme isn’t cared for—through inactivity, disease, and yes, negative thoughts— your cells won’t renew, which speeds up the aging process and shortens your lifespan.
Dr. Blackburn has long advocated for lengthening our telomeres and improving our lives at a cellular level by living a healthy lifestyle free of chronic stress and pain, ultimately staving off disease and helping us to live longer, healthier lives. Combating negativity is just one way you can help your body thrive.
How Massage Can Help
Now that you know how and why your negative thoughts are negatively affecting your body, what do you do? Well, get a massage, for starters. Whether it is stress, anxiety, and even depression, massage can help melt away any negativity that might be affecting your body.
If you’re wondering how a massage can help change your negative thoughts and their effects, it’s quite simple—it has to do with the chemicals in the brain. Through targeted massage techniques, your endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin levels will skyrocket. These are the chemicals in your brain that are released when you are happy, have exercised or are in love. By flooding your brain and your body with these chemicals, you start to change the negative thoughts in your mind and heal the body.
Massage therapy can also be helpful in changing your outlook and conquering negative thinking. A massage session guides the body and mind into relaxation, which can act as a reset. It helps you let go of tension in your body and troubles in your mind. Not only is the massage effective in battling negative thoughts, the kindness you have shown yourself by scheduling the session has a healing effect, too.
Are Negative Thoughts Keeping Your Body From Healing?
I know many people have hesitations about getting a massage. A lot of my clients have told me they were reluctant to come in at first because of their age, physical conditions, or simply weren’t comfortable undressing.
My goal as a board-certified massage therapist is to help your body find healing. There isn’t any judgement or discomfort. I want to help you combat any insecurity or negativity you might be experiencing. While the massage is more beneficial with more direct contact, I always encourage clients to undress to their level of comfort. And since I often work with the elderly, I am used to bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, and conditions. With that being said, your massage is for YOU, to make YOU feel the best that you can.
Have you ever realized that you have negative thoughts running through your mind? For me, it usually happens if my day isn’t going right or if I have been in an unhappy environment. Negative thoughts about other drivers or even about myself will take hold. I am mindful of this and when I realize it is happening, I force more positive and happy thoughts. Trust me, this works. At first it can be difficult to push the negativity out, but after a few minutes it is gone.
Laughter is also great medicine for a bad mood. So take a moment and watch a funny video—I challenge you not to feel a little more positive after that.