We all know that stress is bad for us – it increases blood pressure, constricts arteries, and leaves us more susceptible to disease. On the other hand, love, compassion and engaging in relaxation is known to reduce blood pressure and increase our overall well-being.

It wasn’t until I read ‘How Your Body Can Heal Your Mind’ by Dr David Hamilton that I realised just how much our overall thoughts can impact our health. On some level most of us are aware that our perception of certain things can impact their effect, for example people often perceive branded painkillers to be more effective than their cheaper, unbranded alternative – even when the ingredients are exactly the same. But what if we consider that our own thoughts are so powerful that they can impact chemical changes within our bodies?

If you suffer from anxiety this is probably much easier to believe – chances are your sweaty palms, insomnia, nausea, migraines etc have already made you painfully aware of this fact!

If not, then consider the following medical study: injections administered by doctors are more effective if the person is physically conscious and able to see the injection being given. Merely knowing medication or injections have been administered aids the physical recovery.

It is our belief in something that contributes to the effect of it; whether that be negative or positive. This is precisely why placebos can often achieve similar results to medicines.

This isn’t to downplay medicine – there’s no denying that medicines, sufficient sleep, exercise and a healthy diet are all crucial for both physical and mental health. However, when we consider all of the above, there’s room for a holistic approach which further improves our mental capacities. The mere act of making a positive step to improve our thought-processes and our health is in itself powerful and can set us on the journey to improving our current state of health and wellbeing. This is the case regardless of what action that is: daily positive affirmations, meditation, reflexology, acupuncture, yoga practice, CBT etc. If you believe in it, the chances are it will have a positive impact for you: ‘Energy flows where attention goes.’

Suggested Read: How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body by David Hamilton