How can a thought be toxic?
Negative body thoughts. We all have them from time to time – some of us more than others. Thoughts like “I’m too fat,” “I hate my body,” “I wish I looked like her.” For some women these play like a constant broken record, day in and day out. For others they crop up after a heavy meal, a bad day, or when they see a picture of themselves. So what makes these thoughts so toxic?
I want to introduce a term that is used when we talk about chemical toxicity: Total Load. Total Load refers to the build-up of chemicals (a.k.a. toxins) in our bodies. These might include exposure to pesticides, household chemicals, beauty products, heavy metals, etc. Individually, each of these chemicals may be relatively benign at a small dose. But over time, with repeated exposure, they can start to overwhelm our systems – and that cumulative effect is the Total Load of toxins, which can lead to symptoms and disease.
Just like those chemicals, each individual negative thought or belief about ourselves or our bodies can seem relatively benign. Like I said, most of us have these thoughts from time to time. But when our inner critic just won’t shut up and the tape reel that tells us there is something wrong with us because of the size of our bodies never stops playing, that cumulative effect – or Total Load – starts to do longer term damage.
And while it isn’t the obvious form of damage that chemical and environmental toxins cause, it is real, physiological damage just the same.
When we put up with a barrage of toxic thoughts and beliefs, we live in a constant state of low-level stress. And that long-term low-level stress response produces real bio-chemical reactions in our bodies that lead to decreased digestive capacity, increased cortisol, lower metabolic power, inflammation, and many other undesired impacts on our bodies.
While a lot is said about the power of positive thinking, we don’t always remember that negative thoughts are just as powerful.
So now that we know how important it is to change our way of thinking, what do we do? When we are in a cycle or habit for years or decades, just knowing that we should stop doing it isn’t always enough.
That’s why I decided to create a free, fun 10-day detox to help us all re-frame those negative thoughts:
It starts tomorrow, the first day of spring (a perfect time for a detox). All you need to do to join me is click here to join the Women’s Body Gratitude Circle Facebook group, which is where all of the action will be taking place.
I look forward to seeing you there!