April 14

Forget About Detoxing and Diets—Really Healthy People Pay Attention to Their Thoughts (Guest Post by Dana Leipold)

This week, I’m excited to share a guest post written by fellow Gravity Imprint author, Dana LeipoldDana’s debut novel , Burnt Edges, was published by Booktrope in May 2015. You can find out more about Dana at the end of this post, but first:

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Forget About Detoxing and Diets—Really Healthy People Pay Attention to Their Thoughts

 

I used to think that if I ate right and exercised then I’d be a happy, healthy person. And I was for a while then one day in my late twenties my chest tightened up like a python was squeezing the life out of me. My hands shook as if I were having a seizure I couldn’t control. I couldn’t breathe and I felt like I needed to jump out of my skin.

 

Doctors ran test after test only to find that everything looked normal. I didn’t feel normal. After two years of feeling like this, I began spiraling down a long, endless hole hoping I’d eventually reach the bottom. Something was wrong. I had no idea what it was—but it was slowly killing me.

 

It wasn’t until I went to a therapist that I realized my symptoms had nothing to do with eating healthy or exercising. My thoughts created them.

 

At the time, I was in a marriage that felt more like a boss/subordinate relationship than a true partnership. My husband was the boss and I followed orders. Things weren’t any better with my job either. It was all responsibility and no authority working long hours with very little satisfaction. I also felt so alone since my mom and dad were going through a divorce at the time and too busy to listen to me complain about my life. Negativity, anxiety, and fear took up so much room in my mind there was nothing else. My body responded by going into constant “fight or flight” mode which led to my panic disorder.

 

How did I make my way out of it? It started with one quote I read in Oprah Magazine:

 

“What you find in your mind is what you put there. Put good things there.”

 

I ripped it out of the magazine and put it up where I could read it every day. Instead of watching the news, I gobbled up books like The Power of Positive Thinking and Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life. I left some relationships that sucked the life out of me and found people who made me feel good about myself. Essentially, I started putting good things in my mind and the panic went away.

 

It didn’t happen overnight, however. It took diligence on my part and practice to guard my thoughts from that negative spiral I had been in for so long. Twenty years later, and I still battle with anxiety but I keep at it and now I’ve found mindful meditation that I practice every day.

 

You see, the human mind is a wonderful, terrible thing. You can literally think yourself sick OR think yourself healthy. The choice is yours but you have to be aware of that choice. Many of us don’t realize the power we have in our own heads.

 

Eating real, nutritious food and exercise is important but if your thoughts are toxic sooner or later they will show up physically. Pay attention to your thoughts Protect your mind from negativity, and you will enjoy REAL health.

 

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Dana Leipold is a freelance writer and author. Her award-winning debut novel, Burnt Edges (published by Booktrope) has gained critical acclaim. She also self-published two books, Stupid Poetry: The Ultimate Collection of Sublime and Ridiculous Poems and The Power of Writing Well: Write Well. Make a Difference. She helped found, Kōsa Press, an independent publishing label specializing in shared universe anthologies and is a member of the Association of Independent Authors. She practices yoga, loves funny cat videos, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children. You can visit her blog at www.danaleipold.com.

You can also visit Dana on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Thanks for stopping by, Dana!

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