Neuropeptides, biology of belief and the chronic dieter

Our neuropeptides are our brain's most abundant chemical messengers to our body. So news alert....this is a major brain health care tip:  What you believe and tell yourself - i.e. your biology of belief- affects your health in extremely powerful ways. 

The daily experience of struggling to like your body, where you constantly hate and berate yourself, produces an entirely different set of bio-chemicals (neuropeptides) than feeling loved and accepted do - and these either erode or help our health. Happy cells are essential to achieving a healthy lifestyle.  You could think of them as brain food for health.

Some basic biochemistry 101 can easily illustrate how the power of the mind affects whether our body is going to produce health-enhancing or health-eroding neuropeptides and that might help you realize that the most powerful diet you can go on, from a health standpoint, is 'The Self-Love Diet' in fact, of you're struggling with a distorted body image (and many of us are)- it might be the only diet you need go on.

How thoughts trigger mind body neuropeptides

Thoughts are an electrical impulses (energy) which travel at lightening-speed nd electro-magnetically via our neural pathways, setting off a cascade of chemical reactions (neuropeptides) throughout our bodies. 

According to neuroscientist Dr Candace Pert particular emotions are associated with a particular neuropeptide, so that over time, if we are prone to experiencing a particular emotion, our cellular structure actually changes to accommodate more of the neuropeptide associated with that emotion.

In this way - our brain's neural pathways build up to become like well worn roads along which the electrical impulses travel. Dr. Candace Pert author of Molecules of Emotion says: “You’re literally thinking with your body and the words you say ....which actually affects the neural networks forming in your brain.” Our biology of belief is not only affecting, but forming, our bodies.

The chronic dieter & guilt neuropeptides

So what happens to our neuropeptides, our cells, our immune system and our DNA when we live in a constant state of guilt and shame about:

  • our apparently less than perfect bodies? 
  • the myriad of failed diets?
  • the nighttime binge?
  • the comfort eating ?
  • the abandoned exercise programs?
  • ...not to mention the other multitude of things dieters have to feel guilty the times you hop on the scale and the numbers have gone in the wrong direction. 

    The Power of compassionate thoughts

    Could the power of loving thinking and loving intention, with their ability to create health enhancing biology be a more powerful place to start improving our health than all the fear around trying to get, and stay, thin? What would happen if we could adopt healthy lifestyle habits of thought?

    As our cells change to increase the receptor sites specific to receiving ‘guilt molecules,’ there’s a corresponding decrease in the sites for receptors related to receiving 'love' neuropeptides that the power of positive thinking could bring us. 

    As Dr. Hawkins points out in 'Power vs Force': The human central nervous system clearly is exquisitely sensitive when it comes to differentiating between life supportive (health-enhancing) and life-destructive (health-eroding) thoughts. We know this from the flight or fight system. When our bodies are in flight or fight mode, according to Dr. Bruce Lipton our cells go into shutdown mode and close down growth and repair mechanisms - that's what does the biology of fear do. All very well and fine if it's for a short term threat - but not if you're living in that state constantly with fear neuropeptides coursing through your body because of living in a body you don't like and living in constant fear of food.

    A positive biology of belief produces health-enhancing chemicals which, release brain endorphins that exert a tonic effect on all the organs. On the other hand, guilt emotions which are heath-eroding, release adrenaline which supresses the immune response and causes weakness in specific organs.

    So what happens to our brain and your health and mortality rates when we are exposed to hateful thoughts about our body or health habits day in and day out and the consequent negative chemicals? 

    Here's a thought. In a 2007 study British researchers found that workers who were followed for 11 years, after rating on a scale of 1-6 their answer to: "I often have the feeling that I am being treated unfairly." Researchers concluded that feeling unfairly treated has a significant effect on a person's risk of heart attack.

    Now think about people with weight problems... how fairly treated do they feel?  ow take a walk through the biology of a person moment-by-moment as they negotiate their way through a 'I hate my body' day.

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