We often think of becoming “light” in terms of physical weight, but the truth is that our thoughts are often at the crux of why we hold onto weight. How can we possibly expect to become lighter when our thoughts, actions and daily lives are so inundated with heaviness. “Taking the weight off” means more than just monitoring what you put in your mouth, it is also what you feed your mind, what you feed your life. When we shed the ever-present layers of stress we each contend with on a daily basis, and lose the negative thought patterns that weigh us down, we also lose the physical weight that is holding onto our bodies.

You see, our thoughts have an effect on the chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen, and our body is 85% of this. Therefore, every thought you think creates a biochemical reaction in your body that is measurable, and every cell in your body communicates with every other cell instantly. Your cells also interact with the cells of those around you. So, not only do you get weighed down by your thoughts, but your environment and those in it are equally affected. Knowing this, why not feed yourself the lightness and joy we all deserve? Why not shed the weight of the pressures that are nothing more than a thought we hold in our consciousness?

Today is the perfect time to shift this pattern. Living here in South Florida, we have a tremendous opportunity to get outside and enjoy the sunshine – pretty much all year round. The sun reminds us that we too can bring lightness of being into our lives and radiate that sense of joy into our lives in all that we do. Joy increases serotonin, our “feel good” hormone. Pleasure is a powerful metabolizer that increases oxygenation and blood flow and decreases the production of cortisol and insulin, ultimately helping to burn fat and build muscle. When eating, 80% of our calorie- burning power, digestive power and assimilation of specific nutrients comes directly from the cephalic (“of the head”) phase of digestive responses. Simply put, the same part of our brain that turns on stress, turns it off. Conversely, the part of the brain that turns on the relaxation response turns on full, healthy digestion. Chronic stress can also increase the output of insulin, another hormone strongly associated with weight gain. The pancreas produces insulin whenever there is a rapid rise in blood sugar. One of the ways that insulin lowers blood glucose is by telling the body to aggressively store excess dietary carbohydrates as fat. Insulin also signals the body not to release any stored fat.

When we eat too fast or fail to notice our food, the brain interprets this missed experience as hunger. It remains hungry because it was not satisfied. That is why we reach for more food. Consider the shift that can occur when we eat consciously and mindfully, and most importantly, without stress. Eating can actually raise endorphin levels. We are meant to enjoy this experience. The more endorphins, the more oxygen and blood released into your digestive tract and this means enhanced digestion. Pleasure, you see, is intrinsically designed to fuel metabolism.

Knowing this, why not stop the stress and start living? Joy, or the feeling of being in a state of happiness, secretes nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide is a molecule that comes from the largest organ in your body located in your blood vessel called ‘endothelium’. This blood flow, or “chi”, also referred to in Chinese medicine as “life force”, is stimulated by the joy in your life.

If you are still debating whether to embark on a path towards positive thinking…consider these facts:
• Did you know that research on nitric oxide, the chemical which is produced when we experience joy, led to the creation of Viagra?
The good news is that you can increase nitric oxide simply by increasing positive thinking and setting an intention to invoke joy into your life... (without taking the little blue pill!)
• Happiness is known to increase the production of DHEA, a hormone has great anti-aging effects for the entire body, such as increasing muscle mass, bone growth and fat burning, as well as improving memory and boosting the immune system. Happiness changes your metabolism, and allows you to take weight off more effectively.
• Experiencing joy has been shown to enhance your immune system.

So, how do we access this state of happiness? How do we begin to unravel the long-held beliefs and lifestyles that are often defined by time constraints, commitment, and stress? My belief is that it starts with an intention and commitment within yourself to begin living your life. It entails throwing away the limitations of what we think we must do, which is often defined in our minds as a sense of security. These very thoughts of emotional, financial and physical safety, and how to access this for ourselves and our families are the very thoughts that lead to the actions we take that keep us in a state of emotional “lockdown”. We literally imprison ourselves.

A life of joy is not about avoiding pain, grief and sorrow. It is about learning how to dance in the rain rather than waiting for the storm to pass. It is about becoming light within our hearts, so that we can share that place of lightness with the ones we love, starting with ourselves.

For more information on how to let go of some of the heaviness in your life so you can enjoy better health through nutrition, please visit www.findyourorganicsoul.com.

Author's Bio: 

Odette Worrell is a certified Holistic Health Counselor, certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), and founder of Organic Soul. Odette's work encompasses supporting and empowering individuals to regain their physical health, improve the quality of their lives, and reach their personal goals. Odette and Organic Soul offer newsletters, online health and self-growth classes, and one-on-one as well as group health counseling sessions (privately and online).