Taking back your health begins with a thought. Everything you do and say starts with a thought. Your thoughts are powerful. Thoughts are so powerful that they can even affect your health. Really you might say. Yes really! The very cells of your body are listening to your thoughts and to your instructions. Nobel price winners, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel, proved this in their research on telomeres in their book entitled: The Telomere Effect. A telomere is a noncoding DNA segment that lives at the end of each chromosome. Telomeres shorten with each cell division and help determine how fast the cell ages and when it will die. Researcher have found that telomeres can actually lengthen promoting longer life of the cell. In other words, aging is at the cellular level and your thoughts have an affect on telomere length. Telomeres actually respond to the information and instruction you give them. The way you live (think or speak) can speed up or slow down the cellular aging process. The food you eat, the amount of exercise you get, how you handle stress, and the level of trust and safety you feel in your environment can affect your telomeres and aging at the cellular level. Again, everything you do and say starts with a thought. What are you thinking and speaking over your life and body today? In reality, Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel have only discovered what God has already told us in His Word. He has told us in His Word that the power of life and death are in your tongue. The words out of your mouth start with a thought. Furthermore, he has told us to think on things that are good and note worthy and that as a man thinks so he is in his heart (Philippians 4:8, Proverbs 23:7).
Let’s look a little deeper into our cells or our inner being before digging into the Word of God. Dr. Leonard Hayflick a biologist, found in 1961 that human fetal cells were not immortal and would only divide a certain number of times. He also concluded that only cancer cells were immortal. He discovered that the fetal cell doubled about fifty times then stopped. He froze cells at different stages of doubling or making copies of themselves, and found that they remembered the stage of doubling they were in at the time they were frozen. Cells have memory! Cells all reach a stage where they were alive but stopped dividing. Dr. Hayflick called this the senescence stage.
The cells of our body are always renewing themselves. Senescent cells are tired and worn out. If we have too many tired worn out cells, then our health is affected. For example, if your immune cells are not working well then you will be more susceptible to infection. “Senescent cells can leak pro-inflammatory substances that make you vulnerable to more pain, more chronic illness. Eventually, many senescent cells will undergo a preprogrammed death”. (The Telomere Effect pg 9)
Medical science is aware that more than 87% of chronic illness is stress related. Stress ages our cells making us more prone to chronic illness. From the research of Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epal, we see that aging is at the cellular level. Medical science has also proven that our brain is connected to our immune system through small vessels. Every thought releases a chemical that either affects our body or temple positively or negatively. OUR THOUGHT HAVE POWER!
Proverbs 4:20-24 Healing Words
21 Fill your thoughts with my words
until they penetrate deep into your spirit.
22 Then, as you unwrap my words,
they will impart true life and radiant health
into the very core of your being.
23 So above all, guard the affections of your heart,
for they affect all that you are.
Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being,
for from there flows the wellspring of life.
24 Avoid dishonest speech and pretentious words.
Be free from using perverse words no matter what!
You can see from this scripture that we are to fill our mind with the word of God and let it penetrate into our spirit. It goes on to say to ponder or study that word. That is meditation. So by meditating or pondering the Word of God, it will bring health to the very core of your being. Interestingly, meditation was one of the practices that promotes longer telomere length. Meditating on the Word of God is anti-aging! Guarding the affections of our heart is very key to our emotional health. Dealing with negative emotions quickly and not letting them go into bitterness, hate, unforgiveness or self-pity is vital to health. This includes unhealthy thoughts and feelings about ourselves. Negative emotions about who we are are just as damaging to our inner well-being as negative emotion about other people. Our emotional or inner health is so important because out of the mouth the heart speaks. The last verse deals with the words that we speak. Words thought or spoken have power. Your telomeres are listening! Thinking, meditating and speaking the word of God are three a powerful tools or steps to a prospering soul and a healthy life. Turning our heart and mind towards Him and connecting with the Holy Spirit brings such peace and joy. To do this we must understand who we are in Christ. We are new creations, blameless in His sight. The old has past a way and the new has come. Meditation or mindfulness was always God’s idea. It is focusing our mind on things above, or things that are good and wholesome. It is filling our mind with the life giving Words of our Father who has made great promises to us as believers. We are not junk. We are not orphans, nor does he see us as sinners but His children. He has made great power available to us to overcome every difficult situation. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy. Are you walking in this reality? You are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ. He is our peace and our joy. If we are always thinking or worrying, we are not walking in the fullness of the kingdom. This internal war left to run a muck, is causing physical illness. This lack of inner peace, is in actually unbelief and rooted in fear. In Isaiah, we are told a mind steadfast on Him (Jesus) will remain at peace. He has promised to never forsake us and he has promised to protect and provide. He just requires we believe in His love, believe in His Word, and believe who we are in Him. What do you believe today?
Years ago, the Lord told me that fear and condemnation were at the root of illness. Stress and negative emotion like depression and anxiety shorten telomeres or accelerate cell aging. Interestingly, Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel along with their college Eli Putterman, studied 250 low stressed women in regards to the effects of negative mind wandering or not living in the present moment. They found that the women who had the most mind wandering had shorter telomeres regardless of stress levels. In other words, if your mind is a mess your health will be negatively affected. Your telomeres will be shorter and you will be sicker. Our inner environment is so important to our physical health. You could be eating the right things, exercising, taking all the right supplements but if you don’t have inner peace, you will still be more at risk for physical and mental illness. A healthy mind is a healthy body. I believe overcoming fear and condemnation is key to living a healthier life. Love and mercy are keys to healing. In the days and weeks to come, I plan to discuss how to have a healthy mind and body using the keys of love and mercy.