The mind-body connection plays such an important role in our healing journey, especially in our ability to succeed on a candida cleansing program. Our thoughts and beliefs can affect our bodily function, as well as have a profound effect on the healing process. This is because what we say to ourselves, how we think about ourselves, and how we view our own capabilities ultimately affects us on a biochemical level.
Thoughts can contribute to shifting the physical internal environment (a.k.a our gut microbiome), and if the thought is negative, it may negatively affect the internal environment, which can disrupt progress with rebalancing the gut microbiome. It also relates to the energy that it puts out into the universe as well. When we think positively about our health and actually believe that we are capable of healing, this can bring positive results into our healing journey. Whereas when we think negatively or have a belief that we are not capable of healing, we are limiting ourselves and our ability to get well. This also relates to the law of attraction, which indicates that positive thoughts bring positive results and negative thoughts bring negative outcomes. And we know that negative thinking can affect the microbiome in a negative way, so having a positive mindset on a healing journey is super important for helping you obtain your health goals.
Limiting beliefs are something that I see come up quite often when working with clients. I choose to educate my clients about how their mindset affects their ability to overcome candida because if limiting beliefs are left unaddressed, they can pose as an energetic barrier to the healing process.
A limiting belief is a state of mind or a belief about yourself that hinders you or limits you in some sort of way. They often develop from our past experiences.
For example, believing and saying...
“My body is never going to heal” or
“I’ve had candida or x symptoms for so long I don’t think anything is going to help” or
“I'm going to have to eat this way forever”.
Limiting beliefs can create a negative relationship between yourself and your ability to heal. I never realized I had limiting beliefs holding me back on my candida healing journey until I went to school for Nutrition. The body-mind-spirit class that I took was truly eye opening because it allowed me to become aware of all the distorted thoughts I had developed about myself, my body, and candida overgrowth. I also feel like my experience with going through the medical system for help with my GI issues contributed to the development of many of my limiting beliefs. I can't tell you how many Doctors and Gastroenterologists I saw who never believed a single thing I said about my gut health. At each visit I was always told everything was fine and that laxatives and fiber supplements were the only solution to my problem. I started to believe that there was something inherently wrong with my body, that my bowels were never going to work properly, that what was happening to me must have been my fault, something I was doing or did in the past must have lead to all of these malfunctions with my gut health.
I finally started to heal from candida once I started to address my root causes and mindset blocks, whilst also doing all of the work on my gut health through diet and supplementation. Previously I had been focusing solely on diet and supplements with no understanding of how my nervous system, adrenal health, and past trauma were affecting my body's ability to heal from candida. I was missing a huge piece to the puzzle!
If you resonate with this and feel like you may have some limiting beliefs to uncover and work through, I strongly encourage you to take the time to do this type of mindset work.
Another mindset block on a healing journey is all or nothing thinking. All or nothing thinking is a cognitive distortion that relates to only seeing things in black or white with no shades of grey. Essentially the thought process is in extremities so we are either doing things perfectly or completely failing, there is no in between.
An example of this on a candida cleansing journey would be doing a great job following your dietary plan, then giving into a sugar craving and having one cookie, then automatically thinking you have failed or that you've ruined all of your progress and have to re-start the cleanse. You may also feel bad about this and then proceed to eat un-according to your dietary plan for the next few days or weeks.
Dietary changes do not need to be approached this way. One of the reasons why I don't believe in strict candida cleanses is because it instills this type of thought process. There is room for imperfection when on a gut healing journey. You can eat a cookie or have a low sugar alcoholic beverage on occasion and still see great results! Progress not perfection is the way to go. P.S if you are on this journey and need support with navigating cravings on the cleanse, check out my blog post on this topic.
So how can we start working on mindset? The answer is awareness!
Awareness is the first step in creating change.
We have to discover what our limiting beliefs are, figure out where they came from, and start replacing them with positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations are a tool that you can use to start changing the way you think about yourself and your ability to heal. Practicing positive affirmations gives you an opportunity to overcome negative thought patterns and start creating healthy beliefs to help benefit your healing journey.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Identify what your limiting beliefs are.
Identify and reflect on where the distorted thoughts/beliefs are originating from.
Replace limiting beliefs with a positive affirmation.
For example, replace "I will never be able to heal from candida" with "My body and mind are strong, with the right tools and guidance, I have everything I need to heal from candida"
Write out some positive affirmations in a journal everyday or write them on sticky notes and stick them to your bathroom mirror where you will see them often. If you struggle to come up with your own positive affirmations, there are journals you can purchase online or at your local bookstore with journal prompts and affirmation guides.
Seek out professional help from counsellors/therapists to help deal with past trauma that may be hindering your ability to heal.
Keep going! It can be easy to want to throw in the towel but it's important to practice self compassion so that you can forgive yourself and keep going.