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Nurturing Mind, Body and Soul


Nurturing ourselves is important – more than we realise. There are various ways we can look after ourselves, but one of the most important ways is how we think and respond to situations. Let’s delve briefly into the mind aspect of nurturing ourselves, which in turn, helps our body physically and energetically.

Conscious and Subconscious

There are two parts to our mind – our conscious mind and subconscious mind. The conscious part of our mind is the part that makes decisions, it works with numbers is logical and rational. The subconscious part is the emotional part of our mind, and it stores all our memories and experiences, creating our perceptions, habits and beliefs.

If we consciously keep thinking a thought over and over, that thought will sink down into our subconscious mind. It is then logged away creating a belief around that situation or thought. We are then more likely to respond from that belief when similar situations arise in the future.

Beliefs can be beneficial or detrimental to us – it all depends on the subject matter and how it makes us feel. Habitually thinking in a specific way becomes a program running in the subconscious mind, just like a computer or APP on your phone, but these programs can be changed.


Our brain has the natural ability to rewire itself. This is called the science of ‘neuroplasticity’. It has the ability to change and reorganise – creating new neural connections. This takes place when we are learning something new or when we repeat a thought or action over and over. It then sinks down into the subconscious becoming easier at each repetition - eventually becoming automatic.

A simple understanding of ‘neuroplasticity’ can help us create a positive mindset. Having the awareness that our subconscious mind takes on board information from our thoughts can allow us to release old thought patterns that are no longer required anymore – rewiring where we wish to focus. This can then allow us to overcome challenges we are facing - looking and perceiving differently in a way to benefit us.

Embracing Positivity

Sadly, humans are naturally negatively biased. We are easily drawn into the negative aspects of a situation or thought process. Once on the negative thought route, another thought appears, adding to the subject or situation at hand. We are then engulfed in that negativity and people find it difficult to escape these thoughts and responses.

But there are things we can use to pull us out of that negative bias. We can use the adversity to create the change – using it as a signal to redirect our thoughts. We get what we focus on, so if we can change the thought, we can change the response. We have a choice in any moment where to focus, so, being aware of where we are right NOW can help us to shift our thought process. Accepting where we are is the key to letting go – this can then allow a refocus, directing beneficial thoughts and responses that are then easier to tap into. Thoughts of ‘gratitude’ can allow positivity to flow.


Gratitude highlights and reminds us not only of the beauty we have around us, but within us. In psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with ‘happiness’. Gratitude is very powerful, and is good for, not only your mental health, but for your physical well-being.

Gratitude activates parts of our brain called the hypothalamus. It activates and fires parts of what we call, our brain’s reward pathways - that positive emotion we feel when receiving something special. It can activate the brain stem to produce our brain’s pleasure chemical ‘dopamine’. Gratitude boosts our ‘serotonin’ levels, which in turn creates the pleasure response.

When we feel thankful or appreciative, it creates a positive emotion within us, creating many health benefits both mental and physical. When we are in a place of gratitude we respond with feelings of generosity and kindness. It moves people to experience more positive emotions. It directs us to look and think about options we would not have even considered before. It can even create a new direction in life. Bringing forward a positive from a negative.

What are the benefits of Gratitude?

o Makes us happier

o Being present in the moment

o Provides room for perspective

o Regulates our emotions

o Reduces stress and anxiety

o Improves our heart health

o Reduces loneliness

o Improves our relationships

o Better sleep

o Better energy

o Protect against burnout

o Boosts our self-esteem

o Increases mental strength

o Increases our resilience

o Deal with the face of adversity

o Grow from trauma

o Reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

o Improves physical health

o Improves Psychological health

o Boosts motivation and performance

Steps to Gratitude


We first must become aware of what we are grateful for in our own life. Shifting our focus to what is good.  Rather than focusing on what we don’t have, appreciate what we do have in our life.


Acknowledge gratitude in the first instance. When we become aware of gratitude, we start to respond differently to situations around us - appreciating others or things. We can apply gratitude to anything.


Give thanks for what you are grateful for, no matter how simple. It could be in the form of an action, a response, or even just for the fact that you are grateful. There is always something to be grateful for.

Take Home Tips …

Start each day with a grateful heart.

If we want to continue in a place of gratitude, how can we do this? What things can we put in place to enable us to practise this and create a good habit?  

The fact that you are focused in a state of gratitude will bring you more to be grateful for. You will start to notice more things around you to be grateful for – after all, it’s where your focus lies.

Use affirmations, positive statements to help. Start with ‘I am…I am now…I now…From this moment forward…I now experience…’. This helps create and maintain a positive mindset.

The more we practise gratitude, we create neuron connections in our brain, programming in our new grateful thought process. This is the power of ‘neuroplasticity’. Rewiring to ‘GRATITUDE’ so to speak.

Journaling and Gratitude Jar

Start a gratitude journal. Write three things you are grateful for at the end of each day. What experiences occurred through your day that made you feel grateful?

You could even create a gratitude jar, where you write one sentence each day and then place it in the jar. Then, when in times of trouble, worry, stress or concerns, you can dip into your jar for some positive guidance and refocus yourself. Sometimes all we require is a simple refocus.

A world full of gratitude, creates more to be grateful for.


Michelle Townsend - C.Hyp, D.Hyp, C.I.H, UKHR, I.H.A, CNHC Registered

Professional/Clinical Hypnotherapist

Health Practitioner at Salus Fatigue Foundation.

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