My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity . . . This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones… (Proverbs 3:1-2, 8 NIV)
THINK about it. There’s really a connection between your mind and your body. How can a bunch of “teachings” and “commands” affect one’s bones?
Here’s what I realized. Much of your health depends on two major things:
- What you feed your mouth
- What you feed your mind
Yes, thoughts are extremely powerful.
They can heal you; Or they can kill you.
Big swaths of Western Medicine don’t believe that thoughts can heal. They scoff at the idea. They believe that it’s medicine, surgery, and other medical interventions that can cure a person.
But for years, Western Medicine has done thousands of experiments on the Placebo phenomenon. For example, they give a pill to a sick patient and tell him that it’ll cure him—but the pill is totally inert. It could be made of sugar or some other common substance.
But in these tests, 40% of the time, the patient gets well. Why? His body produced natural healing chemicals that cure the disease.
What made him well? His thoughts.
I repeat: Your thoughts can heal you or kill you.
Stress is the number one killer in the world.
But what is stress? Thoughts, too.
Today, we shall learn how to let our thoughts heal our body.
So here’s God’s big message for you: Heal your thoughts, heal your body.
I urge you to consult these 3 Doctors of the Mind:
- Dr. Laughter
- Dr. Trust
- Dr. Purpose
Let’s dive in…
I’m going to share with you a very embarrassing story.
A normal preacher will never share this embarrassing story.
But I’m not a normal preacher. I’m abnormal.
One day, I was giving a talk in a hotel. And before the talk, the first thing I did was go to the restroom.
In the restroom, I went inside a cubicle to do a number two. Because if it was just a number one, guys don’t go to cubicles. (Some people think I’m so holy, I don’t use the toilet. I just evaporate what needs to be expelled from my body by the power of the Holy Spirit.) The truth is I enjoy doing number two’s. It is one of life’s free pleasures.
While I was sitting on the porcelain throne, I heard voices. Female voices. And I froze. OMG. I was in the wrong restroom.
At that moment, I knew this was going on top of the list of my most humiliating things that has ever happened in my life. To make things worse, the women started talking about me. They were part of my audience. One of them said, “I’m so excited. It has been my dream to meet Bo Sanchez.”
Now I had a choice.
The first choice: I could man up, walk out of the cubicle, and say, “Tadaaaah! Your dream is fulfilled.” After their expected shrieking, I would say, “No, I’m not a pervert. I made a mistake. I’m sorry. Hey, can we do a selfie? Look up!”
The second choice: I could hide until they go away.
So what did I do? I hid.
I was so ashamed, I didn’t step out of the cubicle. I became totally quiet and waited for everyone to leave.
Big mistake. Here’s the problem I didn’t foresee. They didn’t leave. Why? Because they were women.
Boys go to toilet for biological needs. Women go to toilets for social needs. That’s why when women who are eating around the table, 2 or 3 of them will look at each other and through facial expressions and sign language, will stand up and go to the toilet together. Guys don’t do that. If a guy tells me, “Pare, toilet tayo,” I’ll tell him, “Go ahead, I’m okay.”
So there I was, listening to their conversations. They kept talking and laughing and crying and talking some more. About their boyfriends and their ex-boyfriends and the ex of their ex-boyfriends. There were so many exes, I got lost.
So I sat in that cubicle for a loooong time, waiting for all of them to leave.
After three days, I finally got out.
Why did I tell you that story?
Because the first Doctor of the mind is…
1. Doctor Laughter
Do you feel better now after laughing?
I believe God made us to celebrate, to laugh, to be happy!
That’s why I believe laughter heals.
First of all, the Bible says so: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 ESV)
Here are my two big questions for you: How joyful are you? And how often do you laugh?
I believe a number of those who suffer weak immune system lack happiness.
An Irish proverb says, A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.
Did you know that laughter was really used as medicine?
Laughter as Medicine in History
In Ancient Greece, doctors told their patients to visit the Hall of Comedians as part of their healing process.
There were Native American Indian Tribes who had Clowns working with their Doctors. The three most important persons in the Tribe was the Chief, the Doctor, and the Clown.
In the 13th century, surgeons were already using laughter to alleviate the pain of surgery.
In the 1960s, writer Norman Cousins documented his journey to healing using laughter, curing himself from a debilitating illness in six months after watching funny movies in his hospital room.
Also in the 1960s, Dr. Hunter Doherty ‘Patch’ Adams made his hospital rounds in a clown outfit, as he was convinced that “joy is more important than any other drug.”
In the 1990s, Dr. Madan Kataria founded Hasyayoga or Laughter Yoga where small groups of people would gather and start laughing together. He said, “I have not seen anybody dying of laughter, but I know millions who are dying because they are not laughing.”
Five Tips on Having More Joy
Let me give you five practical strategies on having more joy and laughter in your life…
Tip 1: Smile Often
A smile is contagious. You don’t need a reason to smile. In the same way, you don’t need a reason to laugh. Just smile and laugh—and you’ll feel happier with your life.
Tip 2: Spend Time with Fun People
If you have small kids, have fun with them. Play games. Roll on the floor. Hula hoop. Dance!
And do you have grouchies around you? Avoid them if you can. One of God’s greatest blessings to me is my bunch of wacky friends. They’re soooo funny. When I hang out with these guys, they drain my stress away.
Tip 3: Take Yourself Less Seriously
Look for the humor in bad situations and learn to laugh at yourself. Accept that stuff happens beyond your control. Relax!
Tip 4: Enjoy Funny Media
As a kid, I read joke books. I got old copies of Readers Digest, cut out Laughter Is The Best Medicine, and stapled them together.
And because I have my own kids, I got to watch funny cartoons. My favorites: Kung Fu Panda, Toy Story, Nemo, Monster Inc., The Book of Life, Horton…
Tip 5: Make Your Gratitude List
Every day, before you sleep, write down at least five blessings you received that day. And recognize the positive stuff in your life will help you remove all the negative thoughts, allowing humor and laughter into your life.
Next Doctor to consult…
2. Dr. Trust
Worry can cause headaches, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. Worry will weaken your immune system, and you become more vulnerable to colds and flu, and other infectious diseases, speed up cancer growth, accelerate diabetes, worsen heart disease and even asthma.
Why? Worry means you’re seeing a threat. Worry is interpreting an event as a life and death situation. Because of this perceived threat, your body gets ready for fight or flight, releasing chemical stimulants—sodium lactate, adrenaline, cortisol.
Note: This life and death situation could just be the traffic jam, an unpaid bill, a conflict with your boyfriend, a big exam, a job problem. And because your body is getting ready for fight or flight, your blood pressure goes up, blood sugar elevates, your digestion slows down, and breathing becomes shallow. Your body can handle this emergency state for 10 minutes, but not for 10 hours, or 10 days, or 10 months, or 10 years…
How do you overcome worry?
I know of only one solution: Trust God. Trusting God isn’t just a nice thing to do. Trusting God isn’t optional. Trusting God is about survival. By trusting God, you save yourself from sickness and early death.
God wants you to have peace.
Jesus said, Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life. (Matthew 6:25 NIV)
Did you notice? This is a command. Think about it. This may be the most violated command in the Bible. Because we think Jesus was not giving a command— just a nice suggestion.
Here’s what Paul says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
When we let go and let God, good things start to happen in our body. Our health improves once we stop dwelling on our fears and start dwelling on our faith. We go back to the natural state of being peaceful.
Let me give you a practical example…
Inhale God’s Peace
I know a lot of people get angry at the traffic chaos on the road.
I did too, until I realized it was not only useless, it was toxic. Because I know that over time, this irritation, if done every day, will slowly poison my internal organs.
So today, whenever I get caught in traffic, I inhale God’s peace. I relax. I chat with God.
Sometimes, I plan for my day. Or I rehearse a talk in my mind. Soon, I begin to thank God for the traffic because it’s not a hassle, it’s a gift.
Do you notice how I changed its meaning?
You can learn how to change your disposition over anything.
For many people, a delayed flight means anxiety. When the announcer says, “Your flight will be delayed by three hours,” people groan and complain. In doing so, they punish their body.
Here’s my experience. When I hear the announcement, “Your flight will be delayed by three hours,” I say, “Ahhh! What a blessing.”
I don’t make it up. I really believe a delayed flight is a beautiful pause that God gives me to reflect, to meditate, to slow down, to silence the noise, and enjoy life.
Why do I do this? Because I love myself. You can’t control what thoughts enter your mind. But you can control what thoughts you entertain in your mind.
Stop Entertaining Negative Thoughts
Here’s my fictional analogy: One day, I hear a knock on the door. When I open, I see a salesman wearing a coat and tie. And he says, “Good morning, I’m selling a pre-loved coffin…”
I look behind him and I’m shocked to see a real coffin behind him.
He continues, “Put it this way. It’s already test-driven. So you know it works. In fact, it’s being test-driven right now, because there’s still a body inside. So when you buy the coffin, there’s a bonus: You get the dead guy inside as well. If you don’t need the bonus, you can just throw away the body in your backyard. So, do you want to be the new owner of this pre-loved coffin?”
Question: What do you do with a salesman knocking on your door who is selling you something you don’t like?
You could tell him—politely, gently, calmly—“Thank you, but I pass.”
You could tell him you’d like your coffin to be brand new.
Some people keep entertaining the salesman. They chitchat with him for an hour or two, ask him to enter their house, offer him coffee, and invite him for dinner—until they end up buying something they don’t need.
Negative thoughts are something you don’t need. Worry, Irritation, Fear… You don’t need them. So whenever a negative thought is knocking on your door, see who’s knocking —don’t deny that there’s a negative thought— and just say, calmly, gently, with a smile, “I pass…”
Believe me, your mind and body will thank you for it.
Here’s the third Doctor to consult.
3. Dr. Purpose
If your heart is burning with purpose, and you’re working for that purpose, your body has a reason to remain healthy.
Some people don’t get that. Some people believe that leisure is better than work. So they slave away from Monday to Friday and party on Saturday and Sunday.
Some people live for their vacations. And they dream for a day when their life will just be one long vacation— which is a huge mistake.
Some actually get an early retirement and fulfill this dream. From Day One of their retirement, they set about living a life of leisure. But they get jolted by the rude realization that fun isn’t fun if there’s no work before the fun.
One major study on health showed that once people retired, their risk of death increased by 51%. Crazy. But true.
So here’s what you need to do: Forget Retirement.
Focus on Purpose! And you’ll become healthy.
I repeat: When your heart is burning with purpose, your body has a reason to remain healthy. When there’s no purpose in your life, our body starts to malfunction. The Bible says, A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. (Proverbs 13:4 NIV)
Retirement Is a Modern Invention
Let me give you a little history lesson. Before 1930, there was no such thing as retirement. Before the Industrial Age, older people worked in their farms until they dropped dead.
Even if they weren’t strong enough, they served as “consultants” of the community. In a world where google wasn’t born yet, their many years of experience made them the source of wisdom that no one else had.
But then the factory was born. And in the factory, work was divided up to its simplest parts. Who needs deep wisdom to carry a car bumper 1,000 times a day? You only needed muscles.
Thus, retirement was born. And Social Security (Pension) was built to encourage older people to leave the work force so that younger people can find jobs.
But read carefully: Retirement was pegged at 65 at a time when the average life span of a human being was 63.
Today, people are living until their 90s. Soon, people will be living until they’re a hundred. So if you live until 100, what will you do from 65 to 100? That’s 35 more years.
Don’t just sit on a rocking chair and stare at an open window.
What Should You Do When You Retire?
Live your life to the full until God calls you home!
Here’s what this means…
1. Keep Working
When you retire from your job, get a part-time job right away. Or engage in business.
Warning: Get into something that you’re already good at. Before you do this, I encourage you to attend financial seminars—to avoid the most common mistakes. This will engage your skills, your imagination, and your passion.
A fantastic benefit to this? If you’re going to live for 35 more years, you need to support yourself. Believe me, for most of us, SSS or GSIS pension won’t be enough. (This is why it’s important to invest for your future.)
2. Keep Serving
This is the time to volunteer more. Be like my Dad. After his retirement, he got busier serving in our ministry.
Be busier than when you were working in your job.
A huge study done by Cornell University determined the reason some women were healthier than others. One of the strongest factors for health was whether women volunteered outside the home—in church or in civic organizations. Women who volunteered regularly were healthier and lived longer.
Isn’t that cool?
Heal your thoughts, heal your body.
May your dreams come true,