Book Summary – You Can Heal your Life by Louise Hay

First published in 1984, You Can Heal Your Life was one of the pioneers in self-help books. Many of Louise Hay’s ideas have since been used and expanded upon by self-help gurus and holistic healers. In nutshell, our thoughts and beliefs shape our lives, and self-love is the key to all self-healing. With the right mental work, we can turn around or create positive outcomes in any area that we desire. In this summary, we’ll give an overview of the relationship between mind and body, and how limiting thoughts, beliefs and negative emotions can affect us and our physical diseases. You can Heal Your Life summary_transform your life

Hay wrote this book in the same way she takes a client through a private session or a workshop. Each chapter starts with an affirmation and includes one or more exercises or treatments. If you resonate with the ideas and tips in this article, do download our full summary bundle for a more comprehensive overview, or read the book in detail to apply the detailed instructions provided by Hay.
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The Real Source of Your Problems

At the root of most of our issues or problems is the fundamental belief that “I’m not good enough”, and the lack of self love. For example, the underlying belief of financial disaster is often “I’m not worthy of having money”, that of having no friends is usually “nobody loves me” and the tendency to always try to please others often comes from the belief “I never get my way”.

Where does it all come from?

These beliefs, along with many other ideas of who we are and the rules we must live by, are often learned when we are very young, from the adults around us. When we grow up, we tend to re-create our lives around these beliefs. Hay recommends several exercises, such as shifting “I should” to “I could” to realize we have a choice, identifying underlying issues beneath the visible problems, and identifying where some of our limiting beliefs come from.

Essentially, we are dealing with thought patterns. Once we recognize this, we realize we have the power to begin change right now, at this present moment. Since it all begins in the mind, we also have full and complete control of the outcomes in our lives.

Are these beliefs even true?

Our beliefs (e.g. “boys don’t cry”, “you are not good at this”) become our reality, hence we should examine if they are true to begin with. Even if they were true in the past (e.g. don’t trust strangers as a child), they may no longer be true today. Learning to let go of false or old beliefs is a key to changing our lives.

How to Change

You can take control of your life and the process of change. To do so, you need to overcome your own resistance to change and mane your thoughts/emotions. In the book and our full 11-page summary, we elaborate on how to (i) nurture the willingness to change (including mental housecleaning and releasing internal resistance), (ii) control your mind/thoughts, and (iii) forgive yourself and others.

Rebuilding your Life

Creating positive change is like planting seeds. It takes time for the seeds to sprout, and we need to constantly nurture the seedlings and keep the weeds away.

Build on the Positives

What you place your attention on will grow. Hence, move away from negatives e.g. “I don’t want to be fat”, “I don’t want to be unhappy”; instead, focus on what you do, be or have e.g. “I am healthy and slender”, “I am happy, joyous and free.” Learn to think in positive affirmations as a habit, using the present tense e.g. “I am”, “I have”.  In the book / complete summary, we explain how to catch your negative thoughts and take a series of small steps to start developing self-approval!

Holistic Philosophy

Hay advocates a holistic approach to nurture and nourish your entire being. This includes your Body (through nutrition, exercise etc.), your Mind (through visualization, affirmations, workshops etc.) and your Spirit (through prayer, meditation, practicing forgiveness and unconditional love etc.). The book includes a range of practices and tips that you can apply daily to build momentum for change.

Your Body and Health

How we think and speak leads to our bodies’ “eases” and “dis-eases”. We create every dis-ease in our body due to our own thought patterns. Essentially, patterns of thought relating to resentment, criticism, guilt and fear are the main contributors to our so-called illnesses. Forgiveness and releasing these thought patterns (alongside healthy nutrition and care for our body) are the key to wellness.

Hay explains how some of these conditions come about, and how to listen to what our body is telling us through its dis-eases and discomforts, including headaches, baldness, sore throats, arthritis, back problems, heart attacks, cancer, ulcers etc. The book includes an additional 60 pages of detailed Probable Mental Patterns (from Hay’s book Heal Your Body) that cause illnesses and suggested affirmations or thought patterns that can be used to create health instead.

This book may not be for everyone, as it is strongly anchored in New Age concepts and alternative healing methods. But for those who are open to such concepts, the book provides a detailed, step-by-step guide to start uncovering personal limiting beliefs and negative thoughts, and to start making positive changes. You can order your copy of You Can Heal Your Life from for more details, or get more resources from Hay’s official website.

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