Think & Grow Healthy:
Thinking happens so quickly and so automatically that most of the time people are unaware of the fact that they are thinking, and when asked what they were thinking about, it can also be a bit of a blur. Usually because there's so much is going on in their heads.
Have you ever gone into the bedroom to get some garment, and come out with something else and forgot why you went in there in the first place? We are strange creatures!
Actually this is very common and basically your thoughts got in the way, and sent you off on a tangent – so there’s a lot going on in the head during the waking day.
"Our lives are no better than our thoughts". Think deeply on this very powerful statement because it’s probably a good idea to increase awareness of the content and the direction that our thoughts can take us. Personal wellbeing starts with thought and ends in a physical expression. The expression being behavioural and physiological.
Mind to Matter:
It may be hard to accept but every
thought creates a physical change in our body, but not only that, it will move
us towards improved health or a deterioration in our health. Our immune system
and its capacity to fight disease is affected by what we think.
I remember reading years ago that we have about 67000 thoughts go through our mind in a day (I am still not sure what constitutes a thought) of which about 95% were the same things we thought yesterday. These figures are really estimates but what is more important are the implications of these figures.
We learn by repetition, and our environments offer information (situations and circumstances) that having experienced, we must learn to respond to. Therefore, our mind is filled with things that we already recognise from past information coming through our senses.
Most of it 'boring' and non eventful and is put into the “safe” category and is put in a cupboard somewhere in the mind, and it is not perceived as a threat, so it is only used as and when needed, literally without thought - it's automatic.
Seeing Without Using Your Eyes:
Conversely situations or circumstances or things that are perceived as a threat in your environment, are stored right on your ‘front door step’ and you go on alert until the environment and perceived threat changes.
You can even see the event without using your eyes. So fortunately (or unfortunately in some cases) we have the capacity to carry around with us in the form of thought, an experience that was perceived as a threat and be able to 'see' it and ‘relive’ it on the movie screen of our mind - even after many years. Just press ‘repeat’ by thinking of it or have the thought triggered by something in your environment and wham! There I am re-experiencing it. We truly are amazing beings.
We Make It All Up:
Now these can seem to be the tricks of the mind, and yes they are real for the person thinking it, but not for anyone observing.
It’s like a nightmare – it’s only real to the person having it. So people observing can say, “Are you ok”?, What’s up? Oh! Don’t worry ….” And so on.
The message here is, we make up most of our misery by replaying and re-experiencing the thoughts we don’t want to think about. Resulting in re-experiencing the feelings we actually don’t want.
Now don’t worry we are all at various levels, guilty of this. But when it becomes a habit or is repeatedly triggered by unavoidable environments e.g. at work or home, then it can lead to more serious changes in how the body functions, which can start to produce physical illness.
The idea is to bring to conscious awareness the fact that negative thinking is taking place and to realise how often negative thinking occurs.
Remember we are designed to survive and our mind/body connection is an expert at it, but it doesn’t know when to stop protecting you, particularly if there plenty of “What If’s”.
A Simple Technique:
A silly but effective “Automatic Attitude Changing Device” is a rubber band on your wrist.
Get a rubber band and put it on your least dominant wrist, about where you can feel your pulse.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking the worst or other emotionally laden negative thoughts, give it a pull and then let it go. (Don’t go berserk though). You will soon realise the extent of how little positive thoughts dominate. It's true, the saying: "happiness is a habit".
Validate if the thoughts are helping you or help get your duties done? If not then literally change your mind and think of something you enjoy doing or some happy experience you had. The body is designed to respond to what the thoughts mean and you can feel different in an instant.
When you change your mind, you are again making it all up and using thought to make you feel better, instead of thoughts that make you feel bad.
It won’t make your boss or an annoying work colleague instantly change or alter your work duties, but it will quickly change you and how you feel by breaking the pattern.
If you really want to help yourself, start by making a journal and write your thoughts down so you see the patterns emerging with environmental influences. This can be used should you desire to seek assistance.
When you start to change by having more control over your thoughts and emotions, it's amazing how other stressful people or situations no longer have the same affect on you.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that can break a habit and make a positive change.