For several decades, now, researchers all over the world have asserted that our mental health affects the body. Negative thoughts and a negative attitude leads to us feeling low, our heads fall, our shoulders sag, and our breathing becomes shallow. In fact, it has been conclusively proved that negative moods trigger of a whole chain of physio-biological reactions, which are designed to make us feel this way. On the other hand, positive thoughts and positive attitudes make us feel good, our heads face up, we tend to look up, stand taller, breather deeper and fuller.
So, you see the body is directly affected by our mental health. But, consider this: Recent research reveals that our body also has the capability of affecting our mind. The way you carry yourself, the way you walk, the way you talk, and the way you project your physical self, to a fairly large extent, affects your attitude and mental health. If you are always standing tall, chest out, breathing deeply, chances are that you are projecting a positive outlook. On the other hand, if your shoulders are dropped, and you have couched back, you’re probably passing through a rather dull phase.
An interesting, and potentially very powerful cor orally of this is that we have control over our emotions through our bodily actions and postures. Hence, if we want to feel good or positive, all we have to do is change our body posture. Though it may vary slightly from person to person, the overall ingredients (of the key to a positive frame of mind) are more or less the same. Head high, shoulders back and broad, deep breathing, chest out, and of course the all important smile. As Anthony Robbins put it, “Motion creates Emotion.” The way we move changes the way we think, feel and behave. From the smallest movement of a facial muscle to a rigorous workout, all affect our emotions.
Even the simple action of smiling can make an enormous difference in your mental state. Extensive research in this area proves that the act of smiling sets off a biological reaction that has effects in all parts of our body. It stimulates the heart and the lungs. It increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. The body’s excretory organs function more smoothly, clearing the body of harmful toxins. Imagine such a simple act having such far-reaching consequences. In fact, many doctors are of the opinion, that fifteen minutes of light laughter, on a daily basis, can increase your life-span by about 5-10 years!
The point is that nothing happens by chance. We’ve all been created in a very scientific manner. Every gesture, every movement in the body has some purpose. Some cause us to feel miserable, doubt our abilities, and curse our luck. Others cause us to feel good, optimistic and positive about life. We’ve got to choose the ones we desire.
Another way of affecting your emotional state is by changing your focus. This can be achieved very easily through asking questions. In fact, this is something we all do, all the time. We are constantly asking questions to ourselves. However, it’s the type of question that makes the difference. You may constantly ask yourself questions like, “Why do I always get late?”, or “Why does it always happen to me?” or “How can I feel so horrible?”, and chances are that you will indeed feel horrible. The trouble with these questions is that they focus your mind and attention on what’s not good. We all have good and bad happening around us. But we can choose which among these do we pay attention to. If we pay attention to all our failures, all our embarrassments, we can’t help but feel down, rejected and disappointed. And this is what the above questions do.
On the other hand, concentrate on a question like, “What’s great about this?”, and your mind will immediately give you the answer. It will dig into all the details of the circumstance that faces you, and provide you with something that is truly great, something that can make you feel truly great.
Asking the right questions can also help you solve minor day-to-day problems. When faced with a problem or an irritation, instead of dwelling upon questions like, “Why is life so unfair?” or “Why don’t my plans ever work out?”, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What’s great about this problem?
2. What is not perfect yet?
3. What am I willing to do to make it the way I want it?
4. What am I no longer willing to do to make it the way I want it?
5. How can I enjoy the process while I do what is necessary to make it the
way I want it?
Use these questions and you’ll immediately change your outlook towards the problem you were facing. This also creates a positive habit which maintains our mental health.
Many people suffer from depression nowadays. This is a state of the mind so medicines are really not the way forward.
If you have depression or know someone dealing with it then you have to ask this question.
Do You have depression or are you depressed? The question seems silly because both the statements mean the same. So then it is okay to assume that you have depression. Here you have to understand that at different points of time we have things. Also at different points of time we don’t have those things. People don’t have a car, then they have a car and then again they don’t have it. But you don’t become a car. It is just something you have or you don’t. Nothing is permanent. Similarly earlier you didn’t have depression, now you have depression, tomorrow you may not have depression. This is called a clear concept. You can’t become that thing. Well, write it down on a paper “I have depression.” Now notice how relaxed you feel.
Now we also became aware that you have depression now and earlier you didn’t have it. So then write down “I have depression for some time only.” Put your signature below it. So now we are clear that you have depression for some time only. So basically rest of the time you are okay. So then write down “ I have depression for some time only and rest of the time I am okay.” Again place your signature below it. So basically you are an okay person having depression some times. So write down “ I am an okay person having depression some times.” Again place your signature below it.
Now when you have depression what happens to your body, how it feels. So you may have drooped shoulders, sad face, eyes downwards, shallow breathing etc. Now change that and sit straight, look straight with a smile on your face and breathe slowly from your belly. Now notice how comfortable you feel.
Now close your eyes and remember a time when you were feeling happy, joyful. Feel that emotion, see the sights, hear the sounds. Visualize it in bright lights and vivid colors. When you are ready you can open your eyes feeling relaxed, comfortable.
Here you must understand that words are very powerful. When you say “I am” be very sure what you want to add after it. Whatever you say after that sincerely believing it to be so, the subconscious mind will make it a reality. Remember, your subconscious is very powerful.You start owning it. So say positive things after I am.
Self concept is very important. We cannot make things our identity. The concept creates our belief system. This influences our thinking pattern. When we use positive words it impacts our self concept and our self image. The right communication will give us the results we want.
Stress, tension, worry, sleep deprivation, even allergies can lead to negative thinking. In many cases this develops into a negative mindset.
We all have negative thoughts and want to avoid them. Worries are born out of these thought patterns. This later develops into anxiety. If anxiety is not overcome then it may lead to panic attacks and depression.So how do we stop negative thinking.
We lose our sleep or start having palpitations of the heart. These are the physical manifestations of our negative thinking. If this is not managed then it leads to panic attacks. Life seems to go out of control. So then we land into depression as we feel helpless. We started with having negative thoughts and see where we ended up. Due to the constant release of the stress hormone cortisol we are in confusion and unable to think straight. This is a vicious cycle.
We struggle with negative thinking because we have no idea where they are coming from. You get this question from people all the time. Here we have to understand that there is a positive intention of the mind behind this negative thinking. The mind is drawing your attention towards something to resolve it. The intention of the subconscious mind is to give you what you want and keep you away from threats. This negative thought is perceived as a threat. If you are getting negative thoughts about doing something new then the mind wants you to take necessary measures before doing it. If you take some satisfactory measures or go over the plan one more time the issue is resolved. Now this seems to be a good thing. So where does it go all wrong.
Everything that the mind perceives as a threat and produces negative thoughts related to it may not be the truth. It may be baseless. But the thoughts will not stop until they are resolved. So what can we do if that is the case. In your house you will have empty bottle, jar or maybe a box.. Label it as negative thoughts. Now you have a negative thought. You have no idea why it is coming. No problem, just write it down. Don’t miss anything out. Then put it in the jar. Then think of a positive thought. Another thought comes. You do the same thing. After a week open the jar and read all that you have written. You will find interestingly that most thoughts went away. This is because you have addressed the issue.
If you see a stranger in your neighbourhood that seems like a danger you will warn the people. That is the appropriate step. Similarly you have taken the appropriate step. When you try to stop these negative thoughts forcefully, the mind thinks it is failing to draw your attention to it. Then it really presses the accelerator. But once you have taken note of it and taken action the mind is satisfied. Slowly and steadily you will experience a decease in negative thinking.
Stress, tension, worry, sleep deprivation, even allergies can lead to negative thinking. In many cases this develops into a negative mindset. We all have negative thoughts and want to avoid them.
What are the effects of negative thinking?
We all have negative thoughts and want to avoid them. Worries are born out of these thought patterns. This later develops into anxiety. If anxiety is not overcome then it may lead to panic attacks and depression.
What are the physical effects of negative thinking?
We lose our sleep or start having palpitations of the heart. These are the physical manifestations of our negative thinking. If this is not managed then it leads to panic attacks. Life seems to go out of control.
How can I stop negative thinking?
Everything that the mind perceives as a threat and produces negative thoughts related to it may not be the truth. It may be baseless. But the thoughts will not stop until they are resolved. So what can we do if that is the case. In your house you will have empty bottle, jar or maybe a box.. Label it as negative thoughts. Now you have a negative thought. You have no idea why it is coming. No problem, just write it down.
How negative thoughts affect your brain?
We all have negative thoughts and want to avoid them. Worries are born out of these thought patterns. This later develops into anxiety.
A renowned psychologist once pointed out, “We don’t have a mind. We are a mind.” On the surface, while this may sound a stupid statement, it has had far-reaching implications on developments in medical science. All our present experiences, including the condition of our physical health is determined by what goes on in the mind. Positive, optimistic thoughts strengthen and heal us, while negative thoughts can wear us down and make us ill. Slowly, but gradually, physicians are beginning to appreciate the role of the mind in the cause and remedy of illness. Our mental health, so to say, is found to be directly linked to our physical health. The way we think, the kind of moral, spiritual and religious factors that exist in our lives play a major role in our health. Basically positive thinking can impact our health.
This awareness is, however, not new. Roughly a century ago, doctors, especially in Europe, had begun to understand the role of mental and emotional circumstances in the treatment of disease. It was found that the causes of one person’s illness were rarely the same as the causes of another person’s illness. So, the doctors had to treat each patient on an individual basis. But, there was one down-side to this approach. Doctors were unable to benefit from past experiences in the treatment of any particular ailment. So, this led to a tendency among them to standardize treatments, and classify ailments. This approach, of course, didn’t take into account the individual circumstances of each patient while treating him or her. So, slowly the role of the mind was sidelined.
In a classic study in the field of cyber-physiology, American psychologist, Dr. George Solomon, discovered that people who are genetically predisposed to arthritis but are emotionally healthy prevent the disease from happening.
Dr. Solomon focussed his attention on a blood factor present in most rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. (The “rheumatoid factor” is the auto-antibody in a person’s blood system which causes the crippling disease.) He faced a rather interesting question: Why do some people remain perfectly healthy despite the presence of this menacing auto-antibody in their blood? The answer, says Dr. Solomon, lie in their psychological profile. Physically healthy relatives of arthritis sufferers who tested positive for the rheumatoid factor were, without exception, emotionally healthy.
There’s no straight forward answer. The best way to ensure a good health, or to ensure satisfying recovery from a disease is to maintain a positive outlook, something that can be accomplished through self hypnosis.
This, of course, does not mean that you just give up the medical therapy prescribed by your physician. What I am trying to say is that medical therapy alone may not be very fruitful, if the psychological side of a disease is not looked after. In fact, medical therapy and hypnotherapy often work excellently in conjunction with one another.
Also, try to lighten yourself up of the burden of the past. Previous experiences of resentment, anger, jealousy, and bitterness often block the release of healing forces from within.
The human body has an incredible disease fighting mechanism. Pre-historic man didn’t have cardiologists and ICU’s at his disposal to keep himself fit. And, it would be wrong to say that he didn’t face health problems. It was just that his psychological profile was a lot less complicated than ours, which enabled him to exploit his self-healing forces with great efficiency.
Test your Positive Thinking
To test your positive thinking, answer the following questions as honestly as you can, using this scoring system:
5: Always or Almost always
Put your score in the block on the right.
1. When something unexpected forces you to change your plans, are you quick to spot a hidden advantage in this new situation? [ ]
2. Do you like most of the people you meet? [ ]
3. When you think about next year, do you tend to think you’ll be better off than you are now? [ ]
4. Do you often stop to admire things of beauty? [ ]
5. When someone finds fault with you or something you’ve done, can you tell the difference between useful criticism and
“sour grapes” which is better off ignored? [ ]
6. Do you praise your spouse/best friend/lover more often than you criticise him or her? [ ]
7. Do you believe the human race will survive well into the twenty-first century? [ ]
8. Are you surprised when a friend lets you down? [ ]
9. Do you think you’re happy? [ ]
10. Do you feel comfortable making yourself the target of your own jokes? [ ]
11. Do you believe that, overall, your state of mind has had a positive effect on your physical health? [ ]
12. If you made a list of your 10 favourite people, would you be on it? [ ]
13. When you think back over the past few months, do you tend to remember your little success before your setbacks and
failures? [ ]
Total [ ]
If the sum of all the scores is:
above 55: Consider yourself a superstar – someone whose optimism is a powerful healing force.
50 to 55: Excellent. You’re a genuine positive thinker.
45 to 50: Good. You’re a positive thinker, sometimes.
40 to 45: Fair. Your positive side and your negative side are about evenly matched.
Below 40: Do you see any consistent negative patterns? Where could you improve?
If you scored below 50, you may practice the positive thinking affirmations given below.
You think positive. You are positive.
Life flows easily and joyfully for you.
You think of yourself only in the most positive terms.
You have total control over your life.
Your life is what you make it.
You move through life with grace and ease.
You enjoy life.
You live life to the fullest.
Your life is abundant with opportunities to contribute meaningfully to the world.
You succeed in whatever you put your mind to.
It can be done.
You’ll find a way.
You love life and its challenges.
You grow with each challenge that life has to offer.
You have a positive self image.
You use mind reprogramming techniques daily.
These powerful affirmations have been communicated to every level of your body and mind and move you in the direction of positive thinking.
Our experiences as a child affect our self confidence. Now confidence is very important. Confidence enhances our personality. We are able to step outside our comfort zone which may be necessary at times.We’ve all have had feelings of inferiority or inadequacy at some point in our lives. Why is this the case? I believe the origins of self doubt lie in childhood and adolescence, when we venture away from our parents and begin to associate with our peers. I am always touched by the emotion people feel about early childhood experiences of rejection, even ones that occurred 50 years ago. Those early failures can make an indelible impression on us and negatively impact our self confidence. Hence the key to independent living is coming to terms with our childhood. Since our culture assigns worth to adolescence in unfair ways, we’ve got to recognize that some of our early failures may have been misleading. Some of us begin to dislike aspects of ourselves very early on, as the result of humiliating failures at several tests.
There are five tests that society commonly uses for judging individuals. They are:
1. The Attractiveness test
2. The Intelligence test
3. The Status test
4. The Popularity test
5. The Production test
The Attractiveness Test
Without question the most highly valued personal attribute (at least nowadays) in our culture is physical attractiveness. Children don’t have to be too old to discover whether they are good looking or not, and it can make an enormous difference in how they view themselves. Some studies show that if you are beautiful as a child, you get more attention and better treatment, not only from children, but also from teachers. This happens as early as nursery schools. As adults, we need to look back at some of our earliest experiences with our bodies. We probably jump to negative conclusions much too soon before we realize how little our looks have to do with who we are. Even now, many of us continue to have a great deal of confusion about our body, and thus about ourselves. For one thing, we don’t have a clear idea as to how our bodies look like. And this problem seems to be getting worse. In 1985, the magazine “Psychology Today” surveyed 30,000 people about their body image. The study was designed by psychologist Thomas Kash. He made some interesting comparisons with a similar study taken 13 years earlier by the same magazine. This is what he found: In 1972, 15% of the men and 25% of the women were dissatisfied with their overall appearance. But in 1985, 34% of the men, and 38% of the women didn’t like their looks. Most of the dissatisfaction seemed to center upon weight. 41% of the men wanted to weigh less, and a startling 55% of the women thought they were over-weight. While 20% of the respondents didn’t like the way their faces looked, fully 50% of the men and 57% of the women were dissatisfied with their mid-torsos. Despite the fact that we are in an age of obsessive shaping up, and trying to look good, we are becoming more and more dissatisfied with ourselves. Perhaps the most important finding by Dr. Kash was this: There is little connection between how attractive people are, and how attractive they feel they are, particularly among women. A woman who seems quite unattractive can be quite content with her body, while another who is highly attractive can be so obsessed with every little flaw in her appearance that she feels ugly. To help overcome this major obstacle to self-confidence, the rule is this: Determine to integrate your body and your spirit. Such integration requires five steps:
1.Keep your flaws in perspective. If we have obvious physical flaws, there are two things, we are ought to do. The first is to figure out whether there is something we can do to fix the problem, and the second is to act on those findings. If exercise would help, then by all means you should exercise. If corrective surgery is reason able, then you might consider having that done. But be cautioned that surgery may not provide the solution you are looking for. Plastic surgeons have been telling us for a long time that when people are obsessed with their noses and get them fixed, it usually does little to enhance their self-images. On the other hand, you might find out that there are no corrective steps possible. For example, if you think you are too short, then there is no exercise (past a certain age, that is) that can make you taller. Once you come to terms with this you can simply put the matter out of your mind, and focus on more important things.
Fill in the following chart, regarding your experiences with the attractiveness test:
Apparent What can you do Is this really all that
flaw in to overcome it? important, or have you just
appearance magnified the effect?
————— ——————— —————————————
————— ——————— —————————————
————— ——————— —————————————
————— ——————— —————————————
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2.Avoid needless comparisons. Part of our difficulty with body image is our tendency to compare. We are constantly comparing ourselves with those being admired or those being criticized. This habit of comparing ourselves with is others exceedingly dangerous, especially if we compare ourselves with the youthful examples of perfection found on the TV screen.
3.Cultivate your senses. Our bodies are indeed ourselves. And the imperfections with which we are born are inconsequential compared to the good things our bodies can do for us. We have a great deal of control over our body. We can decide, for instance, how well we pay attention to the constant sensations coming into us. And the better we pay attention, the better we are going to feel about our body.
4.Use your body to give love. We feel better about ourselves the more we give ourselves away. And that principle applies to our bodies as much to the rest of us. When you share yourself with somebody through loving contact, they’ll usually respond in kind. While you are affirming the worth of their body and spirit, they are doing the same for you. Much of the information people gather about themselves has to do with the physical contact they receive from others. Young children form a perception of themselves, in part, by the way their bodies are handled by those who care for them. When you were a baby, your mother and father show the way they felt about who you are and the body you own, by the ways they touched you.
5.Keep your body finely tuned. Since physical health is a major contributor to our general happiness, it makes sense to treat our bodies well. Although we cannot say whether physical fitness leads to confidence or vice versa, people with good self images tend to eat better, and exercise more than those with low self confidence. An astonishing number of us almost abuse our bodies with almost a self-destructive bent.
The Intelligence Test
Although this test can be useful to a certain extent, the negative effects of failing at this test can be tremendous. In most countries, the major part of educational funds is spent, either on gifted students – students with high IQ’s, or on students with low IQ’s – who are mentally handicapped but trainable. Between these two extremes are students with mid-range IQ’s, students who are often called “Average.” These children are made fun of by their peers and are often overlooked by their teachers. As a result, they hold an image of themselves as stupid, and this image can last long beyond their school years. The problem with IQ tests is that they are not completely accurate. They don’t take into account certain factors that may be holding the student back from better performance. The factors which could lead to poor test performance include slow motor co-ordination, a lack of fluency in the language of instruction, and a restrictive family atmosphere.
The Status Test
When you were growing up, if your parents had a bigger house than others, and if you had more money than others, your self esteem was elevated with high self confidence. If your parents were prominent in the community, and all your teachers knew they were important people, you had clout. If on the other hand, you had a parent who was known for some scandal, or if your parents were poor, it was hard to hold your head high. If you have workaholic tendencies, your relationships may suffer because you always put projects above people. Typical workaholics have few friends beyond their spouses. People who are addicted to work, are really not as effective as they like to think. Many studies show that such people do more but accomplish less. They give the appearance of doing a lot of work, but in the long run, they often don’t accomplish as much as the slow but steady worker. High achievers are committed to results whereas the workaholic is simply committed to activity.
Here are 7 guidelines for curing workaholic tendencies:
1.Engage in some honest reappraisal of your work patterns. You might want to ask your family or close friends for their opinion on your work habits. This will have a two fold benefit. First, it will give you a more objective view of yourself. And second, you’ll get some indication as to whether your obsessive behavior is sabotaging your relationships.
2.Examine your ethical and spiritual priorities. Are you working at such a frenzy because the job is actually that important to you, or has it simply become a way of living – a habitual compulsion. By looking beyond your job, you may be able to find some activities that are more satisfying and enriching.
3.Spend some time outdoors. I find that nature has a calming effect on people. Too many urban people go for days without taking note of the whether, the color of the trees, the movement of the stars. I believe, we were all made to be outdoors part of everyday.
4.Become deliberate in the way you control your schedule. For example, if your work till 9 every evening, that’s your choice. But, you may have forgotten why you work that late each day. See if your schedule can be modified so that you can come home at 5 three nights a week.
5.Take time for people who are important. We’re all given the same amount of time in a day, and it’s vital to devote some of this time to the people in our lives.
6.Make time for play. Play with your child, or your dog, time to become like a little child, time to enjoy life as it is.
7. Devote yourself to regular spiritual disciplines. The people who are happy with the way life is going on, invariably turn out to be ones who regularly have a daily appointment with their spirits through regular prayers, meditations, etc.
The above discussion should help you re-evaluate your self-worth in a new light. Try to reflect on the areas in which you were criticized, and try to clear your mind of these hang ups. It is important to make your mind free of all these negative thoughts from the past to improve your self confidence.
Our experiences as a child affect our self confidence. Now confidence is very important. Confidence enhances our personality. We are able to step outside our comfort zone which may be necessary at times.
What impacts our self confidence?
Ou We’ve all have had feelings of inferiority or inadequacy at some point in our lives. Why is this the case? I believe the origins of self doubt lie in childhood and adolescence, when we venture away from our parents and begin to associate with our peers. r experiences as a child affect our self confidence.
What are the five childhood tests of Self confidence?
There are five tests that society commonly uses for judging individuals. They are: 1. The Attractiveness test 2. The Intelligence test 3. The Status test 4. The Popularity test 5. The Production test
A lot of individuals are guilty of attempting to undertake their goals in life utilizing a series of trial and error approaches. They arbitrarily throw their energy out there with all their might on the few steps they acknowledge, believing that this will get them to their destination.
They handle their goals in a hit-or-miss approach, and then hope that everything will turn for the better ultimately. Although it might work in the short-term and on littler goals, it doesn’t work with huge, long-run goals. For instance, you might get away with dropping off 5 lbs of weight by simply eating less and working out more, but to drop off additional weight and sustain that weight loss calls for proper strategy.
A lot of individuals have this misconceived notion of goal accomplishment as they only come into contact with the events of others’ goals. They’re not tangled in all the thought-processes, intricacies and literal planning that went into the accomplishment of those goals.
Have a look at Olympians. They don’t win their medals because they merely blindly train daily. There are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes, like training by the most beneficial coaches, suitable diets, self-help courses to put them in the correct mindset, studying the correct techniques, and so forth. Microsoft didn’t get to where it is today because of luck. It was by conscious strategic and preparation that allowed the company to carve its particular niche in the market.
There are five crucial steps for successful goal accomplishment. These five steps are:
Implement: Implement the techniques to succeed in the goal
Planning: Create a realistic specific plan based on the techniques
Execution: Take action on the plan and goal
Recap: Evaluate the outcome and future steps
By following these steps, you will discover that you might be able to target your goals in life that seemed difficult in the past. Goals you never believed doable will begin coming within your reach. I personally utilize this framework to accomplish my long run goals and it’s worked marvels in achieving my goals.
While these five steps appear very easy by themselves, they’re the core of successful goal achievements, particularly for big goals where the ‘What’ and ‘How’ toward accomplishing them becomes subtle. That being stated, this is not a miracle pill which omits the hard work to accomplish goals. At the end of the day, you still need to put in the time and energy for your goals. You’ll begin seeing your goals come to fruition and wonder why you fought so long with them in the first place.
There are five crucial steps for successful goal accomplishment. These five steps are: Visualize: First visualize the goal Implement: Implement the techniques to succeed in the goal Planning: Create a realistic specific plan based on the techniques Execution: Take action on the plan and goal Recap: Evaluate the outcome and future steps
Why do people fail to achieve their goals in life?
A lot of individuals are guilty of attempting to undertake their goals in life utilizing a series of trial and error approaches. They handle their goals in a hit-or-miss approach, and then hope that everything will turn for the better ultimately. Although it might work in the short-term and on littler goals, it doesn’t work with huge, long-run goals