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.
I think positive. I am positive.
Life flows easily and joyfully for me.
I think of myself only in the most positive terms.
I have total control over my life.
My life is what I make it.
I move through life with grace and ease.
I enjoy life.
I live life to the fullest.
My life is abundant with opportunities to contribute meaningfully to the world.
I succeed in whatever I put my mind to.
I will always find a way.
I love life and its challenges.
I grow with each challenge that life has to offer.
I have a positive self image.
I use mind reprogramming techniques daily.
These powerful affirmations have been communicated to every cell of your body and mind at every level and will move you in the direction of positive thinking.