There is increasing proof that the mind is more powerful than we realize.
We can think our way to financial success, rewarding relationships, and even good health.
Medical researchers now say that in many cases, a placebo – a pill with nothing in it, has greater benefit than actual drugs. If told that the placebo is the strongest drug available, patients will believe it, and feel better than if they took real medicine.
Similarly, when told the pills were fake, patients returned to deteriorating health.
There is no scientific proof yet, but a growing number of people report having experienced real-life injuries after just thinking or dreaming about them. Some report having burn marks after dreaming about being caught in a fire.
Can the mind really be this powerful?
When my grandmother died, I was convinced that she had “willed” herself to death. She deliberately hung in there until she knew the rest of the family was okay. Once she knew that, she let go. Her mind, still functioning to the last possible second, seemed to be controlling the state of her organs.
When we wake up just 2 minutes before our alarm clock, dream of something which comes true, or experience “ah ha!’ moments, we are witnessing the work of a machine – the brain – that seems to have no limits.
If we accept the fact that our mind has far greater potential than we are using – how can we train it to give us the life we want? Is there a method or series of tools to literally “hack” into this amazing potential?
New research says the answer is yes.
You have two brains
Believe it or not, we have two minds. One is called the higher brain, while the other is its lower, more primitive cousin. The higher brain is calm, reflective and analytical. It is responsible for creating art, culture and music. It can reason things out, be innovative and produce effective solutions. It is, in many ways, the best of us.
The lower brain is reactive. It has a long memory and tends to react to things based on the past without regard to current circumstances. This part of the mind has a specific purpose – to alert us to danger and force us to respond.
It has its place – but, the lower mind, for many people today, has taken over.
Impossible schedules, over-work and an unstable world have all helped put the lower brain on center stage where fear, anxiety, suspicion and depression rule the day.
The problem has become so acute that leading stress expert Don Joseph Goewey, author of “The End of Stress”, says we have all become “stress-a-holics”.
The lower brain feeds itself with more and more fear to the point where we are in a constant state of “high alert” resulting in poor decisions, badly managed relationships and, in the words of Goewey, eventual death!
Rewire your brain to replace the lower end with the higher end
Science has learned that we can train ourselves to minimize the lower, primitive mind so that the “higher” mind takes over. You can start this process right now. The experts say it will take 8 weeks of daily practice to become engrained.
Rewiring the way your brain works will lead to the elimination of needless stress so that you can become your best – not just once in a while, but every single day. Rather than being frustrated from the moment you get up in the morning, each day will be an adventure that you’ll be eager to embark upon.
You’ll be healthier, more radiant and more in control.
The key is knowing this: the lower, primitive mind cannot distinguish between real threats and imagined threats.
Much of your day is spent worrying about things that are PERCEIVED threats – not real dangers.
Once we convince ourselves that what we’re afraid of is not real, then our mind is free to focus on what is important to us – our relationships, our job or business, and just loving life.
Over 80 per cent of people accept stress as a fact of life
Most people do absolutely nothing to reduce the stress in their lives. When asked if stress can be stopped, almost everyone says “no”. Technically, that is true. The things which make us stressed – traffic jams, long line-ups, work deadlines – will always be there.
But our attitude towards these things can change.
We cannot just throw up our hands and give up on ourselves.
We can, and we must, remap our mind so that the lower “reactive” brain, which causes us to yell when stuck in traffic, is replaced with the higher brain’s attitude and belief system, which says “Now I have more time to think about today’s agenda.”
You have choices
The problem with the lower brain is that it doesn’t recognize the fact that we have choices. Instead, it simply reacts. It’s actually doing its job because when we really are threatened, we need to push back and ask questions later.
But the vast majority of circumstances in our lives do not warrant the knee-jerk reaction we provide. Our addiction to speed forces us to react, rather than think.
But stopping, pausing and thinking are choices we need to recognize.
7 steps to your higher self
In order to ensure that the higher mind is more active, here are my seven recommended steps.
1. First, recognize that your lower mind is important. It’s there to protect you, but also know that it need not be on all of the time. From now on, your 24-7 state of heightened alert will be gone. The default is now a neutral, relaxed state – and the lower mind will only be used when necessary.
2. Remind yourself daily that you have a choice – to see things in a bad light, or to enjoy the possible advantages of any given situation. Will a work deadline make you nervous and sick, or will you see it as a welcome challenge to your skills and intelligence? Will you fear other people, or take the time to get to know them? Will you condemn, or will you ask questions? Know that you have the option of NOT getting upset or angry.
3. Make it your goal to learn one new thing each day. This goal will allow you to view the day differently because each so-called adverse scenario will carry learning opportunities. Your day is no longer about “survival” – it’s now about growth.
4. Take 10 minutes each day to just be quiet. Turn off all electronics. Close your eyes, listen to your breathing. Focus on peace.
5. Exercise as much as you can. Many people dread exercise and don’t like the fact that it takes time. I’m one of them. I motivate myself by listening to my favorite jazz music while I work out. I do it for the music, and it works. It’s proven that exercise can eliminate mild depression and slow aging.
6. When we’re upset, we can’t think straight. We lash out and often regret the things we say. Our lower mind will always be ready to ignite. We cannot stop it, but we can reduce the time it is active. Tell yourself to be quiet so that your higher mind can have time to weigh in. With practice, you will be able to shrink the time your lower mind is on its tirade.
7. See yourself as who you really are – a loving person who deserves respect. How we see ourselves is how others will also see us. Our level of self-esteem can help us reject imaginary threats and both accept, and embrace, what is real.
If you take only one thing away from this article today, make it this: doing nothing about excessive stress is not an option.
The medical profession has known for some time that many of our ailments are directly connected to stress levels.
It’s time to change the way we see things – to live life as the adventure, and not struggle, it was meant to be.