With the December holiday just around the corner and the gyms and health clubs overflowing with the “fly-by-night”, would-be fanatics hoping to drop a few kilos and get into shape quickly before heading to the beach…
How many have really stopped to think for a moment what the most powerful force is that influences our bodies…?
Here’s a hint:
It’s the heaviest organ in the human body and, despite many guys having an ego trip when hearing that statement, it’s the determining factor of how we look and feel about ourselves… I’m referring of course to the BRAIN.
Many studies and experiments have been done to show and prove how our thoughts impact our physiology.
One such study, the famous (at least in medical circles) Women’s Health Initiative Study – which followed a multi-ethnic group of nearly 94,000 women aged between 50 and 79 years, for several years – found that women with depressive feelings had a 50% higher risk of death, even after taking care of stress factors such as relationships, education, income, and traditional heart disease risk factors. [Wassertheil-Smoller S, Shumaker S, Ockene J, Talavera GA, Greenland P, et al. 2004. Depression and cardiovascular sequelae in postmenopausal women. The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). Arch. Intern. Med. 164:28998]
From a neuroplasticity perspective the negative thinking circuits that we have set up in our brain will not necessarily fade by establishing further positive thought circuits, simply because it’s the negative circuits that must be deactivated. Yet deeply ingrained negative thoughts, emotions and/or behaviour patterns are often so persistent that they are very difficult to shut off.
As a result, they constantly reinforce the dysfunctional wiring that supports them… (Hello catch 22)
So what do we have to DO about it…?
This is where the potential of mental silence becomes evident.
When our mind becomes overwhelmed with the burden of many different but more or less dysfunctional thinking patterns, quite possibly the best solution is a period of mental silence… literally as a mental “circuit breaker”. Meditation can provide the kind of down time necessary for those entrenched neural circuits that have been built up around, and hence perpetuating, each set of negative thoughts, to start disassembling. Mental silence is a “time out” for the brain that might well provide the ideal environment for the positive effects of plasticity to occur. So, when we find that positive thinking is not working it may be best to try a dose of non-thinking.
And if you find that shutting up that nagging little voice in your head to be a bit of a tall order to take on by yourself, remember there is always help right at your fingertips by contacting your friendly neighbourhood hypnotist.
Yours in health and happiness.
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