We can improve the quality of our life and also heal ourselves by empowering the mind. To master our mind we need to control our thoughts.
"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve
— Napoleon Hill
We all know that mind and body are interconnected. Mental suffering can manifest in the form of a physical disorder or disease and vice versa. Painful life events can often trigger diseases even cancer. Many times it is the delusions, distorted perceptions of situations that cause mental stress in a person. These perceptions may not have a realistic basis but for the person experiencing such emotions, it is very much real.
Researchers working on the body-mind connection, have come across many instances of patients who declined conventional medical treatment and experienced remission spontaneously from seemingly incurable diseases. It has also been noticed that emotions like fear, loneliness, pessimism, and depression can make the body sick whereas love, optimism, faith, and relationships can cure you.
This has made the new age health care professionals to be increasingly aware of the ability of the body to heal itself aided by a positive mindset, proper lifestyle, right diet, and good relationships. For this, the doctors and the patients need to play an active role in enhancing the self-healing capacity of the body. Modern medical professionals are of the opinion that our bodies have natural self-repair mechanisms that can be activated or disabled based on thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that originate in the mind. Example the placebo or nocebo effect.
So what is the Placebo effect?
The Placebo effect
In clinical trials when patients are given sugar pills or fake surgery,18 to 80 % of them get better. Neither the doctor nor the patient knows which patient gets the real medicine and which one gets the fake. Measurable physiological changes were observed in these patients. Similarly, the opposite is also true. It is also observed that the mind can not only heal the body, but it can harm the body. It is the Nocebo effect. When doctors tell the patients of the side effects of treatment, an equal number of people get these side effects even though they were only administered the sugar pills or had fake surgery.
This proves that the mind and the body are linked and that psychological factors can affect the physical and vice versa. What can we do to enhance our body’s self-repair ability? In order to be healthy, we need healthy relationships, healthy professions, healthy creative and spiritual life, and more importantly a healthy mind. Belief in yourself, being active, having nurturing relationships, being intuitive, leading a meaningful life is a prescription to a healthy, energetic, and vital life.
The mind is not just the brain. It consists of thoughts, emotions, feelings, beliefs, and images. The brain is the hardware that helps us experience these mental states. Each positive or negative mental state has a physical effect on the body. For example, a state of anxiety causes stress hormones to increase in the body.
So how do we master our minds to achieve the maximum of our potential?
For that let us first see what the mind is made up of. The two major components of the mind are the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.
The Conscious mind
Everything that we see, hear and smell, and touch are absorbed by our conscious mind. Awareness about ourselves and the world around us is a function of our conscious mind. This information is stored in our memory. The conscious mind has a short memory and is limited in capacity. Freud compared the conscious mind to the tip of the Iceberg which extends above the water and beneath the water is the bulk of the iceberg which represents the subconscious mind where all the information gathered by the conscious mind is stored and from where it can be retrieved when the need arose.
The information received by the conscious mind is stored in our subconscious mind and can be retrieved by the conscious mind anytime. Perceptions, feelings, and thoughts formed by our conscious mind are stored in our subconscious mind. The conscious mind is constantly focused on the present. So it is important for us to be mindful of our inner thoughts and feelings related to a particular situation. Because the subconscious fires the same emotions and reactions in similar circumstances later also. We have to be extremely careful about what we feed our minds and make it a habit to eliminate negative thoughts and emotions the moment they are formed in the conscious mind, and before they get stored in the subconscious mind. Negative thoughts produce harmful effects on our physical health resulting in illnesses and loss of vitality.
Effect of Negative Thoughts on the Mind
Our mind focuses on negative thoughts habitually due to past experiences. The solution lies in training our subconscious mind continuously with positive energy. Feeding our mind with positive thoughts as soon as negative thoughts start to form is important. There are two methods to do this. One is to empty the mind of all thought and the other is to focus on the breath, on the inhalation and exhalation. This brings stability and focuses to the mind. Expressing emotions like gratitude, and appreciation induce happiness. Smiling as often as possible and looking for reasons to laugh helps heal and fill the mind with positivity.
Negative thoughts change the biochemistry of our mind. These thoughts increase cortisol, the stress hormone in our blood, weakening our immunes system. It also inhibits the action of white blood cells, increase chances of infection, promotes weight gain. Thoughts we hold in our minds are very important. Often the situations do not create stress, our psychological reaction to the situation cause anxiety. We create our anxiety. When we actually understand this truth we realize that we can control our anxiety, not the situation. Our thoughts control our life so we need to choose our thoughts wisely.
The Bhagavad Gita on Mind Management
Chapter 6: Text 5-Sankhya-yoga
atmaiva hy atmano bandhur
atmaiva ripur atmanah
"A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well."
The essence of mind management is explained by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. He advises us to take responsibility for our life. It is up to us whether we uplift or degrade ourselves. It is within us to elevate ourselves through knowledge and the right effort. We can make anything happen with the right attitude. The mind can be our friend or an enemy, whichever we choose.
Often, we are so preoccupied with negative self-talk that we fail to see our positive qualities, our capabilities. Because of which we fail to attain the success we deserve or have the potential for. Lord Krishna says that each one of us is capable of making this change. Control over the body, mind, and intellect is the key to achieve greatness. We become our own enemy when we let the mind rule according to its whims and fancies.
How to Master your Subconscious Mind
The other methods to enhance your subconscious mind are:
- Risk-Taking: By welcoming Innovation, change, we open ourselves to grow beyond what we already are. Successful people are known to take risks constantly. A Comfort zone in any area can result in stagnation and lack of motivation to excel.
- Inquisitive questioning: Framing questions to your subconscious mind often, so that it will search for the answers or best solutions, will empower it. The subconscious is designed to help us get answers or solve problems. For example, ask what else is possible to solve a difficult situation. The subconscious mind goes in search of the best possible answer to the question.
- Expectation: Change your expectations and repeat it to create new ones in your subconscious. Positive expectations are powerful. Nurturing self-confidence and success will generate positive expectations. Teach your mind that you are already this. Consciously being aware of joyful experiences, noticing things that bring you happiness, trains your brain to subconsciously search for more.
- Meditation: Right brain is the home of the subconscious mind. Meditation engages the right brain to tap into creative energy. Meditation on a regular basis makes one calmer, balanced, and energetic. Relaxation helps the body to heal physically and mentally.
- Auto-suggestion: Practice ways of loving yourself without the need of approval from others. Altering your subconscious mind to benefit is a practice. Practice positive auto-suggestions and empower yourself to achieve your goals. Repeating a positive mantra helps overcome difficulties and fear.
- Finding your life’s goal: Having a lofty goal and working toward achieving this goal, monitoring the progress along the path and the joy of achieving it will motivate the subconscious to search for new goals and steps to achieve them.
The subconscious mind is a powerhouse with unlimited capacity and we have the choice to reprogram it to work in our favor or be a slave to it.
This leads us to the question What is the purpose of our life? How do we find it?
How do we find this purpose?
The answer is simple. To care about something deeply gives us a purpose, a meaning to our life. This explains why people who are passionate about something are full of energy and happier. Parents who care and strive for their families are so fulfilled just doing that. To experience fulfillment, we must invest our energies in some creative pursuit. We often see people who take up their childhood hobbies and passions as adults find renewed enthusiasm in life.
Your purpose may seem futile to others, but that does not matter. As long as it gives you that sense of wonder and joy. It may not be grand or groundbreaking but it is something which you care about deeply. The rest builds up on its own. To create is our inherent nature. We get inspired by those who achieve greatness against all odds. We are born to achieve greatness and it is up to us to choose the path towards achieving it.
So when neuroscience has proved that thoughts can make us sick, the converse is also true. Good thoughts can make us healthy, happy, and live life to the full potential. The best way to do this is to control the mind and not let the mind control us. Meditation and mindfulness can help us in this journey in such a way that we do not depend on external objects to be happy.
These tools not only help to break bad habits but also heal illnesses. Learning to love and be compassionate towards ourselves is the first step to success. So, let us empower our minds and lead a meaningful life. The true secret of happiness is within ourselves. We only need to recognize it. So let us start to believe in ourselves, trust people, think positive, meditate, know our purpose.
As Dr.Joe Dispenza quotes “Knowledge is power but knowledge about yourself is self-empowerment.” Life is a gift, let us experience joy, love, and meaning and make it a memorable experience.
How to Unlock the Full Potential of your Mind
Bhagavad Gita- https://asitis.com/6/5.html
Words of wisdom quotes-pinterest.com
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 VIDYA D SAGAR
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on November 28, 2020:
Thanks Peggy for the visit and the kind comments. Neuroscientists also believe that a positive outlook has a profound positive impact on our health and well-being.
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on November 28, 2020:
Thanks Gopalkrishna for the visit and the nice comments. Yes I believe we can conquer pain by conquering hatred, anger, greed, and replacing it with love, compassion and empathy.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 27, 2020:
Having a positive outlook can definitely enhance our lives in many ways.
Gopalakrishna Nonavinakere on November 27, 2020:
Nice explanation. Body and mind connection is simply superb. Pain and sufferrings are just our own making with right approach and self training we concur pain, anger and suffering.
Lucidly expained by you.
VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on November 27, 2020:
Hi Pamela, thanks for the visit and the kind comments. I have some friends who are cheerful by nature and also have a great sense of humor, who enjoy very good health. So it got me thinking about the mind body connection and inspired me to write this article. Dr.Joe Dispenza's videos are so motivating and helpful.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 27, 2020:
This is an excellent well-written article. I absolutely believe our thoughts and our attitude is important to our health and happiness. You spelled that out very well.
My sister went to a conference for Dr.Joe Dispenza and she loved it. I think it changed her frame of mind. Thanks for a very interesting article, Vidya.