Clara first came to me because she had a strong physical reaction to her stressful thoughts. At the time, she didn’t understand that one’s inability to control their stress can actually hurt their body.
We know that nothing constructive can be accomplished when stress takes over. This meant that the first step was to end the fight-or-flight response, allowing Clara the ability to relax.
By taking a few guided, relaxing breaths, she activated the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for “rest and digest,” a relaxed state for the body and mind where her body could work again. In just a couple of seconds, I could hear her stomach rumbling, her body was able to work efficiently, and her immune system was finally supporting her.
It was after that I asked her to visualize a lemon, to imagine the color, shape, and size of it. Then, I asked her to imagine cutting it into two pieces and to notice the juice that comes out of it. She was envisioning the pulp and as many other details as she could. After she had time to do this, I asked her to imagine putting the lemon in her mouth and to bite into it. From the look on her face, it isn’t something she often did or would consider trying anytime soon. When I saw her swallowing the saliva that the lemon thought experiment had created, I stopped the test and asked her to open her eyes again. Still reacting to the sourness, she quickly understood that the power of her imagination led to a physical response in her body.
She was surprised to discover that her salivary glands had secreted from the power of one thought, along with the memory of a lemon being sour.
“Does it mean my body can react to any of my thoughts?” She asked.
We then considered how her body could respond to her negative thoughts.
I asked, “What are your body’s reactions to negative thoughts then?”
Well, she already knew the answer to my question; she had come to me because of these physical reactions she had been having for the past couple of months.
The body reacts to one’s thoughts – both the good thoughts and the bad ones.
“Where thought goes, blood flows”
Think about your body like a car that is driven wherever the driver’s thoughts bring it to. Would you lend your car to an unlicensed driver?
Our thoughts are influenced by what our senses are exposed to over the course of a day, week, or month, etc. Shouldn’t we learn how the mind works to make our lives better by using it to our advantage? If we don’t know our own mind, then this means that other people will likely know our mind better than we do, and we won’t be able to use it in an advantageous way.
Without the proper knowledge, we are very much left alone with uncontrolled thoughts that may cause anxiety, depression, harm, loneliness, and/or stress.
Allowing a negative thought to reign our minds without control is like letting a child paint without being watched and expecting there to be no mess.
Thoughts don’t have to be good all the time, but there are a few tools to make them more positive if negative thoughts occur too frequently and start to adversely affect you, including:
- If the image of the beach is a relaxing image for you, go ahead and think about it for a couple of seconds. This will allow your body to make a relaxing association because when your mind is naturally relaxed, your body will feel relaxed, too.
- Keep in mind the power that your imagination has over your body because the more you acknowledge it, the less likely you will be to let anything negative enter your mind. You would never take a knife and cut your arm because you know that it would hurt, and it doesn’t serve any purpose. You wouldn’t even think about it, and yet, you don’t do this for your mind. Negative thoughts are acceptable when they are in motion. Emotion is Energy in motion, it is okay when it comes and goes, but it isn’t meant to stay. When you realize this, you unconsciously start to prevent negative thought from remaining.
- Breathe, my friend. The strongest weapon we have is one that we are constantly using without even thinking about it. Breathing consciously through your belly for a couple of seconds stimulates the vagus nerve, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system that is responsible for restoring, repairing, and strengthening the body. This state should be activated for as long as 20 hours per day. It is simply preventive medicine.
- You might live in a stressful city or work in a stressful environment, but no one or no thing should have the power of placing stress on you. A stressful situation doesn’t mean you have to be affected by stress. See yourself moving in a bubble of peace when you are in a noisy environment. You, and only you, have the power to control your own well being. Don’t give it away to anyone or anything, as this is a precious power.
- Each time you smile, you throw a small “feel-good” party in your brain. The “feel-good” neurotransmitters, known as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, are all released when a smile flashes across your face. This not only relaxes your body, but it can also lower your heart rate, reduce high blood pressure, and alleviate pain. Smiling is 100% natural with no negative side effects. It leaves you feeling lighter and happier. But, BE CAREFUL! It’s contagious.
Consider using these tools. You could even give them a try right now!