The latest issue of New Scientist arrived in my mailbox last week. The cover article was about how our minds can literally create a healthier body.
The article starts with this quote: “Our minds aren’t passive observers simply observing reality as it is; our minds actually change reality. The reality we experience tomorrow is partly the product of the mindsets we hold today.”
Now some people could dismiss this as New Age, feel-good talk. However, this is what Alia Crum, who heads the Mind & Body Lab at Stanford University, told the audience at this year’s World Economic Forum. And she knows what she is talking about. Her lab has years of research showing just that.
For years positive thinking and believing that our minds (and hearts) can have a direct influence on our bodies and greater lives was considered wishful thinking. However, we now have study after study that show otherwise. The truth is that we are way more powerful than we think we are. The only thing standing in our way is just that, how we think.
The article in the New Scientist explores some of the experiments that I have shared with my clients over the years. These experiments help shed light on our own power and ability to shift our lives, our realities with relatively little effort. I believe we are inherently designed for ease, for freedom, for love and for grace. When we live our days from that state of being, then our daily tasks, efforts, behaviors, and goals become more enjoyable and rewarding.
The article explores how we already trick, or program ourselves through our beliefs about everyday things through our own expectations. The placebo and nocebo are alive and well in America—we just don’t readily recognize it. For example, volunteers who were told their water contained caffeine has increased alertness and raised blood pressure despite it being pure water. It was all through the power of suggestion and expectation, but the physical effects were real. A nocebo effect was documented in another experiment where all volunteers were given the same milkshake. Half were told it was “healthy” while the other half were told it was an “indulgent treat.” The group that believed they had drunk a healthy drink had higher levels of a hormone (ghrelin) that regulates hunger and slows down metabolism. So in effect, those who thought they had had something healthy, had higher hunger levels afterwards and a slower metabolism. Over the years, Alia Crum and the team of researchers has documented many other ways in which our mindset can harm or benefit our health.
So that begs the question, what thoughts do you have about your life, your health, your future that do not serve you? If our mindsets are more powerful than we previously thought, then it is important first to observe them, decide how we want to think instead and go about changes those thought patterns and beliefs. As Alia Crum has shown, once our minds (and hearts) are aligned properly, our bodies will follow.
To read the full article go here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23931920-600-how-a-positive-mind-really-can-create-a-healthier-body/