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The Power of the Mind

They say that we only use about 10% of our brain power and I’m not sure how they measure it, but I can well believe that’s true.

The question is, of the thinking power we use in an average day, how much time is taken up with constructive, positive thinking, and how much is taken up by fears and anxieties?

The power of the mind can be put to good use in building us up when we start to crumble. “Pull yourself together”, “you can do it” – we often need to give ourselves a little pep talk through the day, often to good effect. We can go further – David Hamilton PhD describes “How your mind can heal your body”, and it’s fascinating to think what untapped resources we have within us. I have no doubt that if we can harness this power then we can improve our health.

The other side of the coin is that negative thoughts can be incredibly damaging. Anger, frustration, self-pity, fear – they can drag us down and stop us from moving forward.

The link between stress and illness is widely recognised. Stress is made up of a combination of negative thoughts: “I can’t do it”, “I have too much to do and I’ll never manage it”, “did I do it right?”, “do they think I did it right?”, “it’s not fair”, “why are they so useless”, “it’s going wrong and there’s nothing I can do about it”, “what if something bad happens?”, “how will I cope?”. These negative thoughts can spiral out of control, they can consume our conscious thought and take hold of us in a way that positive thoughts don’t seem to be able to do. They affect the physical body – increased heart rate, shallow breathing, muscle tension etc. They divert the body’s resources from things like digestion and wound-healing. Too many negative thoughts over too long a period lead to disease.

So the task is to replace the negative thoughts, as far as possible, with positive ones.

I don’t think we should supress the negative thoughts. We should acknowledge them, try to understand them, rationalise them, then move on. Share the thought with someone, and by hearing yourself explain it, you might realise how crazy it is and that might help the moving on process. Write it down, then write down a response or a list of steps you can take to improve the situation.

The trouble is that negative emotions, in particular fear, sells. It sells newspapers. It sells toilet cleaners, dental products, flu remedies, deodorant. I’m not suggesting we don’t need these things, but fear-based messages can tap into and exaggerate an already unhealthy level of anxiety.

We should not live in fear. But hold on, that’s a double negative. If I’m thinking about not living in fear then I’m actually living in fear of fear.

I don’t believe in the word ‘not’ where thinking is concerned. “Don’t think about pink elephants”. “Don’t worry about this bridge breaking” (well I wasn’t until you said that…). I think it’s best to avoid a negative. There’s a subtle difference between “you don’t need to be worried” and “everything’s fine”, but I think it’s an important one.

For the good of your health, keep looking for positive thoughts all the time. Focus on what you have to feel thankful for. Acknowledge the beauty in everything. Be confident in your own ability. Feel empowered.

Sometimes we need help to get out of a negative 'trough' and back into positive thinking. Homeopathy is an example of a holistic therapy that can help with the process of moving forward, by stimulating your own healing response. Whether an event has stopped you in your tracks and you're struggling to get back to normal, or maybe you're just feeling low for no apparent reason, you may benefit from a consultation. Get in touch to see how homeopathy could help you.

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