The teachers of positive thinking have long said that the mind and thoughts have the power to influence the physical and to bring about what we think about. This belief has been based on nothing more than faith and has worked for countless numbers. Now science has jumped on it and is starting to “discover” what has already been known for thousands of years to those that are truly enlightened.
Scientific discovery of the power of mind
Interestingly, “researchers are just starting to appreciate the power that the mind can have over the body,” says Tor Wager, an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia University in the United States. This statement was made after it was found in studies that some people actually got better when they were given placebo drugs, which are actually not real drugs but harmless pills meant to make the patient think they are taking medication for their illness.
Chuck Park was a depressed patient who got better after a few weeks of taking sugar pills which he thought were antidepressants. After he was told that he was not getting the real drug Park said “I guess I wanted it to work — and in a way, it did.” In a very big way it did. Just the thought that he was getting medication and the expectation that he would get better actually made him better.
Also, “there have always been people who have said that we could make ourselves better by positive thinking,” says Dr. Michael Selzer, professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “After pooh-poohing this for years, here are studies that show that our thoughts may actually interact with the brain in a physical way.”
Just to add more understanding to this phenomenon, science has taken this knowledge a step further. Using PET scanners and MRIs to look at brain activity in patients who respond to placebo; researchers have found that the dummy drugs actually lead to changes in brain chemistry.
So the thoughts that these patients have of getting better actually leads their brains to get better physically in a very visible way. “An emerging idea right now is that belief in a placebo taps into processes in your brain that produce physical results that really shape how your body responds to things,” says Dr Selzer. “The brain has much more control over the body than we can voluntarily exert.”
Your mind as a creative masterpiece
The point is that positive thinking and mind over matter work. All you need to do is believe this truth to utilize its immense potential. The book of Proverbs says of a man, “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Many people have utilised this truth that don’t even believe in God and it has worked for them. Now science is starting to understand the immense power of thought. Doubting these amazing discovery is at your own peril and destruction.
Believe in the truth that your thoughts are the key to your destiny and your future. It cannot be put any simpler. But you must first be clear on what your thoughts are. What is your dream? Have you thought it out in all the detail that is required to enable your mind to feed on it and bring it to pass?
Jim Rohn gives a great example of this process of being clear on your dreams and your thoughts. He says before he built his first home he would take friends and associates over to the vacant property and give them a tour of the house. That wasn’t just pointing out to them where the house would be, but actually taking them through the house room by room and describing everything in the house in great detail. He says “One day, I made the house so real that one of my friends bumped his elbow on the fireplace. I mean, it was that real.” In his mind it was so real that he started interacting with it long before it was physically there.
That is how clear you need to be with how you want to live your life. Leave nothing out. Make it detailed in your mind. Fill in all the gaps. Whether it’s a wonderful family, a successful career, a thriving business or a luxury car you want, you must have it very clearly in your mind. Most importantly, once you have the right thoughts, you must think them often and believe that they will materialize in the physical world.
The power of faith.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen,” according to the Apostle Paul. So if you believe something, then you have its substance and you have evidence that it exists. It’s just a matter of time before it fully manifests. As long as you don’t give up and don’t doubt this fact.
Change your thinking,change your life.
So powerful is the realization that thoughts have the ability to influence the physical that scientists are now using this knowledge to control pain. Using the same MRI techniques, one patient who was having severe pain for years following an injury she had had to her arm was made to watch images of her brain and see which areas are most active when she was feeling pain and then to see which areas became more active when she thought pleasant thoughts that lessened the pain. Over time she learnt how to voluntarily switch on the parts of the brain that relieved the pain through her thoughts. The patient later said “I think the most incredible thing was to see that scan of my brain constantly producing pain. And then to actually gain control over the pain, to see that I had that power — even when I was making myself feel worse — was amazing to me.”
Finally, William James said that “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives”. Start using the immense power of your mind to change the outcome of your life.
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