“There is a mind-body connection that is real and powerful.” – Monique Twello (Harvard)
- Breakthrough study from Stanford University reveals that our thoughts have a profound affect on our life and longevity.
- People who think they are healthy will live significantly longer than people who think they are unhealthy.
- Doctors encouraged to treat patients with positive thinking.
It is one of the oldest philosophical debates: do thoughts control life?
One side of the argument says that hell no, thoughts dont control reality, get real.
Many people have called it a stupid, romantic notion, the idea that simply thinking something could make it true. After all, how could something that occurs only in the mind possibly effect the entirety of our external reality?
On the flipside of the coin are those people who have felt first-hand what it feels like when the mind does indeed control their life—for better or worse.
They know firsthand what Roman poet Horace meant when he said, “Rule your mind or your mind will rule you.”
What does it feel like when the mind is controlling your reality?
The mind can create a heaven or hell.
Just look at this shocking (and enlightening) article on negative thoughts.
Stress can literally destroy our world.
I have personally suffered what is called Acute Stress Disorder. This was a time when my thoughts controlled my life in a bad way.
PsychCentral says Acute Stress Disorder is “characterized by the development of severe anxiety, dissociative, and other symptoms that occurs within one month after exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor (e.g., witnessing a death or serious accident).”
The mind was controlling my reality at this time. My mind was creating a hellish reality. I was suffering from negative thoughts. Those negative thoughts made me stay in bed all day. I did no exercise, barely moved at all, and was essentially living in a personal hell.
Negative thoughts will create a painful reality.
I challenge naysayers to tell someone who is suffering from anxiety or depression that the mind does not control reality. I assure you their mental scars prove otherwise.
Not all is darkness, though.
The mind can create a heavenly life
I have been training my mind for positivity for five years now and I know firsthand that the mind can create a reality of splendor and wonder.
Most spiritualists will agree with that.
The mind can create a heaven.
It can create a hell too.
Heaven and hell are just states of mind.
Science just proved that thoughts control life
Stanford’s research shows that thoughts control life and health and that positive thinking can lower risk of death.
Today, Stanford published a breakthrough study by the journal Health Psychology.
This study proves that people who think they are unhealthy are at greater risk of death.
But the research goes even further.
What you will find absolutely stunning is the fact that thinking you are healthy is actually more important than actually being fit.
That’s right. Thinking yourself healthy is more important than actually being fit.
Sounds remarkable. Yet this study is the work of one of the world’s best university’s and took over a decade to complete.
The researchers examined information collected by the National Center for Health Statistics take from over 60,000 people from 1990 and 2011. The people studied were all from different backgrounds and had a diverse range of fitness levels and health conditions.
Specifically, the study looked at:
- How often people performed different exercises and activities.
- How active people were
- Whether they smoked
- How often they were sick
- How active and healthy people thought they were.
- How much physical work or exercise they did each week
- The study also looked at an extensive range of demographic details.
Some of these participants were followed for as long as 21 years. And 10% died during the study-time.
Scientists gasped when they read the results
The researchers analysed the data extensively.
They could not believe the results.
They looked for reasons why the data might be inaccurate. They could find no reason. The results were accurate.
What stunned the scientists is this:
- The data showed that if people think they are less fit than their peers they will have a significantly higher risk of death.
- Risk of death is 18% higher for people who think they are less active than others.
- People who think they are less activate are 71% more likely to die than people who consider themselves to be highly active people.
We now know how to lower risk of death: by thinking positively.
Why positive thinking makes you healthier
We can think of positivity or negativity as mental hygiene that affects the mind just like personal hygiene affects the body.
A positive mind is a clean mind, and a clean mind is healthy.
Spiritualists know this. But scientists are searching for measurable reasons to explain why positive thinking makes you healthier.
They think these results are caused by one of three things:
- Mindset affects motivation. If we feel inactivate we will be inactive and this will lead to us exercising less, leading to declining health. This is why mindset is critical when losing weight.
- If we think we are less active than other people we will feel stress about it (stress is the number one killer in the world).
- Placebo: The way we think about ourselves has a profound affect on our wellbeing.
In a nutshell: think you’re a healthy, active person and you will lower your risk of death.
How To Live Longer And Healthier Using Your Thoughts
We now know that our thoughts affect our health, wellbeing and longevity. Thoughts do control life.
Here are 5 ways to take advantage of this.
1: Master your mind (and thoughts) through meditation
My guide to 31 top meditation techniques cover many tactics for positive thinking.
Thinking positive thoughts about ourselves is the key to a long, healthy life. And the key to thinking positively is controlling the mind.
Buddha said, “What we think we become.” And science is proving Buddha right.
Buddha also taught that the key to controlling the mind is meditation.
Meditation stills the mind and give us power over it.
2: Transform negative thoughts into positive ones
Have you read our tutorial on turning negative thoughts into positive ones?
It’s a big deal.
The Stanford Study confirms that negative thoughts adversely affect our health and longevity. One of the best ways of lowering risk of death is to remove negative thoughts.
I used to suffer from agonising negative thoughts. I took it upon myself to master my mind and to find ways to deal with negativity. And I found some great solutions.
One technique I like to use is this (try this now):
- Grab pen and paper
- Write your negative thoughts on paper.
- Read through them.
- Rewrite each negative thought, turning it into a positive thought.
- Recite each positive thought ten times or more (the more the better).
- This is a great way of turning negative thoughts into positive ones.
3: Recite a mantra to instill positive beliefs
Our in-depth guide to mantras reveals the science behind sacred sounds and phrases.
A mantra is a phrase or a sacred sound that can be used to transform the mind and body.
We can use mantras to create positive beliefs. Here’s how:
- Start by deciding what you would like to achieve with the mantra. Today, we’re going to use a mantra to create the belief that we are energetic and active.
- Write this down as a simple phrase. “I am being an energetic and active person”.
- Recite the mantra 108 times. Try it now.
This simple process instills the positive belief. And based on the science above, this means that a mantra like this will lower our risk of death.
4: Make positive-thinking automatic
One of the problems of the mind is that it is too easy to slip back into a negative mindset.
We can remedy this by making our mind think positively automatically.
5: Be more conscious, mindful, and grateful for activity and exercise
There are 25 mindful activities we should do every day.
Mindfulness is powerful.
One way to boost positive self belief it to be more mindful of the activities and exercises we do.
When we practice mindfulness, we live in the moment and we are more aware of our actions. This makes us more conscious of the physical activities we do. This awareness is key. The Stanford University study states that it’s our belief in ourselves as active people that is paramount. To build that belief, be mindful of the actions and exercises you do.
Thoughts control life. And thinking positively can lower risk of death.
What we think we become. When we think we are active, healthy people destined for long, happy lives, we will be precisely that.
Let me know how you feel about this.
Write a comment below.
UPDATE: Happiness Makes You Healthier Too
- The latest scientific research is showing how happiness effects health. Scientists are surprised to find that our mind and emotions play a pivotal role on our health.
- Research confirms the views of ancient spiritual texts, which state that mindset and consciousness change our physical state.
- Researchers are excited. They suggest that soon our doctors might prescribe a dose of positivity instead of medication.
What effect does happiness have on health?
Turns out, life satisfaction and enjoyment play vital roles in our well-being.
In other words, it is the mind and our emotions that are most important.
Positive emotions have a positive influence on the immune system and cardiovascular system according to the latest scientific research from the University of California: Irvine.
Sarah Pressman [associate professor of psychology and social behavior] and a team of researchers were surprised to find that cultivating happiness and positive perceptions improves the immune system and cardiovascular systems (note that spiritual texts have been saying this for approximately 3000 years).
Happiness may even help heal injuries and illnesses.
“…Greater contentment, optimism, a sense of life purpose, low stress and other indicators of subjective well-being are tied to better health and longevity, including surviving serious diseases, and even avoiding acute illnesses,” Pressman said.
Researchers are stating that in the near future, when we’re sick, doctors may prescribe a course of positivity alongside medication.
“We now have to take very seriously the finding that happy people are healthier and live longer, and that chronic unhappiness can be a true health threat,” said Prof. Ed Diener.
Mental suffering (stress, depression and anxiety) are major threats to cardiovascular health and to the immune system, the researchers tell us.
What does mean for us? A lot.
- It means school bullies don’t just upset kids, they actually make them ill.
- It means if your boss gives you too much stress he is seriously effecting your immune system.
- It means society has a responsibility to force those in authority to protect the safety of our emotional well-being.
- It means if you’re hitting the gym in order to keep fit and healthy, you should do these positivity exercises at the same time, because happiness is paramount.
The mind and spirit are the sources of our health and vitality. Doctors need to stop hurling medication at us and start asking “How is your spiritual and psychological state?” instead.
Health is not found in pills. It’s found in a conscious, healthy mind.
These 3 Happiness Tips Will Probably Do More For Us Than The Average Bottle Of Pills
When we’re ill, we should ask, “Have I been happy lately?”
The research out of UCI shows that our mental state plays a pivotal role on our cardiovascular health and immune system.
Kids sick. Ask whether they’re happy at school. Sick yourself? Find ways to be happier at work and home.
These tips for happiness and mental strength will help. They made all the difference for me.
Recognise that other people’s energy (positive or negative) effects our well-being
Does your husband / wife / boss / colleague / kid / friend / Donald Trump stress you out? If so they’re not just getting you down, they’re making you ill.
Negative people–people who inject negative energy into our lives–affect our immune system. So if you’ve got a cold right now, it could be because you’ve been putting up with that annoying son-of-a—! for too long.
Have gratitude too.
Good family and friends are a source of posititve energy and strengthen our immune systems. So if you’re healthy, say thank you to your nearest and dearest because they’re boosting your well-being every day.
When we do something for the body, we should do something for the mind too
How often do we hit the gym? Personally, about 7 hours a week. How often do we do mental health exercises? Probably not so much, right? Because society is still obsessed with the bikini body, the bulging bicep, and the six pack, and the world still needs to wake up to the importance of spiritual and psychological health.
Fat lot of good those toned muscles will do if we’re so unhappy we make ourselves ill.
That’s why when enlightened people exercise the body, they exercise the mind too.
Hit the gym for an hour? Meditate for an hour.
Finished a 10 mile run? Great. Now do some MBCBT.
Done morning yoga? Awesome. Now do morning positivity.
Pessimism, Optimism, Or Realism?
We can choose to be positive people if we want to. But are positivity and optimism the right choices?
The mind is the source of true health and well-being. Every time we help our bodies, we must help our minds too.
People have long argued over pessimism. They ask “Is pessimism good / bad/ or is it just realism?” It’s long been believed that happiness and optimism are related, and for obvious reason. If we’re thinking happy thoughts surely we will feel happy. Many people subscribe to this belief, thinking that the happier they make themselves think the happier they’ll feel. And then on the other side of the coin you get the “realists” who generally poo-hoo the positivity movement.
The realists don’t assume the best. They believe that being entirely realistic is what matters. They want to be aware of the potential pitfalls in everything, and will actively go about finding the negative side of thinks. They force pessimism on themselves.
Research conducted by Julie Norem, professor at Wellesely College psychology, revealed that many people live by defensive pessimism. She states that when defensive pessimists feel anxious about something they set low expectations. They then try to figure out what might go wrong. They do this so that they can be aware of the dangers and the avoid them.
Lots of people are afraid of disappointment—they don’t want to make themselves expect something good only to later be let down and disappointed. So it is that I might say to myself that absolutely no one will ever read this article I’m writing right now. That’s defensive pessimism. I’m preventing myself from thinking that millions of people may read this, because I don’t want to end up being bitterly disappointed. But does my pessimism help me, or does it just make me feel [email protected]
Norem went on to write an entire book on this subject: The Positive Power of Negative Thinking. She reasoned that defensive pessimism is actually a good thing.
But hang on, optimism is the best mentality, isn’t it? Doesn’t pessimism lead to anxiety, depression and unhappiness?
The thing is, when we anticipate the bad times we take steps to avoid them. This prevents them from ever actually happening. Let’s say you’re a smoker. You’re optimistic about smoking You don’t believe it will ever give you cancer. That’s optimism, right? But it negates the possibility that smoking actually will cause cancer. A defensive pessimist would face the possibility of cancer and do everything to go about preventing themselves from getting cancer.
Worrying is not without reason. We’ve evolved to worry for a reason. Because if we can foresee problems we can combat them.
But does this mean that pessimism is a good thing then?
No, not really, to be completely honest. Being overly pessimistic and only thinking of the negative quite likely will lead to anxiety, stress and depression. But being blindly optimistic is like jumping off a building because you believe you can fly.
The right way to manage pessimism and optimism is with balance. We must be aware of the possible problems so that we can overcome them. But we then must focus on the overcoming of those problems. The right attitude with our smoking example is to say “Smoking might kill me [pessimism], so I will stop, and in stopping I will become healthy [optimism].” The right way is to be aware of the negative, and guide around it towards the positive. Pessimism and optimism are equally important. It’s vital to have both in the right amount.