As We Think, So We Are
I have noticed as I’ve gotten older that a lot of my thinking is habitual rather than intentional. Oftentimes I am surprised at my unquestioning acceptance of my thoughts. I am speaking specifically of the kind of thoughts that produce feelings, which is all of them! For instance, it is a habit of mine to think I am always in a hurry. This produces a feeling of anxiety which stresses me. I move faster, drive faster, get aggravated with anyone or anything that slows me down. Suddenly I realize I am driving 60 mph down a 30 mph city street.
This self-induced stress comes from years of not having enough hours in the day to squeeze in all the things I either needed or wanted to do. Family responsibilities, business obligations, and personal needs or desires all take time. Meeting those commitments created a hurried state of mind and intense focus to let nothing stand in the way of accomplishment.
In the present, however, I am semi-retired, unmarried, with a grown daughter taking very good care of herself. What on earth is my hurry? I will tell you, as far as I can tell, my anxious state of mind is an acceptance of a habitual thought unexamined. Who says there isn’t a lot to do in this stage of life? We could spend a good deal of time breaking old habits because we have a lifetime of them embedded in our brains.
Thinking to Doing to Being
I just listened to a very thought-provoking Ted Talk by Dr. Joe Dispenza. I learned that our brains have over 100 billion neurons. They love to store and communicate information, although in high school you could not have convinced me of that. Perhaps I was thinking of things other than math, science, and english. When you learn something new your neurons form synapses and new connections in your brain. Your brain physically changes. Dr. Dispenza says that “nerve cells that fire together, wire together”. These networks form a community. This community of thoughts create chemical changes that produce feelings in the body. In this way our minds and bodies are linked together.
Thoughts that produce stress or negative emotions get our bodies out of balance. This imbalance is what causes disease. The brain interprets our thoughts as REAL whether what we are thinking is real or imagined. When we imagine things that are not real our brains still form a community of neurons that produce feelings. These imagined things can be good things as well as bad. Wouldn’t it make sense to channel our thoughts to good and positive things so that our bodies would always feel good? We should think calm and happy things so that we don’t produce stress and get our bodies out of balance?
Same Old Same Old
Dr. Dispenza says that routine lulls the brain to sleep. OK, us older folks are in serious trouble because we have routines out the wazoo! We may have led ourselves to believe that we can only manage so much physically and mentally each day so we stick doggedly to our routines or maybe we think we have come up with the most amazing time efficient system on the planet. In either case, our brains are in a deep state of sleep. With nothing new to think we let our brains become sluggish and vapid. Do we want to become feeble or boring? I think not! We must do something about it.
A New Self
We have to become astute observers of our thoughts and the feelings they produce. How do you feel? Consider why you might feel that way. What are you thinking? What thoughts might be producing these feelings? Are these thoughts REAL or imagined?
If we put intention behind our thoughts we condition the body to feel the way we want it to feel. Remember the brain will accept your thoughts whether real or IMAGINED . If we think better thoughts we will condition the body to feel better. The mind and body work together so you will get actions that equal your thoughts. You are teaching your body to understand what your mind understands intellectually. As Dr. Dispenza says, “word becomes flesh”.
Repetition is what conditions the mind and the body to form a new habit. It becomes innate and automatic. It becomes our state of being.
We transform the world around us by transforming ourselves.
My Book Recommendation
I am ordering a book by Dr. Dispenza entitled “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One“. I think this sounds like the perfect thing to read in the second half of life. It probably would be good to read at any age but at my age I’m pretty bored with my habitual thoughts and new ones would be a welcomed relief. And, I’m tired of hearing that snoring coming from my brain.