The mind-body connection is a fascinating area of learning. Traditionally, the mind was seen as quite separate from the body but of late, people are becoming aware that your thoughts are intricately linked to how you feel, how you look, your health. In other words, – it’s becoming difficult to consider the one without the other.
There are many gurus who advocate a meditation practice, stating the tremendous benefits of quieting the mind. On a neurological level, when you focus on something in your mind’s eye, you fire up certain neurological pathways which, if done repeatedly, become more deeply ingrained. You begin to build these pathways, which when accessed, can program your response to a situation. This can be done in a focused manner, which then becomes a form of self-hypnotism.
Let’s say you’re afraid of dogs because perhaps you were bitten by one when you were a kid. You can re-program yourself through a form of self-hypnotism by placing yourself into a comfortable state, where you are safe and are able to focus. Now, imagine being approached by a sketchy-looking dog. Your existing pathway will elicit a physiological response… quickening of the heartbeat etc. But since you’re in a safe environment, you imagine yourself patting the dog, who begins to wag his tail and shower you with attention, in a way that only dogs can. You’re now associating feelings of pleasure around this experience. Done repetitively, you will begin to associate dogs with pleasure, so that when faced with a dog in the real world, your pleasure connections, outweigh the feelings of fear. This is why top sportsmen have walked to the top spot of the podium so often in their mind’s eye, that they build a genuine expectation of this event, and their subconscious faculties will rally in such a way that even the thoughts that they are not consciously aware of, will rally to create this automatic response. The key to this is repetition.
So if you wish to achieve a certain goal, you need to visualize yourself achieving the goal. Repetition is the key. (am I repeating myself again?) Set aside a time in the day, preferably the morning, when your brain lights up more easily with Dopamine. Put yourself into a comfortable and undistracted state. Use breath to sink into a state of deep relaxation. Now access the experience of what you wish to remedy or achieve and live the experience in your mind’s eye. See the outcome happening. Project the feelings of elation into the experience. The moment you find that feeling, you can even anchor that experience on a physical level, by pinching your thumb and forefinger together. This is called anchoring.
In closing… Self-hypnotism is a practice, much like meditation, but done in a self-guided manner. You are able to make better, self-serving connections in your mind. We’ve all heard that weeds grow in the mind if our thoughts are unattended. If you take 10 or 15 minutes a day to remove the weeds, the random thoughts that you habitually play in your mind, can be arranged automatically and in a more structured and self-serving way. The next time you enter a situation you’ve prepared for in your mind, you will take the programmed course of action, that you know will lead you into better ways.
This process works well if you have a monkey mind that needs to shut up for a while, please. It’s the reason Bob Procter tells you to focus on the money you want to make, and see yourself performing those tasks in your mind’s eye. It’s how people learn to stop smoking. Personally, I appreciate that we are not the helpless subjects of our age-old conditioning, and that we can re-wire ourselves by focusing on how we can attain future outcomes. It all starts with the thoughts we think, good or bad, and with having the self-discipline to apply the principles of self-hypnotism, ie thought training. If you want bigger biceps, do more curls. If you want a strong mind, this requires training too.
We all have something we could improve. I challenge you to embark on a daily practice that has you visualizing how you’re going to improve in that area. Pretty soon, you’ll be doing it on auto-pilot.
As they say in the classics… “this shit works”