The Mind/Body Response transcript
Today’s stren considers the last of the eight alternative action pathways available to our will power to transform information into action. I have labeled it the Mind/body response because the mental energy we create powerfully influences the state of chemicals and nerves that are responsible for our physical state.
The way we think is directly linked to the way we feel and the way we act; thinking, feelings, and actions are interconnected. It is also the reason why “stinking thinking” is the source of most of our life’s unhappiness and physical maladies. This is the very reason why the newer manner of thinking is our opportunity to become director and producer of our life’s experience. Mental strength, like physical strength, requires regular exercise for a big pay-off.
Consider just a few of the huge list of physical conditions that are influenced by the way we think. These Mind/Body responses include:
· skin … rashes, hives, blushing
· our vascular system … high blood pressure, heart irregularities, stroke and heart attack;
· intestinal system … vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, appetite change
· genital and urinary system … frequency, incontinence (inability to control urine), impotence, frigidity
· muscles … common muscle contraction pain that includes headaches, backaches, jaw clenching, fatigue, twitches
· lungs … rapid breathing, dizziness, asthma
· endocrine system … hormone irregularities, thyroid, obesity, sugar management, menstrual irregularities
Accidents are more likely when our thinking is unhealthy. There is recent evidence suggesting that even cancer and immune disorders may be associated with our manner of thinking. Various terms have been used to identify the influence of the mind on the body such as “stress,” “somatization,” and “psychosomatic.” This is why I label this action pathway the Mind/Body response.
Try this simple exercise to show the power of stress. With either arm, make as tight a muscle as you can. When you think it is as tight as it can get, tighten it just a little more. Within 60 seconds or less, you will experience pain. Stop! Don’t overdo it. Now, instead of keeping the muscle extremely tense for less than a minute, imagine keeping it slightly tense, hardly noticeable, for hours at a time. A slightly tensed muscle over a prolonged period will cause similar pain to a muscle intensely flexed for a brief period. People often have a “target” set of muscles that they may keep imperceptibly tense over prolonged periods. Can you now understand why most headaches, jaw pain, neck, and back pain are the result of “muscle contraction pain”?
Mind/Body mental action pathways are often difficult to recognize and directly change. “Treatment” is often directed at relief of the symptom, such as aspirin for a headache or dental appliances for teeth grinding. Self-medication is common, such as using alcohol to relieve anxiety and sleeplessness. The newer way of thinking, i.e. skill development in problem-solving using common sense wisdom and self-endorsement as here offered, are effective methods that indirectly resolve mind/body problems, rather than just the symptoms. The newer way of thinking strens that enhance your well-being, such as becoming your own best friend, becoming your own person, and learning to remain calm, all contribute to a more orderly regulation of one’s chemicals and nerves. Medication, yoga, exercise, and relaxation techniques will benefit many.
The Mental Freedom Control Panel identifies the eight mental action pathways available to your will power. They will allow you to better recognize your choices and wisely direct them. The eight are arbitrary symbols to which we assign meaning. The assigned meaning triggers the signals that switch on the selected mental action pathway and simultaneously turns off the alternative mental action pathways. As you acquire skill in the newer way of thinking you will free your will power from instinct, tradition, and human dictators to wisely select from these eight alternative choices. With practice, you will begin to recognize combinations of your mental response choices rather than individual responses. Mental action pathways are not either...or; rather, they are both…and, a bit of this and some of that. One mental action path leads to another. They commonly work in combination, as you will see in stren #45 (anwot.org), Transforming Snapshots into a Motion Picture
Our mental capacity and use of symbols enables us to join fate and circumstance as producer and director of our life’s experience. We may even become the “managing partner,” or chief executive officer. The mental strens or “strengths” proposed in teaching yourself a newer way of thinking will update your manner of thinking to better deal with modernity. Understanding the Mental Freedom Control Panel is a powerful resource to enhance your well-being. Prolonged stress can cause strain in every part of your body. Increase your problem-solving and self-endorsement skills as you diminish the blaming, avoidance, and other mental action pathways that no longer serve their original purpose and may now cause harm. You can do it! Although the methods are easy, they require work, patience, and some direction. I’ll look for you in the strens that follow. Meanwhile, have tons of Mental Wealth!