Blog 28 October 2018

The power of our thoughts: Part 1

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Think positive, always!

 For example, imagine the smell of your favourite meal….its taste… its texture in you mouth while you are chewing it… You can see how the production of saliva increases instantly! Now, imagine you are locked in a dark room full of big and hairy spiders, or slippery snakes (or whatever you are scared of), and soon you can feel how tense you become, your heart might increase its rate and you might get sweaty…. These are only minor examples of how powerful our mind is.

When we are anxious or stressed, our body activates our adrenal glands (located over the kidneys), which releases a stress hormone called Cortisol. The artificial molecule with the same action is called hydrocortisone – steroids! The cortisol keeps you in “fight or flight mode”, which is necessary for survival in acute situations, but counter-productive in chronic states. (Steroids do the same, therefore, very helpful, and even life saving when administered acutely. However, when taken chronically, they usually produce more harm then good.)

Nowadays, at the pace of modern life, it is “normal” to be stressed by work, family, society, etc. Stress can make us feel frustrated, and we start to think negative and eventually we become depressed (negative thoughts are the cause of depression, not the consequence!).

Here is a little help to stay positive: 

Every evening, before you go to bed make a list of 10 good things that happened to you that day. 10 things you enjoyed, even if they were “not important”, such as the taste of your coffee, a smile of somebody you met, the luck of getting an offer at your local shop…. anything! Just remember them and become aware of how these things made you feel. Focus on where in your body you feel that little luck and try to describe it….give it a colour, a shape, a temperature or a texture, or even a sound.

Although at the beginning, you might have some difficulties, it gets easier with time and practice.

Then, think about 3 things that happened that day that you didn’t like, and find the positive side of it. Everything has its pros and cons. Accept the challenge of finding the pro(s) of those things you didn’t like. Even if it was “just” having learned something/gained experience. 

Positive thinking releases endorphins which reduce the stress and stimulate the immune system. Do you remember how it was being in love? Do you remember how little sleep you got the first days or even weeks? Do you remember being ill or having a headache? Everything was just perfect, wasn’t it? ENDORPHINS!

The brain is a terrible master but an exemplary servant. Just tell it what to do!

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Last modified on 29 January 2019