There is a natural human tendency for the mind to drift back to the past, this is an unconscious mechanism developed over eons.
When we have a new experience, whatever that is, it allows circuits and connections in the brain that release chemicals which make a feeling, so emotions and feelings are the end product of every experience. These emotions and feelings help us to remember experiences better.
What typically happens for most people when they have a new experience is that they repeat that experience over and over again in their mind, which is perfectly natural. The reason for this is that if we can fire circuits repeatedly, then through the act of repetition we can remember them.
So we learn from an experience and learning is making new connections, remembering is maintaining those new connections, so there is a natural order in which we review something in order to remember it.
The problem with most people is that they become so immersed in the feelings of certain experiences that feelings become the mechanism for thinking, so feelings determine their thinking. When that happens we are only then living from the past, because by definition, feelings are most commonly associated with past events.
So if we determine our future based on a feeling, we are basically saying to ourselves, “I’m trying to create a future situation from a past remembered situation” and inwardly we will continue to recreate our future based on our past and that means history repeats itself because WE make it happen.
This means we see people who are wired in victimisation, suffering, insecurity and their feelings become a barometer for their reality, so in their future experience they can only create their reality based on how they are wired. They create all the negativity in their life because it’s all they know, it’s how they’ve conditioned/trained themselves to be through repetition from other people and themselves.
In order to create a new future we have to leave the feelings of the past behind, we have to abandon feelings as the means of thinking. When we learn to do this, we are breaking the association to the neurological connections that attach to that human feeling mechanism. This way we are focusing on an abstraction, an idea, a concept that we haven’t yet experienced because it has no emotion yet, but it’s something we would like to experience.
This process of learning to abandon the means of feeling for a future potential is one of the greatest tests for a human being. Changing the way you feel about past experiences completely changes how you think and feel about them, the present and how you create your future.
Breaking old emotional patterns that serve no positive purpose for you takes time, commitment and perseverance, and it can be done. The first steps and key elements are you have to be aware of of the need to change and then want to change it and want to learn how to do that.
This concept alleviates a huge amount of stress from our lives and stress creates a wide variety of symptomatic changes in our minds and bodies, one of which is addiction.
One of the often overlooked effects of long term stress is addiction to the rush of cortisol and adrenaline etc.
This over reliance on these chemicals leads to physical exhaustion because internal resources are diverted to prepare for real or imaginary threats in the outer world. This leaves nothing in reserve to heal, repair and regenerate the inner world so we look for ways to continue creating situations in our life that cause a Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) response to give us a hit of chemicals to satisfy our addiction and sustain the life we don’t like.
The extension of this is that we can initiate adrenaline release in our system by thought alone, so ultimately we become addicted to our thoughts.
Wallowing in the comfort and familiarity of our own discomfort can lead us to create disease in our own bodies through thought, because the long term effects of stress lead to disease and illness. This is because the stress hormones affect our immune system and cause Immune Mediated Diseases such as Cancer, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBS, food allergies and sensitivities and more.
So the question is, if our thoughts can make us sick, can they also make us well?
The fields of Epigenteics and Psychoneuroimmunology say yes, they can.
The field of psychoneuroimmunology has witnessed an explosion of empirical findings during the last two decades. Research has documented the mechanisms through which stressful emotions alter white blood cell function. Stress diminishes white blood cell response to viral infected cells and to cancer cells. Moreover, vaccination is less effective in those who are stressed and wounds heal less readily in those who are stressed. While stress decreases the activity of some white blood cells, stress does not compromise the function of all types of white blood cells. Indeed, some types of autoimmune disease, which involve particular subsets of white blood cells, are exacerbated by stress. The literature documents the efficacy of talk-therapy interventions in altering immune system parameters and enhancing the body’s ability to combat disease. The literature also documents the impact of the chronic stress of poverty on immune system function.
Littrell J. The mind-body connection: not just a theory anymore. Soc Work Health Care. 2008;46(4):17-37. doi: 10.1300/j010v46n04_02. PMID: 18589562.
The Mind and Body are the Same System
“Every Cell is Eavesdropping on Your Internal Dialogue” – Deepak Chopra
What does this actually mean in terms of our health, growth and development, happiness?
There are: (10 10)11
Neurological connections in your body. That’s the number 1 with 10 zeros after it, written eleven times!
100,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000!
So thinking about Deepak Chopra’s quote in conjunction with the staggering number of neurological connections, that means that everything you say to yourself and what others say to you is picked up by your mind and body. Now depending on the effect this dialogue has on you, positive or negative, determines the influence it has on your cells and your genes, because the end caps of your genes (Telomeres) have switches that can be turned on or off and thus altering you at the genetic level. Environmental factors have a phenomenal influence on this process and until we recognise this on a much wider scale and integrate this into treating and helping at a cultural and societal level, we will continue to have to deal with these issues on an ever increasing scale.
It is from this perspective that I created the Immediate Care Process, which is an amalgamation of several fields of Psychology (sport, cognitive, behavioural), Hypnosis, Neuroscience, Psychotherapy and Neuro Linguistics. This creates a deeper understanding of how our minds work, how we decide on what’s important for us, what’s a threat, whats stressful and what we decide to do with that information. Providing a framework for psychological health treatment similar to that of a physical injury or illness, Emotional & Psychological Resilience seeks to identify signs and symptoms of psychological illness and understand the processes going on inside someones mind that moment and to use these tools to provide a fast, effective intervention. Using the concept of the mind-body connection, my book provides integrative, adaptive techniques that are effective in the reduction of signs and symptoms of psychological illness including suicide intervention and prevention.