Your mind is a powerful tool and it can either be your best asset or your worst enemy. There is constant communication between your mind and your body. What your mind thinks, imagines and sees, it accordingly sends a signal to your body and your body responds to the signal by manifesting every one of those thoughts. While a negative thought or frame of mind can impact our health in a negative way, positive thoughts and feelings can actually become very healing for our body. However, using the power of the mind isn’t as easy. That’s because there are more than 60,000 thoughts that pass our mind every single day, but we can at least try to be more aware and use certain techniques to use its power in our favour.
Here are some powerful ways of harnessing the power of the mind to heal our body:
1. Positive affirmations
Words said with conviction carry a lot of energy. In fact, it’s said that words have the power of life and death. This is precisely why when we declare a patient who is critically ill, the number of days/ weeks s/he will live, it is literally like declaring a death sentence.
Positive affirmations help reprogramme our subconscious mind and trick it to think positive. A simple yet powerful affirmation is: “My body is powerful and my body heals me.” Repeat this out loud or in your mind with faith and conviction until it becomes a part of your subconscious mind and believes in the healing intelligence of your body. Positive affirmations can be a part of a healing protocol for almost all diseases and conditions ranging from obesity, low immunity to diabetes, poor skin/ hair health, cancer, autoimmunity, and more.
Visualisation is an interesting and inexpensive exercise that can be done daily and at any time to help you change your health and weight. It’s a tool that involves creating a mental image in our mind of who you really want to be and then live that picture as if it’s already happened. American actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger swears by this tool to achieve his bodybuilding goals. With every bicep curl, he would literally visualise his arms becoming bigger and stronger. In fact, a lot of athletes and world champions visualise winning even before the match begins.
Power of visualisation is immense and it can be applied to every single area of life—including health and healing. We encourage cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to close their eyes and start visualising that chemotherapy is healing you instead of imagining all its side-effects. Imagine that it’s entering you, cleaning up the internal environment, killing the unfavourable cells and coming out of your body. Almost each of these patients who properly practice visualisation have either not gone through the side effects of chemo or radiation or they felt much better.
Similarly, we encourage clients with troubled relationships to visualise their bonding getting stronger and better. That is the power of visualisation. It never fails, but it requires discipline, passion, belief and it requires that you start doing it to realize its results.
3. Breath work or Meditation
Right now, we have the power to shift our body and mind from a state of stress to a state of calm—using the power of breath. While breath is more of a physical aspect, a proper deep breath starts from conscious thought. Most of us do not breathe to our maximum capacity. We shallow breathe, not realising how powerful oxygen can be if we want to heal ourselves.
It’s when we consciously make an effort to breathe, we inhale oxygen to our maximum capacity, infuse trillions of cells with prana, the energy that sustains and invigorates us. The right amount of oxygen in our body helps a number of conditions—acidity, digestion, stress-related disorders, inflammation, immunity and so much more.
While it’s common for our mind to think about the past or future and in turn cultivate more stress, our breath aligns us with our life and every time we want to come back to the present moment. Just one deep inhale and a deeper exhale is what we need.
Our breath also has the power to progressively relax each and every part of our body. The art of Yoga Nidra teaches us how to use our breath to scan our body part wise and direct prana, that is breath, to a particular area that feels stiff or in pain.
4. Believing and Hoping
No amount of healing can occur if our mind believes otherwise. Healing starts the very moment we believe we can heal. A question often asked by me or my team to our clients is—Do you believe you will heal through our programme? If the answer is yes, we know the person is on a path of healing already. If he believes otherwise, we first invest in a lot of coaching and changing mindset.
Hope cannot be sold, just like oxygen, yoga, pranayama, hence no one talks or emphasises on this powerful emotion. Hope is the opposite of fear. It is healing in every possible way. Today, people spend millions of dollars to treat a cancer, fly across the world, get hold of top doctors, nutritionists, change their water filters, include superfoods, new treatments like immunology, immunotherapy and do every single thing needed but do not give HOPE to people with cancer affirming that cancer doesn’t mean the end of life and that there is a scope of living life absolutely normally.
The moment you tell a human that they have a limited time to live, the mind and body start giving up too, even if there was a scope of healing. Without hope and belief, we cannot live and heal.
So, you have the power right now to change every aspect of your health by controlling or being aware of every single thought that passes through your mind, because what your mind believes, your body achieves!
This article first appeared on Thrive Global