Mind Body Connection – Mind Over Matter
This is Part II of a six-part series on the topic of Mind Body Connection
Have you ever wondered about the mind body connection and whether or not it is just a play on words or the real thing? When you throw into the same mix “mind over matter”, perhaps some people become a little skittish or skeptical over the semantics of the “matter”.
So, is there any truth to this whole mind over matter deal?
The original mind over matter concept was coined by Mao Zedong in reference to how China could move from feudalism to socialism. It was more about class and social status. The concept became more popular and mainstream in the 1960’s and 1970’s when studies into the paranormal, extra sensory perception and psychokinesis were made into a science.
This field of study was one of the first to truly put into practice (science) the effects that the mind has on the body. As a matter of fact, more credence was given to the power of the mind.
It finally started to be viewed in contemporary terms as more valuable and powerful than the body.
The mind body connection gave rise to the advent of the psychosomatic phenomenon.
The concept of psychosoma can be broken down into two terms; Psycho and Soma. Psycho is a reference to the mind and not the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name. And soma refers to the body—the physical being for what can be seen. It was during this period that the emphasis was shifting onto how the mind can affect the body and make it sick, as well as the reverse, that the mind had the ability to heal the body. It was truly the first time in the western world (North America) that the researchers in this field were studying the power of the mind and trying to harness its true potential.
The mind was considered a generator for energy!
In his famous best selling book The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale was the first to really take a stab at how the thinking process effects one’s overall being in the mind body connection. Peale was one of the first, if not the first modern day self-help, positive thinking gurus to look at this cause and effect relationship. It was his research which led to the great information created by the wonderful teachers who teach the mind body connection phenomenon today.
When discussing the mind body connection in regards to the whole “mind over matter” concept, the individual who contributed perhaps the most significant body of research and evidence is author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins. It was Robbins who showed how the mind could master the body through the walking over of hot coals with bare feet. Robbins demonstrated the mind’s ability to overcome almost anything when it focuses itself on its greatest abilities to concentrate.
The mind body connection has an amazing secret to it—whatever it expects it is most likely to find. There have been many books and videos discussing The Secret, the best selling book written by Rhonda Byrne and the great teachers who work with the power of intention. The premise in all of these books and videos is the power of projection… the mind is like the movie projector which fires images onto the screen, the world outside of us.
This is a very tough concept for most people to accept.
When many hear about the mind body connection, they often times believe it to be some sort of mumbo jumbo process. For most it is nothing more than a premise of wishful thinking.
And when analogies are made to the universe at large being like a genie, and we can command our wishes on it, it totally pushes the soundness of rationality over the edge. This is where most people say, “Thanks for coming out!” and are quick to dispel whatever level of commitment to understanding the process they might have had...game over!
Let’s come at this a different way... a smaller, yet more comprehensible way. Now imagine sitting down with your arms at your side. Think about raising your right arm out in front of you. Good! Okay, now just don’t think it, do it! Let your arm slowly rise to shoulder height and hold there for a minute. Now that you see your arm raised ask yourself these two questions: 1) How did it get there in the first place and what’s keeping it there? 2) How does it feel holding it there?
You’ve just engaged in the mind body connection!
Mind body connection answers the first question by asserting you thought about raising your arm, holding it there and seeing it there. You commanded it (mind) and the body (arm) answered the call.
And how did it feel holding it there? After a while probably a little uncomfortable, sore and may even start to feel heavy and tingle. What’s that? That is bio-feedback! This is the body sending messages back to the mind in regards to the feeling state of the body. The bio-feedback mechanism which bridges the gap between our mind and our body is our feeling state. When something feels good it tells us that we are on the right track. When something feels not so good, it tells us we are heading in the wrong direction and that we need to alter our course or action — our thinking
Now I want you to consider this scenario but yet on a bigger scale, a much larger one.
Think about your dream home or something relatively big that you would like to have built. Hold the image in your mind and see yourself in your dream home. Feel what it would feel like. Smell the new paint. See the bright and happy colors. Feel your stocking feet slide across the fresh hard wood floors or your bare feet scrunching across the brand new rug. Walk up to your bedroom, open the window, feel the sunlight beam in on your face as a soft cool breeze wisps against your cheeks.
How real does this feel to you? How exhilarating and exciting does this imaginary experience feel? Pretty darn good, right? Guess what? How do you think most if not all dream homes came into being? They all started out with a thought which led to a feeling, a pretty good one, enough to propel things into motion—the building of the dream house. Physical bodies created what the mind wanted to come into existence!
Everything that you see in the world is the by-product of the mind thinking it into becoming... it connected with the body to have it built—actualized!
You see, it you can think it, it can become. Some people live with the premise that “I need to see it to believe it.” When looking at the mind body connection this is the wrong way to look at it. Instead, the thought process should be, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”
The whole mind body connection is based on the power expectation. Think about any goal that you have ever set for yourself. When setting your goal did you tell yourself you were setting this goal for yourself because you weren’t expecting to achieve it? Heck no! You set the goal with the intention of achieving it. This is what the mind body connection is all about — intention.
Have you ever heard about self-fulfilling prophecies? This is thinking something beforehand as a great possibility... a truth.
You focus your mind and feelings onto it so intently that it comes to pass. Unfortunately, since the mind tends to be drawn to negative thoughts, especially when they involve us, we are more likely to “will” these experiences into reality due to this mind body connection. We act in negative ways which perpetuates the experience into becoming.
Remember the dream house? You saw it as so real and becoming that you saw to it that it would be created. Now use the same premise to think about a job interview. You tell yourself beforehand that, “I’ll never get the job, I’m not qualified enough, there are better people out there for it.” And guess what? You don’t get the job. This reaffirms your thought process, but doesn’t confirm your original beliefs or the real reason you didn’t get the job. Instead, it could have been your negative mindset, images, nervousness, anxiety and doubt in yourself which were projected outward which led to you not getting the job.
All things equal, you were more than qualified and perhaps the perfect candidate but your mind created a negative experience. The body acted as the mind saw fit!
Did you know that when you think positive, happy thoughts the mind becomes energized as does the body because the body has to do what the mind tells it? Conversely, when you think about negative and bad things, it zaps the mind and body of its vitality and energy. You become more lethargic, tired, sad and even depressed.
This is a sure and fast way to crushing your self-esteem! The mind body connection is a wonderful phenomenon as both are always in communication with one another, but it is the mind’s choice to accept or ignore what it is being told. Feedback is great because it sets our course of action in the right direction.
They sometimes say that the mind is a terrible thing to waste. No guff!
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve with belief and persistence. As stated, most people tend to focus their minds on the negative. Where their minds go, so does their energy. If you watch negativity all the time on the news, talk about negative things, believe negative things, you are placing the mind and then body in a negative place as well.
Do you often feel tired or run down? And when you feel this way, do you tell yourself and others, “I’m so tired... I’m beat... I’m spent.” The mind body connection gets energized in this instance toward the negative. The body is getting a fresh, reaffirming dose of instructions on how it should be — tired, run down and beaten. Your mind is the “genie” and your wishes are at its command!
The body can only do what the mind tells it to do.
One of the most difficult activities known to humans is mastering their own thoughts. This is so difficult because it requires monitoring thoughts which requires a censoring moment to moment awareness.
Given that we are creatures of habit, we don’t like to change things, especially when things are already simple. Change requires work and the exertion of energy. Instead of following through on “resolutions” and intentions we want for better lives, we slip back into old habits because they are ingrained in out minds and we simply accept them.
Did you know misery loves company? Even in the mind body connection the two make great bedfellows!
Many people would rather dance with the devil they know (negativity) than change things and venture into the unknown world of possibilities. Even when our own minds and bodies constantly tell us things need to be changed and immediately, most of us don’t listen. We revert back to the way things are, the way they have always been. People as a general rule become set in their ways even when they are negative or detrimental.
Our minds and bodies give us feedback on a daily basis, sometimes more intense than others.
Often times we ignore the small messages we get from the mind body connection. When we are constantly getting headaches, neck aches, shoulder and back pain we don’t heed to the notion that we are stressed out and we need to de-stress. We’ve manufactured the negative stress in our lives and we need to modify it. The mind is being alerted.
How many people respond to the alert and change things? How many people hear it, but tell themselves they will get around to things later? How many people simply ignore the messages and hope things will just go away? Out of sight out of mind... right? Well no, not when the body is telling you these things. You can now feel it and see it, so believe it!
Our bodies are our temples. We are the lords or our temples.
We are also the masters of our minds. How many of us live our lives by proxy and act by reacting instead of intending? That would be the majority.
Do you ever wonder why some people seem to always have luck on their side? Why is it that things always seem to go their way and not the highway? Simple! They have understood the mind body connection. They have recognized the role they play in their health, happiness and achievements.
Here at Free At Last Hypnosis we recognize and understand the mind body connection is real. We see the strong connection in evidence almost every day with our clients we help with our weight loss service or various stop smoking hypnosis programs. So learn more about the connection in the articles below as we get into more detail.
OTHER MIND BODY CONNECTION RESOURCES IN THIS SERIES:
Read Part I of series Mind Body Connection - Introduction here.
Read Part III of series Mind Body Connection - Thinking, Feeling, and Becoming here.
Read Part IV of series Mind Body Connection - Seeing is Believing here.
Read Part V of series Mind Body Connection - The Power of Suggestion here.
Part VI of series Mind Body Connection - Putting it All Together here.
What is Neuroscience and How Can it Help You?
Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
Free At Last Hypnosis
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