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POSITIVE THINKING

INTRODUCTION Once there was a man who locked himself in a refrigerated box car overnight. He was so certain he was going to freeze to death he wrote his last words on a piece of cardboard. When they found him in the morning he was found dead and an autopsy confirmed that he had frozen to death. The rub of the story is that the box car had never been plugged in. In fact the temperature within the car had remained at a balmy 65 degrees the entire night. What had ended up killing this man was not his environment but rather his perception of it. Although at times we feel we cannot control our environment the thing we can control is our perception of it and in time our unconscious beliefs about it. One of the main reasons for the opioid epidemic in this country is depression. Some of the anti-depressants are more addictive than heroine and are so numbing people prefer the highs and lows of depression then being in a state of turgor (feeling drugged) all their life. What if the underlying cause are merely bad mental habits? What if changing our malnourished beliefs of ourselves and replacing them with constructive beliefs can return joy and physical energy to our bodies? Our mind is far more powerful than any of us realize. In this blog I will unpack some tools that any person can use to begin on this journey. TRIAD OF HEALTH All disease must begin with the triad of health. That is the mental, the chemical, and the structural part of the human experience. Whenever one or more of these become imbalanced we experience disease. Depression is multifaceted and has tentacles in each of these three categories. In this blog we will be looking at the mental component and look for habits that will reduce the stress in this area. SCIENTIFIC BASIS First off it is a well documented fact that our convictions and expectations directly affect our health and determine whether a medical treatment will work or not. This is called the placebo effect. In one instance one patient who was diagnosed with terminal cancer was given a drug that later turned out to be a dud. Unaware of this, the patient took the drug and later experienced a full recovery. When told later that the drug was no good the cancer subsequently returned and he died months later. There are many stories like this. Simply put the placebo effect is the bodies self healing abilities' cued by a person's expectation and beliefs about their environment. In the brain stem is a system called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). It is a bundle of nerves that allows you to learn through repetition. Not only is it cued by repetition but it allows a person to hear things that validate already held beliefs and to not hear things that do not validate already held beliefs. For instance, if a child already believes they are unattractive or unlovable then anything in their environment, whether real or simply perceived, will be picked up on. Conversely, even if that child is in a very loving and nurturing home (lets say the child is adopted) all the acts of love in the world will be filtered out and discarded by the RAS. Fundamental beliefs are what allow and disallow emotional information from entering our consciousness. Quantum physics also have a large part to play in our emotional health. It is a consistent phenomenon that an electron will change its behavior from that of a particle (mass) to that of a photon (energy) based on whether it is being observed or not. What is extrapolated here is that the energy that we give off, our very environment in fact, is controlled by our own held expectations or beliefs. Pickpockets intuitively know this. When asked how they know who to prey on they answer that they can pick up on a person energy. They can tell whether someone is governed by self doubt or self confidence. HOW TO The thing that must be targeted and changed is not primarily our conscious beliefs but rather our unconscious beliefs (UB). This is why no matter how much intellectual evidence a gnostic may find for God it may still be impossible for him to belief such a deity exists. This is because the UB have not yet been affected. So how do we affect our unconscious beliefs? How does the adopted child who has rarely felt or known love change their unconscious narrative? This is where meditation comes into play. The door that allows us to enter into and alter our UB is that of concentration. Like anything though it must follow the natural principle of health: remove the toxins, add the health.


-OUT WITH OLD IN WITH NEW

First a person must be aware of the unpleasant or mentally harmful narrative that is running in their mental space. Once this narrative is recognized and identified as unhelpful then they must find some narrative they want to replace it with. For instance, "don't like the UB that 'I'm ugly' and I would prefer the UB that 'I'm beautiful.'" It has been demonstrated that if a person can concentrate on a thought for 14 seconds straight it will begin to affect the beliefs at the unconscious level. This is part of the mechanism, now it is time to look a little more closely at the substance. At this point I will be sharing things of substance that I have found to be very helpful in my emotional health.


-SELF WORTH

The fist thing I would like to look at here is self value. Imagine you find a Rolex watch in a store window that has a price tag on it for $10,000. Now imagine you find that same watch the following morning in a pile of mud. Is that watch still worth $10,000? Take it to the store and find out. Every human being is a Rolex watch in that every person has a specific assignment and mission from their Higher Power that only they can accomplish. Our environment, people's opinion, and our circumstances don’t define our value. Our intrinsic value, our assignment, and the gifts (cultivated and uncultivated) given at birth articulate our value. This is an UB worth having. Next, I would like to look at crisis. If any person want to avoid the emotional tyranny of circumstance they cant control one needs to understand the value of crisis. First off there is crisis that comes to us because we are ignorant of the natural laws of this world or we simply refuse to obey them. Perhaps you don't like the law of gravity so you step off a cliff, or you don’t like the law of hard work so you steal from your company. The remedy here is to either learn what you don’t know or to shape up your attitude. There is nothing more expensive than ignorance.


-VALUE OF CRISIS

Then there is the crisis that befalls all men. It might be a tornado, an economic crisis, a pandemic perhaps. I believe there is huge opportunity for value in every crisis, so the first key is to get over the fear of crisis (it will happen to all people) and to look forward to maximizing on its value. First, a crisis will humble you. It will flatten your UB that you are better than other people. Second, crisis will expose your weak areas. It will show you what UB are toxic and are hurting you. Thirdly, a crisis will clean out all the excess in your life. It will motivate you to live a simpler and more fulfilling life. It will teach you to live more for people and less for material acquisition. Fourthly, it will reduce you to your Higher Power (assuming you have one). It will force you to look to some power that is greater than yourself. The UB that you are in control is one of the most emotionally exhausting UB to maintain. Be grateful when it proves false.

-EXPECTATIONS


Another UB that is worth its weight in gold is one that is very common in Oriental philosophy and the Stoics. At its core it is the belief that the only person who can make you feel a certain way is you. If you feel emotionally triggered by another person it is not their fault it is yours. In some way you have given that person emotional control over you and it is your responsibility to take that emotional control back. This is especially true in romantic relationships. The key that I have found most helpful in this field is to not only hold the above UB but also to work to remove all expectations on people in my life without reducing my standards. More simply put, to entrust no person with my needs or wants primarily. To seek no fulfillment of need or want from man primarily but to seek to entrust that expectation to a Higher Power. In the Judeo Christian belief system there is a maxim that by seeking primarily the government of Heaven's influence and to posses yourself of its culture all things that are needed for living will instead pursue you.


CONCLUSION

By finding the UB that cause you harm and recognizing the UB that you wish to replace them with is the first step. The next step is that of concentration or meditation. By concentrating for 14 seconds at a time on wanted UB will affect your RAS system and begin to implant that thought into your UB system. This will then open you up emotionally to the positive cues in your environment and dumb down the negative emotional cues in your environment. Not only will this change your emotional health, it will change your physical health, and your physical environment. MAXIMS A happy heart, good will towards men, and freedom from anger and envy aids digestion and longevity. What is good for me is not necessarily good for thee. You cannot harbor anger, jealousy, and hate and not show it in your complexion. Light a candle rather than to curse the darkness. Find a way of life that allows you to thrive rather than to continually rail against problems. Attitude has more to do with digestion than your enzyme base upon which you operate. Enlarge the flame of providence so that you can live within it rather than it simply living within you. By which you will affect all around you with your lightness of heart. All that is necessary for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. You have to do SOMETHING.

-Quotes are from Dr. George Goodhart.

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