New research in quantum physics, neurobiology, and brain functioning point to the remarkable power that our thoughts have on the body. But it’s not only on the body; it’s on our lives. The contents of our minds have a remarkable influence on what we experience physically.
Here’s a simple example: Imagine you’re sucking on a lemon. You’ve cut open a lemon in quarters and you’ve grabbed one of those quarters and placed it up to your mouth. You’re sucking on it now and you can feel the tartness, the sharp way that lemons taste. Most people who really imagine this in detail will feel their taste buds begin to salivate. They will notice the changes going on in their mouths simply by imagining a lemon in their mouth.
This is a simply example to prove the relationship between the mind and the body. Now imagine having thoughts like, “I can stay sober!” versus thoughts like, “This is never going to happen.” These experiences of the mind also have an influence on our physical experience. Well, you might say that imagining something is stronger than simply thinking about it. Or you might say, but it’s easy for my mouth to salivate because I know what it’s like to have a lemon in my mouth – I’ve done that before. Being sober, on the other hand, feels impossible.
The truth is, no matter the content you have in your mind, it’s having an effect on your physical experience. It’s going to affect your feelings, behavior, choices, and experiences. What you have in your mind, your internal life, is going to have an effect on your external life as well. In fact, you’re doing this right now. Although it’s easy to dismiss thoughts as being harmless words that float through your mind, they are much more powerful than they appear.
Here’s a story that might further point to the power of the mind. A gentleman by the name of Dr. Joe Dispenza was traveling on a bicycle at the age of 23. He had a very severe accident leading to possible paralysis, if he did not undergo an extensive surgery that would essentially clamp certain parts of his spine together. The surgery, he was told, would at least give him the opportunity to walk again. Without it, he would surely be paralyzed from the waist down.
Remarkably, Dispenza chose to heal himself and not do the surgery. As a young chiropractor with a new and growing practice in Southern California, he had great confidence in his body’s ability to heal. At the same time, he also knew that the contents of his mind could play the most significant role in his healing. And so he spend two hours per day imagining his body healed. He focused in detail upon his body’s wellness, the structure of the spine, and his ability to walk. He used the power of his focus, will, and intention to heal himself, and he did.
Certainly, getting sober also means getting healthy in your thoughts. As a result, feelings and behavior will also change. Fortunately, there are some therapies that already recognize the value of changing thoughts in order to change one’s life. This is the premise for a very effective therapy used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It essentially aims to change behavior by identifying negative and distorted thinking patterns. This successful form of therapy emphasizes the link between thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and more importantly, it attempts to identify the way that certain thoughts contribute to the unique problems of an individual’s life. By changing the thought pattern, both feelings and behavior change, which can result in a transformed life. And in the case of addiction, it can lead to living free and clear of an addiction – living sober.
In addition to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which you can do with a qualified mental health professional, you can also learn to become sharply aware of the thoughts in your mind. Doing so, along with changing those thoughts that are negative or harmful, can slowly create a new life. Furthermore, you can imagine your life with 10 years sober, just as you imagined the lemon. These techniques can slowly stitch together a new fabric of being – sober, happy, and healthy.
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