Recent advances in neuroimaging techniques have demonstrated the power of thoughts and feelings to affect brain chemistry. As the brain processes inputs from everyday life, it constantly rewires itself, building neural pathways that connect stored memories to current thoughts and feelings. This means our present thoughts, feelings and actions influence all our future thoughts, feelings and actions. You influence both your neurology and physiology by what you choose to think and feel.
Recent studies have even indicated that focusing your attention on, for example, your leg muscles for a sustained period, led to greater muscle growth in an experimental group compared to a control group. Muscle growth just by thinking! What you choose to focus your thoughts on also has a huge impact on your wellbeing.
One of the barriers to achieving your goals is the influence that habitual thought patterns have on your actions. To cope with the complexity of living in such a connected world we often have to demote a lot of our thoughts to the subconscious. Many of these subconscious streams of thoughts allow us to navigate successfully through the world. However some of these thoughts may simply be replays of old prejudices or fears. The more energy you invest in thinking or feeling in a particular way, whether expansive or limiting, the more those patterns become engrained. With time they may become so engrained that many of our actions become automatic unconscious responses to external events. During childhood, the brain is at its most fluid; it is hyper creative and able to see the world afresh. As we age the brains circuitry becomes more stable; however there are many exercises that you can do to keep the brain nimble and open to new experience.
To interrupt these habitual patterns of thinking powerful stimulus such as art, sport, literature, love or beautiful environments can jolt us into new styles of thinking. Similarly, you can use the power of your imagination to illuminate your mind. For example when you imagine playing tennis, the brains neurological circuitry fires as though you are actually playing. Visualising a peaceful, serene environment has a similar impact to actually being in such an environment. You can use positive visualisation to set a scene. If you are at work and want to develop a creative thinking style, you can use positive visualisation to cultivate a feeling of freedom and space; for example by imagining that you are on a mountain top. It’s hugely empowering to realise that you can cultivate an emotion, using your imagination, in order to create success.
The key is to constantly refresh yourself and use the power of your imagination to create your world.
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” – Mahatma Ghandi
For more information on Yoga, Positive Psychology, Life Coaching and Massage go to www.breathe-london.com/positive-visualisation