Gillian McKeith coined the phrase You Are What You Eat in her Channel 4 TV show. As it turned out, most of us were processed cereals when we should have been chickpeas and lentils.
Now that we’re all chickpeas and lentils, it turns out that in fact it is our thoughts that are influencing our wellbeing. The Secret is the widely followed ideology that operates on the premise of the law of attraction. Essentially, put it out there and you will draw it to you – good and bad. So the key is to be in control of your thoughts – meditation, affirmations. Whatever gets you through the day with positive intent.
Now, with Christmas on the horizon, a smorgasbord of positive thinking books are winging their way to the bookstores. All of them hinge on the power of the mind to have an impact on various areas of your life.
For example, You Are What You Think by Dr Wayne Dyer. His central thesis is that every person has the potential to live an extraordinary life and manifest their deepest desires if they honour their inner divinity. Meanwhile, Trust Life by Louise Hay offers 366 reminders that you have the power to heal your life.
On another angle there’s How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body by former pharmaceutical scientist David Hamilton PhD. He looks at how using our imagination and mental processes can stimulate our own bodily defences. Alternatively, This Works by Paddy Brosnan extols the powerful virtues of mindfulness.
Now common sense tells us that there’s a certain level of prophetic fulfilment that goes with our own thoughts. Think it enough and you bring it into being because subconsciously you make certain things happen. Your driving instructor no doubt told you not to look at the obstacle you were trying to avoid, but to focus on the space you wanted to go into. Otherwise you inadvertently direct yourself towards the obstacle.
Then again, we also know that most of us are not immune to having some relatively dark and twisty places in the recesses of our minds. So the thought that they could be in control of certain outcomes could be a touch disconcerting.
Fortunately, the message is essentially a positive one. You can’t stop the sky from being grey and you can’t always stop bad things from happening. However, with the right tools you can change your reactions to circumstance and how well you bounce.
It’s not quite reading a chapter on how to win the lottery. Then again, in the context of mental health, maybe it is?
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