Can our thoughts and emotions make us sick?
Can we use the mind-body connection to improve our health?
Have you ever wondered what is necessary to change yourself completely? That means to not only change your personality and all the thoughts and beliefs you have but also your environment and everything that makes up your personal reality.
In the last months, I immersed myself into the topic of personal transformation, both on the inner as well as the outer level.
So I decided to start a new series of articles where I feature my learnings from completing Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Intensive and Progressive Workshops as well as studying his books and work.
As a neuroscientist, he focuses on the connection between our mind and our body, especially how thoughts can influence our emotions and by that even our genes.
The big idea behind is work is that we need to change the way we think, feel and act in order to effectively change our personality and create the future that we desire.
Some of the concepts will combine psychology and neuroscience with quantum-physics and even spirituality.
Try to suspense judgment and be open to the ideas. They certainly have the potential to improve the quality of your every day and of your life in general.
How Our Thoughts Create Our Reality
When diving deeper into human psychology, biology and neurology there are several ways to describe what makes up our personality.
Our thoughts are certainly part of the equation. The thoughts we think regularly become part of our personality.
Also, emotions play a role. From what we feel regularly, we derive the kind of person we are.
And lastly our behaviors. The way we act on a consistent basis gives us an image of what kind of personality we have.
So it is how we think, how we feel and how we act that determines our personality.
The question now is how are our thoughts, emotions, and behavior connected?
Usually, it all starts with us having thoughts in our brain, which is the firing of neurons in a specific pattern.
These thoughts lead us to make choices and influence our behavior.
With this behavior, we make experiences that give us certain emotions.
And these emotions in turn influence how we think about ourselves and the world.
As you can see our personality, or what others call our state of being, consists of the loop of thinking and feeling, feeling and thinking.
What if, by the time we are 35 years old, 90 percent of our thoughts are the same on a daily basis?
What if we have the same thought patterns starting the loop?
Well, when we always have the same thoughts, we will make the same choices, have the same experiences that give us the same emotions and of course will have the same thoughts again.
And it gets more interesting.
Science has shown that if we are having negative thoughts, these thoughts can produce emotions of stress and make the body release chemicals that are in line with that stress response.
Short-term stress is very natural and occurs in every kind of animal to be able to trigger the fight-or-flight response.
However, if you are stuck in an unhealthy work environment and you have thoughts of stress and competition every day, then this stress response is no longer healthy.
No organism is made for keeping up a stress response over the long-term.
Therefore, the chemicals produced by the emotions of stress will actually influence our genes.
This is what epigenetics deals with, the science of how our environment can influence our genes and how we express these genes.
So these hormones like cortisol actually downregulate genes, which were responsible for producing vital proteins for the body and the immune system.
Therefore, these chemicals initially triggered by your thoughts can create disease.
In other words, your thoughts can make you sick.
Why are our thoughts and emotions, so this cycle of thinking and feeling, feeling and thinking, sometimes so addictive and we feel like we cannot control them?
Because it creates an identity for us. We start to believe, “I AM THAT”.
This identity doesn’t allow for transformation and rather sets your destiny in stone.
Epigenetics, however, has shown that way you think not only creates your personality but has also an effect on your personal reality.
How To Truly Change Yourself
So what if you are not satisfied with your personal reality, which consists of your job, your environment, the people in your life, your body and your life situation in general.
What if I’m fed up with being stuck in a rut, being held back by the same emotions from the past without nothing new happening in my life?
In order to create a new personal reality, you first have to become a new person.
If you truly want to change and transform your life, you need to change your personality by changing the loop of thinking and feeling, feeling and thinking.
Hebb’s Law in neuroscience states that:“Nerve cells that fire together, wire together.”
You are hardwiring your brain if you do the same things over and over again. This explains why old thought patterns are so deeply rooted in us.
But on the other hand, it is also true that:“If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
So by not thinking certain thoughts and no more firing certain circuits in your brain, you weaken the connections and let the thought patterns dissolve.
If you want to change you need to make your brain work differently, by that you change your mind.
So, the first step is to notice the unconscious thought patterns that start the loop and change from there by consciously designing what you want to think about.
Change the thoughts and you change the whole loop.
If you then also feel differently you start to signal your genes in new ways and enter a new state of being, a new personality.
Your Internal Environment Beats The External Environment
Our environment, what we call our external reality, is what influences and triggers our behavior.
When you wake up in the morning in your familiar environment, your brain registers the common cues in your bedroom and you start your old behaviors and habits.
Your environment causes you to think in line with everything that you know.
Seeing the same people and doing the same tasks at work triggers certain thoughts. Every thought fires a circuit and creates a matching chemical, which is felt as an emotion.
And as these emotions can influence your genes in the long-run, your environment can change your personality and the state of your body.
Let’s have a look at the animal kingdom.
Animals have shown to be very adaptive. Depending on the experiences and circumstances they witness in their environment, genes are triggered to express themselves and cause adoption in the animal’s body to the environment.
For example, when an animal lives in a cold area for a longer time, this experience signals certain genes to activate and make them grow thicker fur.
The same is true for us. We also adapt to the environment.
But if this environment, like our job or family life, is stressful and produces chemicals of stress, this adaption can mean that certain genes are downregulated to create disease.
So to transform your personality and by that your personal reality, change has to start with the environment.
The question now is:
- Can you somehow signal the genes in a better way already before the familiar experience from the external environment?
- Can you make your internal environment to be stronger than the triggers from the external environment?
- Can you have a vision of who and what you want to be that is stronger than your present external reality?
To change the old loop of thinking and feeling, you have to set in place new experiences that trigger different thoughts and feelings.
But what if I cannot change my external environment?
The Power Of Imagination
Well, you can change your internal environment, which can beat the external environment.
What is meant by that?
Your internal environment is the experiences that take place in your mind, through imagination and envisioning.
Here it gets interesting because we start to see parallels to similar techniques for personal transformation, such as the imagination practice to change your self-image from Psycho-Cybernetics.
Research has shown that a group of people, who only mentally envisioned doing exercise for finger strength, actually improved their strength by 35%.
Why is that?
Our nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and an experience imagined vividly and in detail.
That proves that your thoughts and imagination can have an effect on your physical reality.
What does it mean for changing our personality?
If you can imagine your desired future life situation so extremely vividly and with such details and combine it with emotions as if it were already an accomplished fact, your brain will accept it as a real experience.
It will then adapt the body towards that experience, meaning new brain circuits for new thoughts, new emotions and signaling of your genes in new ways.
You might ask yourself:
How do I feel something about an event that has not yet occurred?
Our normal understanding of reality is the following:
- We experience something through our senses
- We react with an emotion or feeling to that experience
Dr. Joe Dispenza describes another model of reality, which he calls the quantum model:
- You vividly imagine a future experience and feel the emotion you would feel if the event had already taken place. You can do this because you have felt these emotions before and know how they feel.
- Your brain thinks this event is actually taking place right now and it adapts to it with new thoughts and emotions.
This changes your loop of thinking and feeling and signals your genes in a new way.
You will also prime your subconscious mind on that vision, and your body, as the executor of the subconscious, will act in line with it.
You will not only start to selectively seek out evidence that confirms that your vision is actually entering your life, but it will also easier for you and more automatic to take the steps to make your vision happen.
The key is to not only envision your desired future and behavior but to also feel it.
Powerful, high-vibration emotions like empowerment, joy, freedom, love and especially gratitude signal genes in new ways and produce a cascade of new positive thoughts that completely change your state of being.
Gratitude is particularly powerful since it implies that you are grateful for something that has already happened.
Once you break the old loop and don’t think, feel and act in line with old patterns and memories from the past, then you’re no longer in your old self.
You’re living in the future instead of the past. And this is the foundation for changing your personality and moving into a new future.
This wraps up the first part of the series “On Changing Your Personality And Moving Into A New Future”.
Head over to the second part, which shows what happens in our body during this process.
See you there,
KilianPS: What experiences have you made with this process?
Let me know below, I’d love to connect with you!