I love doing affirmations and have used them for many years. My recent Hay House Radio show (Monday 30th April 2012) was on ‘The Power of Affirmations’, where I went into the science of how they work and their impact upon the brain and body. Near the end of the show, I read out my Top-Ten list of affirmations and several people have since got in touch to ask if I could put them down on paper.
Can you imagine being able to switch on a light with your mind? Or adjust the volume on the TV by just thinking about it? Or even drive your car by imagining yourself driving? These things sound like they’re straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, but in reality we’re not actually that far from it.
Most people believe that the secret to living to a very old age is simply down to the food we eat or how much exercise we take, or even whether we drink or smoke or how much stress there is in our lives. This is because most longevity research (research into lifespan) has focused upon these factors. And they all do play an important role in lifespan. But one vital ingredient is missing from this menu. That ingredient is friends.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I’ve made an observation that when people learn a lot about health and nutrition, even though they enjoy better overall health when they act on their knowledge, they tend to get more colds. Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone but you might spot yourself if it does apply. And I have to admit, I went through that phase myself.
Any mother intuitively knows that her children need love. Now, a wealth of scientific evidence is shining light on why this is so. The Budapest Early Intervention Project (BEIP), a project that examined the health and development of children in Romanian orphanages, found startling evidence that when infants and children are starved of love and affection, their bodies do not grow as they should.
Gandhi’s immortalised words, ‘We must be the change we want to see in the world’, have as much of an impact today as they had when he first uttered them. Most people have an intuitive sense that changing themselves in some way affects others. This is most obvious in a household. Say a person has been under stress for some time and they are having a negative effect on others in the household.
One of the things I most enjoyed over the holiday period when I was playing on the Nintendo Wii with family members. I did some super-high scoring on bowling. Whoopeee…. I also had some long slugging-it-out tennis matches with my nephew Jake, played a few rounds of golf, and danced on ‘Just Dance’ with my mum.
I’ve written, and I speak a lot, about how we are contagious, although not in the usual sense of the word where we catch the cold from each other, but in how our emotions are contagious. Social network research shows that if you feel happy, for instance, you not only infect your friends with happiness, but you also infect your friends’ friends and even your friends’ friends’ friends – out to a radius of three social steps. This is partly facilitated through mirror neurons, specialised cells in the brain that mirror our physical expressions of emotion.
In my book, ‘How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body’, I wrote about gaining strength by using our minds to imagine exercising and I have spoken about the subject in many talks and workshops. I jokingly suggest that we can lie in our beds instead of going to the gym and just do the workout in our minds. So I was excited to learn of some very recent scientific research that showed just how much we can replace actual training with training in our minds.
Forgiveness isn’t always an option, especially when someone has been severely hurt. They say that time is a great healer, and sometimes time is the only way. It’s not about letting someone off the hook. Forgiveness is about freeing ourselves so that we can move forwards in our lives and not continue to suffer. When forgiveness is possible, it’s a conscious choice and it’s a gift to the self.