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April 24, 2023


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Breathing differently, slowing down, certainly can help the body calm down.
But it is also true that believing you are stressed can add unnecessary stress and damage the body:


Actors use sense memory movements to help them create the right emotions for their character and scene. So behavior is indeed linked to psychological experience.

But thoughts and expectations can also change our physical response and our mental performance.


What thoughts you choose to put your mind on, can alter the physical state of your brain and body. What you tell yourself, your body attempts to help you get there.


According to the Mayo Clinic, from the article above, positive thinking can change your health in significant ways:

"The health benefits of positive thinking
"Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

"Increased life span
"Lower rates of depression
"Lower levels of distress and pain
"Greater resistance to illnesses
"Better psychological and physical well-being
"Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke
"Reduced risk of death from cancer
"Reduced risk of death from respiratory conditions
"Reduced risk of death from infections
"Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

You are indeed a thinking being connected to a physical body. And you are a physical body connected to a thinking mind...works both ways.

So think positive...Think the most positive and enjoyable thoughts you can....Love the angels you see in the garden, if that gives you joy! Take joy in them!

It's good for your health.

Learn to appreciate and be thankful for all the good, and all the strange wonders around and within you, if that makes you happy. Love does that, wherever you find it. Love is Love.

@ Spence

Believing one can and should "change for the better" is telling what to the brain???

That something is wrong and the person is neglecting its own welfare.

Believing that you have to change to feel better can add unnecessary stress and damage the body.

It has become a whole industry ..of legal, academic trained, ... snake oil sellers.

Hi Um
You wrote
"Believing that you have to change to feel better can add unnecessary stress and damage the body."

If you want to feel better than you do now, then, naturally, something must change. It's very logical, you see.

If you don't wish to feel better, then that advice doesn't apply.

I suggest that for some people learning that their body can become healthier with some small effort, either to slow breathing, exercise or to think positive thoughts, is encouraging.

But for others the very idea of change is insulting and burdensome. Or unnecessary.

I do not suggest that you love what you do not love.

I only suggest that if you wish to improve your situation, physical or mental, a change in attitude and behavior can work wonders. Doesn't cost a thing.

What you already love can save you.

But if you cannot find that love, then I encourage you to keep looking, because whatever you find that you find yourself loving, being in that love, can physically and mentally be very good for you.

@ Spence

Let everybody do what he wants.

If somebody, starts a discussion on stopping smoking. I generally and first of all I , if I have had enough coffee and being in a good mood, will ask them the rhetoric question:

"why for heavens sake would you stop smoking".
"Go on smoking"
Why do you say that?
"Because you do not want to stop"
"You want to be released from the bad image and the consequences it has"

If You would realy want to stop you didn't need to ask me for help.
Your asking is an lame excuse and hide the very truth for yourself.


I once read an inspiring story by Ajahn Sumedho about the effectiveness of anapatasati. He told of how he was sent to some remote part of Thailand, got very sick to the point he was bedridden, and only had ditch water to drink. Completely terrible living conditions that would drive most people to despair. But with mindful breathing he restored his equanimity.

Also came across an interesting story about Bhagwan Dass of Be He Now fame. Not so long ago, someone turned him on to anapatasati and he was raving about how it was the greatest meditation technique he'd ever. That story, Bhagavan's reaction that is, I find a bit hard to believe, given that Bhagwan was surely exposed to Goenka's meditation back in the 60s when he was living in India.

I have to say that one of the great bummers of the spiritual heroes pantheon was the downfall of Bhagwan. If it was a downfall to chase tail that is. Apparently this guy wasn't just a guru gadfly but also a very ardent meditator. So many different kinds of people in this world, so many different paths in this human experience.

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