“Guided imagery is a very powerful psychological tool which can be used to achieve a wide variety of health objectives: enhance well being, expanded awareness, facilitate psychological growth and integration, evoke inner wisdom, increase empathy, expand creativity, increase memory, facilitate optimal performance, evoke a more positive attitude, and accelerate the learning of subject matter.”
-Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Imagine Well Being
Increase your well being by using your imagination. Think about this scene! It’s a bright and warm Friday afternoon. You left your office a little early this day to get some cash at the ATM machine for the weekend activities. You check your bank balance to find the astounding sum of one million dollars. All those zeroes flash on the screen.
Surprise lights up your eyes. Awestruck, you stare at the screen one more time to make sure that what you see is right. Passion wells up and laughter rolls through your body! Now hold that feeling. Breathe several deep, full connected-breaths and switch to another image for well being.
Carry that passionate, thrumming feeling into a scene from your life in which you were successful, on top of the world, and doing all you wanted to do. Remember the success. Breathe in the passion. See the success. Feel the emotion. Continue to breathe the passion in deeply and fully.
This exercise is an example of how mental imagery creates a sense of well being by pairing an image and evoked emotion. When you merge images and feelings that work for you, you can direct your energy and empower your results. Mental imagery makes you aware of your energy. You then choose how to direct your energy and intend a clear sense of health and well being.
The thoughts about how you view the world are not just housed in your brain. Your thoughts resonate in the magnetic field of your nervous system and throughout your whole body. Like a tuning fork, you resonate energy and well being because your body is a dynamic processor of energy.
Think of an image as a powerful emitter of your message to your environment. For example, you focus on an image that supports your intention of joy—you smiling, children laughing, ocean waves caressing the shore. You broadcast this image out into the world. Like any emission of energy, it will spread itself around, and your magnetic field will attract it back to you. So the question to ponder as you read this chapter is: What do you want to send out through your energy field and manifest in return? What dynamic do you want to empower?
WHAT IS IMAGERY?
Imagery is the ability to visualize or mentally create pictures and feelings. You can use this technique to empower success, joy and balance the same way an athlete envisions winning. Earlier chapters showed you that thoughts and feelings are not separate from each other. A thought triggers a biochemical response in your body. A feeling or sensation triggers a corresponding chemical response in the brain. Imagery lets you empower your awareness and direct your body into skill development and positive emotional states.
Mindbody science has shown us that thinking about running a race can trigger the same physical feelings as the physical act of running. Obviously running the race gives you the elation, physical exercise and tension release. What imaging the race before hand can do for you is set the stage by focusing your goal and preparing the physical body. In the same way, imaging success can empower your intention of joy and anchor triumph in your body.
Lynn Joseph, Ph.D., a professional speaker and founder of Discovery Dynamics, calls “guided imagery a thought process that directs and focuses the imagination and involves the body, the emotions and all the senses: vision, audition, smell, taste and touch. Even if your predominant sense is not visual, you can still use guided imagery effectively by feeling deeply and sensing acutely. Imagery is the powerful language of the subconscious. By choosing your images, you can program your subconscious mind for health and wellness. In fact, the subconscious mind does not know the difference between an image you ‘see’ in imagination and an image you see in the physical world.”
Have you noticed how life has a unique sense of humor about the topic of happiness. Why else would happiness be something that almost everyone wants and covets, yet only a few ever realize in their lifetimes?
Happiness is a mental and emotional state characterized by feelings of well being and contentment.
In human evolution, the mechanisms that alert us to danger, the motivation to survive and reproduce are how we think of the humans who preceded our lives and time. Today we are still attuned to danger and sensitive to negativity, and much of our attention is not focused on fun or pleasure that reward the brain’s pleasure centers. To be happier, we have to intentionally focus on being happy and shifting into that emotional feeling. Would you be willing to ignite your brain’s reward center through happy feelings and train your brain? That question is food for thought.
Another similar joke that life plays on all of us is that happiness is often achieved by those who stop looking for that good feeling. This may seem counterintuitive at first. Yet when you read the common beliefs shared people who are happy, you’ll understand how those who don’t seek happiness are the most likely to find it!
Strategies For More Happiness
An Attitude of Appreciation is needed when we take certain parts of life for granted. We might take our basic foundations like our homes, educations, or foods for granted. Perhaps our lifestyles seem so normal to us that we forget the freedom our lifestyles provide.
People who are happy, seem to be content and appreciate of whatever they have.
While our ancestors’ aggression and alert instincts helped them survive, the positive emotions like feeling satisfied, happy, or content support our larger connection to members of our family, friends and communities. Perhaps one way to gauge your level of happiness is to cultivate a mindset and appreciation for happiness.
- The mindset in which you take nothing for granted will usually require no more than a shift in attitude. You won’t have to change anything about your external circumstances.
- To remind yourself to be appreciative, make it a point to reflect on everything that you’re thankful for once a day. Doing this as you fall asleep each night helps to brush your cares away as you fall into restful slumber, preparing the way for a great day tomorrow.
Be realistic about achieving goals. Expecting success overnight, unless you have just won the lottery, is a sure recipe for disappointment. Happy people are realistic and pragmatic when it comes to setting and achieving their goals.
- You can understand exactly how much time and effort may be required to achieve a goal, and if you fall short, you then put in the necessary additional work required to succeed
- People who are always happy also know that life offers no guarantees. As you put in additional time and necessary work to complete a task or goals, , remind yourself that the journey is enjoyable. Enjoying the journey practically predicts that you will be amazed with happiness as you work on the tasks. The completion or achievement means even more to you now.
- This may sound pessimistic, however, this is merely to state that they are aware of the possibility that external factors outside of their control could easily change outcomes. Being aware of this can help lessen the blow when unforeseen circumstances arise.
Put others first. Achieving happiness can sometimes be the opposite of what you might think. You may be wondering how you can bring yourself closer towards achieving happiness if you put others first. Putting others first is a normal trait for persons with Adaptive Supporter temperaments. Temperament traits such as creating, achieving, supporting, or problem solving are characteristic of each of the four temperament styles. Thus, if you are not of the temperament to put others first, then know that your ability to be happy is that you follow your inner motivation toward your goals.
- Putting other people first automatically requires you to have a more humble and appreciative outlook on life. In addition to this, making others happy will invariably bring more happiness into your own life.
If you take some time to begin integrating the above approaches into your daily living, you’ll find that happiness has always been just around the corner – waiting for you to discover it.
Why Happiness Is Elusive to Some People
Most Disney movies and young children’s storybooks end with “happily ever after.” If only real life mimicked the story book endings, but it does not. The busier and more complicated life has become over the last century, happiness seems more tangible, but also still elusive. Parents are not always the happiest when their children are toddlers or teens, the ages when kids need and needle their parents the most. Certainly more income or less income or earning ability defines happiness, but researchers have shown that this does not hold any weight. The point here is that most people have imagined happiness based on getting married, having more money, finding the ideal partner, and so forth. The imagined happiness scenarios are just like the Disney movies–fantasy!
The truths about happiness from solid research sources shows that good, lasting relationships make people happy. The connection with those you love prove that feeling safe, appreciated, and treated with respect are factors in why relationships support happiness. Experiences with others you enjoy create happy memories
Focusing your energy on making those experiences happen will also make you happy. So what about money, and great vacations, or a brand new wardrobe? Won’t those “things” make you happy? The answer is perhaps fleetingly. The focus of true happiness is still about…
- Investing in the relationships that make you happy.
- Spending money on experiences that make the relationship better.
- Investing yourself fully in the relationship experiences.
You can practice these steps and find yourself growing in happiness. You can cultivate experiences to make others happy or just set and achieve the goals that make you happy. The key is to recognize the moments of happiness and then create them again.
Hill Put Forth The Foundation for Spirituality
Feeling wealthy and blessed was a spiritual message by Napoleon Hill which has influenced people for decades. The famous author revealed the secrets of wealth in his 1937 classic Think and Grow Rich through:
- Creative imagination
Hill understood that thoughts are energy, and he put this understanding into practice. Throughout his book, he indicated that to acquire wealth, you must work with your power of thought, accompanied by positive emotional desires and persistent effort.
Now, leap into the Information Age and update Hill’s classic strategies with the science of the mind and body, called psychoneuroimmunology or PNI. This science and research of the human mind and body demonstrates the interactions between psychological processes, the nervous system, and the immune systems.. The new brain science with functional neuro-mapping through MRIs shows precisely where and how the brain corresponds to your feelings and thoughts and vice versa. The mind and emotions are not separate. Nature intended that the mind and body systems work in harmony for you to have the kind of life you desire and deserve.
The latest science presents the mind and body as one dynamic process of energy. Thoughts are energetic impulses. Emotions are energies providing feedback. Intuition is that hunch or gut feeling. When your inner spirit wants to get your attention, how do you become aware?
“Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” – Napoleon Hill
Have A Life Rich In Spirituality
A joyful life is a rich one. Indeed, the definition of rich has changed radically with the introduction of mind-body medicine and the public’s deepened interest in spirituality and longing for deepest joy. Some people interpret rich as being healthy and living in an environment where pollutants are not rampant. Another person considers rich to be accumulated material wealth. Still others consider rich to be living their spirituality beyond beliefs or attitudes. In other words, they recognize that they are spiritual beings having the human experience.
As larger numbers of people acquire a surplus of money at younger ages, there is a sociological trend toward seeking satisfaction of a spiritual nature. They yearn for an enriched life, which includes good health, harmony, longevity, and spirituality.
Have a Connection to Universal Consciousness
The Dalai Lama indicates that being a citizen of this century requires a connection to universal consciousness.
Being “rich” then becomes a spiritual deepening of our hearts, in addition to the material wealth we wish to accumulate. Just as health is more than an absence of disease, wealth is more than material accumulation. Spiritual wealth includes joyful emotions and optimal mental states as well.
“When you are able to shift your inner awareness to how you can serve others, and when you make this the central focus of your life, you will then be in a position to know true miracles in your progress toward prosperity.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer
Studies Suggest We Are Slowly Suffocating
- Air pollution may contribute to the development of asthma in previously healthy people.
- A recent Los Angeles study found that 8% of childhood asthma cases are a result of living within 250 feet to major roadways.
- The gains in lung function paralleled improving air quality in the communities studied, and across the Los Angeles basin, as policies to fight pollution took hold.
- The research appears in the March 5, 2015 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that air pollution is causing an increase in respiratory illnesses, as much as 50% in some areas. The result is that asthma has grown into an epidemic in the United States. Breathing exercises that can help are often overlooked.affects 16.2 adults and 6.7 million children.
- The most common chronic childhood disease in the country affects 1 in every ten kids and links is now correlated with allergies.
- Common air pollutants slow children’s lung growth according to results of a comprehensive, ten-year study from the University of Southern California Children’s Health Study.
When the quality of our air is weak, we tend to breathe shallower, and we absorb more toxins.
The resulting rapid, shallow breathing leads to inadequate oxygen supply, respiratory disease, and fatigue. Parents may resort to the strongest medications to help their children breathe better and remain active. On the other hand, many parents are uneasy with the constant intake of medication and look for alternative ways to reduce their children’s need for bronchodilators and steroid-based drugs.
Solution: Breathing Exercises
The environmental facts speak openly about the necessity and urgency to take action and improve our breathing capacity. To enjoy health, we must enhance our breathing ability and understand that:
- Shallow breathing increases stress and anxiety.
- Deeper breathing exercises bring relaxation and the ability to manage better asthma episodes.
The first step in the breathing process is inhaling. After oxygen enters the lungs, it is picked up by hemoglobin in the blood and sent to all the cells. Once in the cells, oxidation, the method of combining the nutrients from food with oxygen, creates energy. Oxygen maintains cells and keeps them clean and healthy. At the same time, oxygen helps remove waste from the body and reduces inflammation. Breathing that is more efficient increases oxygen in the body.
Children are especially at risk for respiration difficulties because their growing bodies require oxygen. Moreover, their bodies must be capable of using that oxygen efficiently. Unless the muscles responsible for respiration are exercised through deep breathing techniques, the rib cage and surrounding tissues get stiff, which makes inhalation more difficult. Less suppleness and weak muscles leave stale air in the tissues of the lungs and prevent fresh oxygen from reaching the bloodstream. This stunts growth, depresses the immune system, and contributes to disease. By teaching children to breathe fully and deeply, you can positively impact their health for a lifetime.
First Graders Can Do It
The International Breath Institute helps you retrain poor breathing habits in a three-step breathing exercise called Full-Wave Breathing. Full-Wave breathing fights the toxins that pollute our cities by strengthening the lungs, relieving bronchitis, improving circulation, oxygenating the blood and minimizing the reoccurrence of respiratory ailments.
Research from the International Breath Institute shows that first-grade children, who sat for long periods of time in their seats, breathed shallower and shallower as the day progressed. Their postures slumped, and their eyes glazed. Learning cannot take place under such conditions.
But, when their teacher led them through deep breathing exercises for ten minutes each day after lunch, something amazing happened. They felt upbeat! They learned and concentrated more easily. They were relaxed and could shift attention without difficulty after recess. The first graders reminded each other to use their breath before each assignment, and they practiced breathing while walking in the hallway, which helped them not chatter and disturb others.[i]
Emotional Links to Allergies and Asthma
Emotional reactions affect our breathing.
Fear accelerates breathing.
Anger pumps our breathing like a spewing volcano.
Sadness and grief inhibit breathing.
Well-known asthma triggers are exercise, emotional stress or emotional excitement.
Shallow breathers are more anxious and impulsive.
Breathing is the only body function that we do involuntarily, and that we can voluntarily control. We can influence our autonomic nervous systems and positively affect other systems in the body like circulation, respiration, and digestion.
How people breathe affects their attitudes. Deep breathers are more relaxed and balanced. Shallow breathers are more anxious and impulsive. Full-Wave Breathing is a smooth and successful tool to help children develop better resilience and emotional strength!
You can’t breathe for your kids, but you can help them with breathing exercises to give them an extra edge in fighting illness every day. Use the Full Wave Breathing method with your children and you will see the difference it makes.
OTHER LINKS WITH UPDATED POLLUTION NEWS:
NEWS RELEASE: Research links tobacco smoke and roadway air pollution with childhood obesity
NEWS RELEASE: Research raises new concerns about air pollution impacts at Los Angeles International Airport
Why Use Affirmations?
When you have “convenience” food bombarding you from every direction, it can be difficult to choose options that give your body the nourishment it needs.
However, if you have daily reminders and effective tools at your disposal, you may find that eating the right foods and feeding your body the best fuels becomes easier.
Of course, there will always be temptations; but when you equip yourself with anti-temptation tools, you will be able to quickly re-focus your mind on your greater goal of getting healthy!
Make Better Healthy Food and Nutrition Choices
When everyone around you at the office is indulging in burgers, fries, and sugary drinks, it’s awfully tempting to join in, isn’t it?
But what if you could stop that temptation in its tracks and actually choose to make a healthy choice? You don’t need me to tell you that fatty and sugary choices are not the kinds of food that your body needs – you need to tell yourself! That is where affirmations comes in when you need to remind yourself about holistic health choices.
It can be hard in moments of temptation to make the right choice for nutrition and nutrients.
With the help of positive nutrition affirmations, you can re-train your brain to replace the desire for junk food with healthy choices.
Nutrition Affirmations can help you stick to your diet, say no to temptation, and eat nourishing and satisfying foods. How? By replacing the negative spiral of thoughts in your mind with powerful, positive ones.
But first you have to believe that it is possible to gain control over your thirsts, desires, and cravings. The first step in making a lasting change in your life is to make the commitment to success. Are you committed? Do you believe that you can overcome your cravings?
Once you’ve set your commitment in stone, you’re ready to learn the top 10 affirmations to get you through moments of weakness.
Top 10 Food and Nutrition Affirmations
Before reading the list below, you should know that affirmations are most successful when you internalize the saying and repeat it frequently. Whether you’re having a good or bad day, you need to be constantly repeating these positive statements in your mind. Temptation will strike when you least expect it, so it’s better to be prepared!
- I can neutralize bad habits with good food, exercise, and healthy living.
- I am proud to reach out to my support network instead of leaning on food for comfort.
- I am losing weight for me because I love me.
- I set aside time just for me.
- My good health and productivity are the rewards for the nourishing foods I eat.
- Weight gain happens over time, so my weight loss equally requires time, patience, and lifestyle changes.
- I use self-care, not self-control.
- The more I take care of myself, the better I feel.
- I am firmly committed to staying active and healthy.
- I deserve a healthy body and mind.
When you look at these food and nutrition affirmations, they may seem like ideals – behaviors and thoughts that you only wish you could have – but each time you reaffirm them by saying them aloud, you’re slowly changing your mindset. Over time, these ideals will become a reality through your thoughts and actions.
But remember, you must first believe you can change. Once you make the commitment to your success, you will change your attitudes about food and you’ll be thankful you did!