Minding over Mattering


Let me start with what a few of you might be thinking. I do not believe you can cure a virus with a positive outlook.

Nevertheless, our mindset is more powerful than most people imagine. Let me begin with how I have experienced this. It was always something I have been aware of from a very young age when I decided I didn’t want to go to school for whatever reason and was able to will myself sick to the point that a doctor will diagnose me, even after checking my temperature. As I got older I took a more positive slant on this power and have used it to create outcomes in my favour. Getting the jobs I wanted, finding the partners that I felt I deserved, to prevent myself from getting sick. I continuously practised a mindful lifestyle of designing a life that is fun and filled with adventures. I have also experienced where I allowed all the matters to take control and this is not a very nice place.

A lot of people incorrectly say I am very positive. I disagree. I have developed a growth mindset. I see adversity and obstacles as challenges and opportunities to grow. It can be a little tiring at times and without proper care and self-love, leads to burnout and worse. This is where I do not recommend, an enemy, let a friend go. Our minds can be powerfully good tools or horrifically bad demons. Our ability to manage them requires self-control, awareness, kindness, temperance, nurturing, replenishing, and for us to honour them with discipline when possible.

Over my life, this has been a constant active choice. At 18, I stopped reading/watching the news, stopped wearing a watch, I started reading and practising lessons from psychology, self-help and spiritual books from people like Echart Tole, Louise Haye, Dale Carnegie, James Redfield, Norman Peale, Tony Buzan, Joseph Jaworski, Anthony De Mello, Napolean Hill and many more. I trained myself how to have good sleep health. I thought myself tricks (triggers) to come back into the moment. I tried to follow careers that made me come alive inside. I actively watched and changed my language from the negative self-talk, such as I’m just, I should, I’m only, I can’t, I forgot, but and if. I try to reduce my complaining of others to a minimum. I make an effort to find the good in things, even when I feel overwhelmed. And I make mistakes and I get it wrong and I am fallible.

I propose that our mindset is so powerful that we can design more beneficial outcomes for ourselves. Like a garden, when you let the weeds grow, without monitoring, they can take over and strangle a lot the good that is there. You can choose to plant more beneficial loving, kind, healthy, positive, nurturing thoughts and replace those weeds at every opportunity with elements that make your garden more healthy and well. This leads to better overall health, resilience, self-efficacy, self-worth and general overall increased self-esteem. We need to watch the weeds. They can be as simple as hearing/repeating a negative thought over and over again. This can make you more vulnerable. We in someway shield ourselves, to some level, when we choose our outlook.

Last year was one of the most trying I have experienced from a Mind Over Matter point of view. Nevertheless, using every magic trick I had in my books and others, I was able to return to find calm. Fear can be a very disabling and paralysing force. At the moment the Covid-19 outbreak news is on nearly every single lip. I found myself feeling a little overwhelmed last week when I got a cold. Checking myself and seeing the bigger picture. This week I decided I had a duty. A duty to be mindful. It’s really really tough as it is so high in intensity. Everywhere you turn. Everything you read. I am not saying to ignore or to believe it is not real. Although try to remember, you are here for a reason. One thing I did learn and have to accept from my 2019 journey, is that things are the way they are. Me panicking and freaking myself is not serving me or anyone else. I feel for everyone who is feeling anxious and worried and stressed and desperate with all these weirdly surreal happenings. Although were you to focus on anything, in the amount of detail we are watching this news unfold, you will feel anxiety. Step back. Breath. Realise that all is well. Bring your light back up. Hold your head up high and surround yourself in your own love. Come out of the hole. Open your heart and care for those that are feeling isolated. Fill your garden with the most beautiful flowers. Take back control or learn to be pulled by the control. Be well.

Crum has also been investigating the influence of our expectations on stress. It is well known that chronic stress can lead to reduced cognitive performance, high blood pressure and a compromised immune system.

Crum, Alia J., and Ellen J. Langer. "Mind-set matters: Exercise and the placebo effect." Psychological Science 18, no. 2 (2007): 165-171. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01867.x

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