After a recent post on Facebook highlighting my progress after breaking my neck in 2015 – I wanted to touch on why mindset is more than magic pixy dust.
Beliefs are basically the guiding principles in life that provide direction and meaning in life. Beliefs are the preset, organized filters to our perceptions of the world (external and internal). Beliefs are like ‘Internal commands’ to the brain as to how to represent what is happening, when we congruently believe something to be true. In the absence of beliefs or inability to tap into them, people feel disempowered.
Beliefs originate from what we hear and keep on hearing from others, ever since we were children (and even before that!). The sources of beliefs include environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc.
One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs. Our beliefs become our reality.
Beliefs are not just cold mental premises, but are ‘hot stuff’ intertwined with emotions (conscious or unconscious).
Perhaps, that is why we feel threatened or react with sometimes uncalled for aggression, when we believe our beliefs are being challenged! Research findings have repeatedly pointed out that the emotional brain is no longer confined to the classical locales of the hippocampus, amygdala and hypothalamus.
The sensory inputs we receive from the environment undergo a filtering process as they travel across one or more synapses, ultimately reaching the area of higher processing, like the frontal lobes. There, the sensory information enters our conscious awareness. What portion of this sensory information enters is determined by our beliefs.
Fortunately for us, receptors on the cell membranes are flexible, which can alter in sensitivity and conformation. In other words, even when we feel stuck ‘emotionally’, there is always a biochemical potential for change and possible growth.
When we choose to change our thoughts (bursts of neurochemicals!), we become open and receptive to other pieces of sensory information hitherto blocked by our beliefs! When we change our thinking, we change our beliefs.
When we change our beliefs, we change our behavior.
The power of belief: psychosocial influences on illness, disability and medicine
At a time when public trust in doctors and science is diminishing, a better understanding of patients’ and doctors’ beliefs regarding illness is clearly a priority for research in clinical practice Over the past two decades, a widening gulf has emerged between illness presentation and the adequacy of traditional biomedical explanations. Currently, the UK is experiencing an “epidemic of common health problems” among people in receipt of State incapacity benefits and those who consult their general practitioners.
Psychosocial influences such as beliefs are also relevant when considering society’s views regarding the etiology of illness, recovery and potential for treatment. At a time when public trust in doctors and science is undoubtedly diminishing, a better understanding of patients’ beliefs is clearly a priority for clinical practice and research.
The Power of Belief brings together a range of experts from neuroscience, rehabilitation and disability medicine and provides a unique account of the role and influence that belief plays in illness manifestation, medical training, promising biopsychosocial interventions and society at large.
|Halligan, Peter and Aylward, Mansel 2006. The power of belief: psychosocial influences on illness, disability and medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.|
Everything exists as a ‘Matrix of pure possibilities’ akin to ‘formless’ molten wax or moldable soft clay. We shape them into anything we desire by choosing to do so, prompted, dictated (consciously or unconsciously) by our beliefs.
The awareness that we are part of these ever-changing fields of energy that constantly interact with one another is what gives us the key hitherto elusive, to unlock the immense power within us. And it is our awareness of this awesome truth that changes everything. Then we transform ourselves from passive onlookers to powerful creators. Our beliefs provide the script to write or rewrite the code of our reality.
Thoughts and beliefs are an integral part of the brain’s operations.T.S. Sathyanarayana Rao, M. R. Asha,1 K. S. Jagannatha Rao, and P. Vasudevaraju
Neurotransmitters could be termed the ‘words’ brain uses to communicate with exchange of information occurring constantly, mediated by these molecular messengers. Unraveling the mystery of this molecular music induced by the magic of beliefs, dramatically influencing the biochemistry of brain could be an exciting adventure and a worth pursuing cerebral challenge.
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