Wondering if Affirmations work?
I have put together here hard scientific evidence, proof, that thoughts are things and that they shape our life.
Current trends in neuroscience offer evidence that we can consciously improve our health and well-being by simply changing our thoughts. ‘Discoveries in 20th century neuroplasticity have demonstrated that the physical reality of our brain has been formed from our past experiences and can change based on new input’, says Danea Horn (Read more at Affirmations – The Science Behind Why They Work)
Lauren Robins, (MS, LMT) in the article ‘The Indefinite Body’ says, ‘Thoughts create chemicals that pour into the rivers and streams coursing through our body. Within 20 seconds, the chemical composition of the body is altered by a thought, having an acid or alkaline effect on our body… As we persevere on limiting negative thoughts, our nervous system sends chemicals to muscles; our physical body contracts and thinking becomes foggy.’
Cathy Chapman, Ph.D., LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker writes in Strengthening the Immune System: ‘If you are someone who thinks sad, angry or negative thoughts most of the day, you are weakening your immune system. The chemicals in your body which fight off infection can be clinically shown to decrease.’
Dr. Joseph Dispenza in ‘Physics, the Brain and Your Reality’ says: ‘The thinking brain, the neo cortex, is the seed of our freewill and allows us to have a choice and opinion. The one thing I noticed about people who had changes in health had changed their thinking. If they changed their thinking was the effect in the brain sending a new signal to their body? The answer is yes… Our thoughts have a direct connection to our direct level of health. Thoughts make a chemical. If you have happy thoughts then you’re producing chemicals that make you feel happy. It you have negative thoughts, angry thoughts or insecure thoughts, those thoughts make chemicals to make you feel how you’re thinking… There is sound evidence that our thoughts do matter. We always replace those old patterns with a greater ideal of ourselves. If rehearsed mentally, we will grow new circuits in the brain, the platform in which we stand on to execute a new level of self.’
Dr Joseph M Carver, PhD, in the article ‘Emotional Memory Management: Positive Control Over Your Memory’ writes: ‘Thoughts change brain chemistry. That sounds so simple but that’s the way it is, with our thoughts changing neurotransmitters on a daily basis. If a man walks into a room with a gun, we think “threat”, and the brain releases norepinephrine. We become tense, alert, develop sweaty palms, and our heart beats faster. If he then bites the barrel of the gun, telling us the gun is actually chocolate, the brain rapidly changes its opinion and we relax and laugh — the joke is on us… We feel what we think! Positive thinking works. As the above example suggests, what we think about a situation actually creates our mood. Passed over for a promotion, we can either think we’ll never get ahead in this job (lowering serotonin and making us depressed) or assume that we are being held back for another promotion or job transfer (makes a better mood).’
Dr. Caroline Leaf, a brain researcher from South Africa with over 25 years in this field, says in Thought Life: ’87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions…The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick! Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones. There are INTELLECTUAL and MEDICAL reasons to FORGIVE! Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following illnesses: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few. Consciously control your thought life and start to detox your brain!’
Neuroscientist Helen Mayberg had not endeared herself to the pharmaceutical industry by discovering, in 2002, that inert pills — placebos — work the same way on the brains of depressed people as antidepressants do. Activity in the frontal cortex, the seat of higher thought, increased; activity in limbic regions, which specialize in emotions, fell. She figured that cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which patients learn to think about their thoughts differently, would act by the same mechanism. (Read More at How Thinking Can Change Your Brain)
Dr Joe Dispenza explains in “What the Bleep” that where the neurons of the brain connect, they integrate into a thought or a memory, and that these thoughts are organized by association into a thought pattern, or ‘neuro-net’. He illustrates this as follows: “The concept of and the feeling of love for instance is stored in this vast neuro-net. But we built the concept of love from many other different idea’s. Some people have love connected to disappointment; when they think about love, they experience the memory of pain, sorrow, anger and even rage. Rage may be linked to hurt, which maybe linked to a specific person which then is connected back to love.”
He says that physiologically that nerve cells that fire together wire together. If you practice something over and over again, those nerve cells have a longstanding relationship.
If you get angry on a daily basis, if you get frustrated on a daily basis, if you suffer on a daily basis, if you give reason for the victimization in your life you are re-wiring and re-integrating that neuro-net on a daily basis and that neuro-net now has a long-term relationship with all those other nerve cells called an identity.
We also know that nerve cells that don’t fire together no longer wire together; they lose their long-term relationship because every time we interrupt the thought process that produces a chemical response in the body, every time we interrupt it, those nerve cells that are connected to each other start breaking the long-term relationship. When we start interrupting and observing, not by stimulus and response and that automatic reaction, but by observing the effects it takes, then we are no longer the body-mind-conscious-emotional person that’s responding to it’s environment as if it is automatic.”(Read more at Emotional Chemistry)
Deb Shapiro, the bestselling author of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, says that there is now a whole new science called pschonueroimmunology exploring the relationship between the psyche or mind, the nervous system and the immune system. He asks if you ever wondered how the power of your thoughts can affect your body? He gives the example of Dr. Bernie Siegel, the author of Love, Medicine and Miracles, who was giving a talk to a room full of skeptical doctors when he brought out a copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover and proceeded to read the most erotic part. As he put the book down he said, “Just as reading a book can stir our sexuality, so you can see how our thoughts and feelings can affect us physically.” The doctors were immediately convinced!
A study in the journal Science finds that an affirmation exercise improved the grades of African-American middle school students, and the effects lasted for at least another two years after the test period according to the study author Geoffrey Cohen, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. When children write about their values, these self-affirmation exercises can help boost grades, new research suggests. (Read more at Affirmations Improve Student Grades)