We all talk to ourselves. There have been times when I thought, "Am I the only one who talks to myself and am I crazy?" You may have had the same thought at one time or another. Our mind is in a constant conversation with itself. It's usually silent conversation, but occasionally I find myself talking outloud to myself. This only occurs when I'm by myself. That prevents others from thinking I really am going crazy. Maybe you've experienced the same thing. It's quite normal.
So, we agree that we all have conversations with ourselves. These conversations are a series of questions and answers and statements as we operate through our day. They can be mundane comments. They can be comments about what we see going on around us. They can be complex questions regarding our life, work, problems, and day to day tasks. Our conscious brain is asking questions and our subconscious brain is typically answering them. If we ask a stupid question, we typically get a simple stupid answer. Example: If I ask a question like, "Why did I do that?" when I do something silly, my brain will answer "because you're stupid" or "because you're silly".
Our subconscious mind houses all of the detailed information from our life. Every experience, lesson, feeling, emotion, relationship, and personal thought is stored deep in our brain. When we ask ourselves a question, our brain goes deep into all of this collected data attempting to find an answer. If we ask it something simple and without much detail, we get an answer back that is quick, simple, and without much detail.
We might get the idea that there is actually someone else inside our head giving us answers, because a lot of the answers we get, we don't like or appreciate. That can be changed, We can actually control the conversation that goes on in our mind. How? By asking better questions of ourselves and putting better information into our mind. How do we do that? Let's go over it.
First, we can all put better information into our mind. We can all read books. Non-fiction and information books, articles, essays, and great classics can fill our mind with new thoughts and ideas. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. We can all fill our minds with petty, insignificant information and gossip that will cloud our thoughts and mind. Socrates said, " Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, and weak minds discuss people." He is known for having one of the greatest thinking minds in history.
When we fill our mind with ideas, whether our own or someone else's, we expand our mind's capacity to come up with better thoughts and answers to our questions. A mentor of mine told me, "we don't have to give birth to our own ideas, it's ok to adopt them". By reading, listening, and watching information about ideas, we can greatly improve how our brain operates. This has been the primary idea behind advanced education.
We should also fill our mind with positive thoughts and ideas. There is so much negative in the world that if we fill our mind with it, we become cynical, irritable, and negative ourselves. Over time we can get emotionally down and even depressed. What we focus on is what we get. Focusing on feeding our mind with fresh, informative, and positive information brightens our outlook on all that we encounter and all that is around us. Our brain is like a farmer's fertile field of soil. We get back exactly what we plant. The soil doesn't care. If we plant poison ivy, we get back poison ivy. If we plant corn, we get row after row of golden corn.
Our brain doesn't care what we plant in it. It will give what we plant back to us. Plant ugly, negative thoughts and we get the same. Plant positive, nurturing, and expanding ideas and that's what comes back. How does this apply to our health? This is huge when it comes to improving our health.
To create a healthy body, we must have a healthy mind. In my medical practice I've seen dramatic illustrations of this. I had a sixty year old healthy female in which we uncovered an early case of lymphoma. This was a very treatable cancer and had a very high rate of cure. When I told her the diagnosis, the first thing out of her mouth was, "I guess I need to get busy dying". She was very negative about her body and her future even though we were much more optimistic. Unfortunately she passed away in only a few short months. Even the Oncologist was surprised by her rapid deterioration and demise. To this day, I am convinced her outcome was directly related to her negative mental input and poor projection of her future.
On the other hand, I've seen many cases where a terminal diagnosis turned into many, many good years of life and even a cure in someone who attacked the problem in a positive fashion and didn't let the disease get in the way of living their best life. Their joy and fun and spirit was never diminished by the diagnosis and they fed their mind with uplifting self talk, information, meditation, and spiritual messages. We can mentally control our immune system and our body's response to illness and disease.
Encouraging ourselves each day, focusing on our strengths and not our weaknesses, surrounding ourselves with positive people and positive information and ideas can create an unstoppable capacity to achieve what we want. If weight reduction and renewed health is our goal, planting those seeds and reinforcing our mind regularly with encouraging messages and personal pats on the back will get us there sooner than we thought.
I'm not talking about Rah Rah chants or incantations. I'm talking about the routine daily feeding of our minds with positive information, positive encouragement, and the talk from positive people. Filter out the bad stuff that can so easily enter our mind. Stay away from the toxic negative people, and avoid the negative distractions on TV and the internet. There is a grood deal of great information on TV, the internet, podcasts, articles, and from other optimistic people out there. Tap into that and flood your mind with it on a regular basis.
To become physically healthy requires a healthy mind. A healthy mind requires healthy input. We can have better conversations with ourselves and we can create an optimistic vision of our health and our future. Stop asking yourself "Why" Questions and start asking yourself "What" and "How" questions. Instead of asking "Why did I fail at losing weight?", ask yourself " How can I change my lifestyle and schedule proper eating and exercise into my daily life/" The answer you get back from your mind will be much more helpful and will provide good direction to accomplish the task.
The better the questions we ask ourselves, the better the answers our brain will give us. Remember, we are in control of our inner conversation and we can change our lives by changing our minds. Start feeding the brain with the best brain food out there. Good, positive, factual, and optimistic information.
As Socrates told us, we must begin to focus on ideas rather than people or events in our conversations, both with ourselves and with others. Each of us is just a short change away from having a great mind. Dr. Gregory Oliver