• Dr. Tamara C. Hill

How magicians turn thoughts into vitamin C for the body.

You might think daydreams are unimportant happenstances, yet research shows our thoughts impact the body the same way reality does.

i went on my rarely taken necessity errand run and was hoping to snag some vitamin C. However, much like toilet paper, most immune supplements are sold out.


This might be the part when most people begin to negative think.... "oh no, what if i never find toilet paper." or "Now that i don't have vitamin C my body is not going to be as strong" ...we can all be honest and say the list could be endless. However, these thoughts, despite them not necessarily being true, can impact the body in the same way that it would if those worst case scenarios were already taking place.


Scientists have discovered that when people imagine something or think about something the parts of the brain that fire up when the person actually sees that object are very much similar. The same chemicals and hormones are released and very similar neural transmission patterns are found in the brain. These findings are profound, and give much credence to our thoughts and just where our mind happens to wander to.


It might be worth repeating... Our thoughts impact the body the same way reality does.


Back when i was in graduate school i chose to be the guinea pig one time and be the model in the front of the class for a heart rate variability exercise. We were learning about the phenomenon of the heart, and how variations and fluctuations in the heart rate were natural and healthy - i was hooked up to the plethysmograph and my heart rate fluctuations were beautifully displayed on the screen. i was breathing. My professor was commending my graphed heart rhythms. All was well in the world. Then the professor asked me to close my eyes and start imagining something that was upsetting or stressful to me as i continued to breathe. i did that for a few moments thinking about the stress of graduate school, but if i were to be honest it did not feel all that stressful because this was stuff i had dealt with on a daily basis. i maybe thought that i was going to continue to display those beautiful waves but when i opened my eyes i was really unpleasantly surprised. The beautiful waves had turned jagged and much shorter. The professor told me that i was the perfect example of someone showing a physiological stress response.


With my own eyes i saw just how much of a negative impact that my thoughts have on my body.


Our thoughts can directly impact many parts of our central nervous system - and one of these systems is our immune response. During flu and covid season, if your mind is in a constant state of worry, stress or panic, it can greatly suppress your immune response. This can be altered by noticing where your thoughts are and trying to get the thoughts more in-line with what is currently happening and in a place that might be more conducive to the situation.


This is definitely NOT only thinking about positive things, but rather it is trying not to live within the "what-if" zone, in the future. It can be good to plan, but when we remain there in the stressed state for longer periods of time, it can become detrimental.


This is going to take practice, so try out this quite exercise and see how many times throughout the day you can gently shift your thoughts back to the present moment.


be well,

tamara

the practice:


Sit in a comfortable seat, find integrity in the spine and close the eyes downward as you turn your awareness inward.


Place your hands on top of your heart and take a cleansing breath in and sigh it out.


Focus on the activity of breathing - really taking an account of each inhale and each release of breath.


When the mind wanders as it surely will take note of what it is you were thinking of and gently allow that thought to tumble away with the beat of your heart. Almost as though your breath is creating the breeze that is necessary for a tumble weed to drift away.


Do this for a few moments, and practice frequently throughout the day. The importance is approaching awareness with a sense of compassion and curiosity.

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