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Mental/Emotional Health

Real or Imagined: Your Body Doesn’t Know the Difference?

Real or Imagined: Your Body Doesn’t Know the Difference?

by Pamela Jenkins

3 years ago


Have you ever watched a movie and became angry, fearful, sad or even cried? Of course, we all have! It happens all the time because movies are great at tapping into our inner world of beliefs and emotions. Science has shown us that what we perceive through the senses have a profound influence on our bodies. Something that you may have heard of called “Fight or Flight” has a tremendous effect over our lives. When we perceive some danger or threat, whether it is real or imagined, our bodies physically react by preparing us to go into survival mode. It is human nature to preserve the self.

"FIGHT OR FLIGHT", A GIFT OR A CURSE?

Imagine if you see a grizzly bear while walking in the woods one day. Your immediate reaction will likely throw your brain and body into survival mode and all kinds of bodily processes will activate. Science tells us that the limbic system, primarily something called the amygdala, is activated. Someone who is merely shown the pictures of fearful faces of other people will have this part of the brain activated. In other words, observing someone that is fearful can cause a fearful reaction in you as well, even if it’s only in the brain.

In the case of the grizzly bear, it is obviously beneficial to act against the threat of your life, whether by becoming physically still or running away. You may have heard of cases whereby small fragile people gain incredible human strength to lift cars or other heavy objects to save someone’s life. This is primarily because of the massive rush of adrenaline that is released within the body. Your body has natural built in chemical responses for a reason. If we didn’t go into survival mode, we may die, therefore you can see how this can be a lifesaving gift.

As we can see, we all have been affected emotionally from the observance of others whether in real life situations or in movies. Now let’s focus on the emotion of fear regarding phobias. Phobias are extremely common and can be hard to deal with in life, although the fear is not based on reality. We know that people who have a phobia of spiders will react emotionally when they see a spider, even if it is fake but they believe it to be real. Interestingly, it makes no difference whether the thing feared is real or just perceived to be real. Clearly, we all know that fear is very powerful and has the ability to protect as well as paralyze us. Just as it can be lifesaving, it can also cause some serious problems throughout our lives.

TRAUMA RELATED FEAR

Let’s examine a person who has grown up with a history of trauma within their family of origin. Trauma could be anything from the death of a loved one, physical and/or emotional abuse or neglect, sexual abuse, substance abuse, etc. Trauma is either experienced because it directly happened to you or experienced through witnessing other people affected by it. Children, still within the stages of physical and emotional development, who experience trauma can develop certain patterns of thinking based on that experience. This is precisely the reason why many people who have had past traumatic experiences seem to stay in a mental cycle of “Fight or Flight,” sometimes even specifically referred to as panic attacks. It is like living with that grizzly bear every single day and just learning to cope with it because they don’t know what else to do. Science even tells us that it not only affects the mental processes but also the bodily processes even at the cellular level. The state of a person’s mind can change their body by working through the Central Nervous System, the Endocrine System and even the Immune System.

THERE IS GOOD NEWS!

So does this mean that a person who has experienced childhood trauma is damaged mentally, emotionally and physically for life? Absolutely Not! Psychological and behavioral therapies, medicine, exercise and nutrition, yoga, essential oils, etc. have all been shown to aide in the healing of the mind and body. Even people who meditate and pray have had positive results with healing trauma, although science is just beginning to take notice.

As stated previously, the state of mind changes the state of the body. Therefore, if the mind has the power to affect our bodies in a negative way, it also has the power to affect us positively. It works both ways and that is great news!

For example, laughter has been shown to release feel good chemicals like endorphins which can strengthen the immune system and decrease stress hormones.  You probably have heard the saying “Laughter is the best medicine!” There are actual “Laughter Camps” being held all over the world. In India for example, some prison guards and policeman are sent to these camps just to laugh in order to promote their health and well being. The laughter camps may look foolish and bizarre but they are proving helpful by reducing the negative effects brought on by highly stressful jobs. You may ask “how does my body benefit from forced or fake laughter?” Well it happens just like the real vs. imagined fear response, your body doesn’t know the difference!

4 comments


  • Mental Photography

    “In proportion to the clearness and distinctness of the image will be the understanding of it by the mind and the hold taken of it by the memory.”
    Can you visualize your memory as a wonderful mental camera? The most wonderful moving-pictures in the world are those which move in the brain of man. No artist has ever succeeded in painting any picture so vivid or wonderful as those recorded in the memory of the brain.
    Memory, in other words, makes mental photography possible, and each and every one of us is daily painting pictures in the brain. Some paint one picture, some another. There is a great variety in these pictures, but as we look back over the years, down the byways of time,. we can each of us pick out some treasured picture, some one that hangs out a little more vividly than all the rest.
    “Among the beautiful pictures that hang on Memory’s wall Is one of a dim old forest that seemed best of all.”
    Your memory-gallery picture may not be the old forest—it may be a little rippling stream that runs down to meet the sea; it may be a cottage in an old town; it may be a beautiful tree some-where yonder on the banks of the lake. Each and every one of us has his different pictures that hang on memory’s wall, and we are continually adding to our art gallery.
    Here, too, we find the familiar figures of the friends we have known in the, long ago, and the faces of loved ones now sleeping.
    OUR MENTAL CAMERA
    The mind is a great mental camera, and mental photography is a scientific fact. Now, the first step in developing your mental photo-graphs lies in the mastery of definite, concise perception. This is accomplished by means of undivided attention and concentrated interest, or undivided interest and concentrated attention.
    The trouble with most of us in the matter of attention is that we have a tendency to divide our attention, to scatter our forces. Careless, indifferent attention and lack of interest is the rule and not the exception. Our tendency is to notice everything in general and nothing in particular to perceive, perhaps, many things at the same time, but no one thing with sufficient accuracy to make a clear-cut mental photograph to image vividly on the brain so that the picture will endure. Now, in memory-training as in life; not many things indifferently, but one thing supremely well, is the demand of the hour. Concentrate on the mastery of mental photography, and to carry the simile farther, you must hold steady and in focus if you want to get a good picture. Your intensity as you take your picture is equivalent to your light exposure. Some can take snap-shots, while others take time exposures—it all depends upon the amount of interest you are able to flash instantly on the object as you take your picture and record it on the memory tablets of the brain.
    RULES FOR SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHY
    The next consideration is, how to operate the mental camera. There are several working principles to be understood and practised. The factor of interest should not be overlooked. Those .who believe in enjoyable education have always held that interest is the secret of true learning, the sure way to mastery. Some of our leading universities are now stressing this point in practice, and urging the student to get as much enjoyment as possible out of his work. Some one has defined interest as " Soul light for mental photography." It illumines the object to be pictured, etching it so sharply on the memory that a clear-cut mental photograph results. Without interest in the thing you are trying to remember, you are like the amateur who tries to take a Kodak picture on a dark and cloudy day, and you get the same result. We all know how desperately hard it is to learn anything in which we are not at all interested. Worst of all, such laborious effort is usually wasted. The ideas which we grind out by putting our heads in a vice are usually of little value. But how the ideas leap into life and how potent they are when a vital interest fans the flame of creative thinking! No possible benefit can be derived from using brute force on your memory —nor does the grinding process help in mental discipline. Contrary to popular belief, drudgery does not develop will power. Let us assume then that interest is a prerequisite for mental photography. Arouse interest, if you have it not, in the objects to be pictured.
    ATTENTION
    Another working principle is attention. With-out it, mental photography is impossible. One might as well try to take Kodak pictures with the shutter closed. Of the two kinds of attention, voluntary and involuntary, we are referring to the voluntary, which requires an effort of the will.: How should one go about it to acquire the power of attention’ The first step, it seems to me, is to form the habit of definite, concise perception. Most people look without really seeing. It was said of the great Houdini, “When he looked, he saw." His mind became a highly sensitized photographic plate and registered everything within range. After looking for a moment at a store window, he could describe accurately and with meticulous detail every, article displayed there. Think how much an untrained eye misses in travelling. Whether amid the stately cathedrals of the Old World or the scenic beauty of the New World—whether in the crowded city or out in the untracked wilderness, a keen perceptive faculty is a most precious asset. The Indian guide or the back-woodsman will notice a broken twig or a. footprint where an untrained eye will see nothing. So many people never notice anything.
    Two persons may go into a room and remain for a few minutes. Later, when asked to describe the room and what was in it, one cannot even tell how many windows it had or how many pieces of furniture in it. The other, with better perceptive faculties and a habit of accurate observation, can give you a clear picture of the room, how many windows, how many chairs, describe the table and the pictures and draperies.
    Two men were out on a hunting trip in the great North woods. A sudden blizzard swept down on them while they were miles from camp and they were soon separated and lost in the blinding storm, neither had a compass, but one of the men had noticed that they had traveled due west from camp that morning, and he had also noticed on former trips that the trees in that belt of timber had a thick growth of moss on the northwest side of the trunk. Using this knowledge as a compass to guide him, he found his way safely back to camp. But his companion had not noticed anything for a landmark, drifted blindly about in circles until he fell exhausted, and when spring came, his whitening, bones were found miles away from camp. For his failure to notice, he paid the price of life.
    ACCURATE PERCEPTION
    Accuracy, definiteness, and exactness are qualities very difficult to attain for most people. They are like the college student, who was asked by the professor of that most exact science, mathematics, if he had found the solution of a certain problem, and replied—" Well—er—yes —at least I. have rendered it highly probable."
    Until we learn to look at a thing and really see it, we cannot give concentrated attention to any-thing. Without accurate perception, our mental images and pictures will all be blurred. I have sometimes given the following test to my classes: “Without looking at your watch, draw a diagram of the figure six just as it appears to you in memory." When the papers were collected, it was found that some students had written the numeral six—others the Roman VI, but when I requested them to look at their watches to verify their impressions, and for the first time they really saw that there is no figure six on a watch dial, a blank look would spread over the faces of that class indicative of a sudden collapse of the ego. Although they had looked at their watches a thousand times, they had never noticed that the numeral six does not appear on the dial. Try this test on some of your friends, and note the result.
    " In order then to have a good memory—one that will bring the past clearly and accurately before us, we must attend to the formation of the images in the mind and see that they clearly and accurately represent the original sensations or ideas. In order to remember well, we must observe well and with attention. The great means, then, for strengthening and improving the memory are such as tend to the formation of clear and distinct images of the mind."

    Gabriel on

  • Mental Photography

    “In proportion to the clearness and distinctness of the image will be the understanding of it by the mind and the hold taken of it by the memory.”
    Can you visualize your memory as a wonderful mental camera? The most wonderful moving-pictures in the world are those which move in the brain of man. No artist has ever succeeded in painting any picture so vivid or wonderful as those recorded in the memory of the brain.
    Memory, in other words, makes mental photography possible, and each and every one of us is daily painting pictures in the brain. Some paint one picture, some another. There is a great variety in these pictures, but as we look back over the years, down the byways of time,. we can each of us pick out some treasured picture, some one that hangs out a little more vividly than all the rest.
    “Among the beautiful pictures that hang on Memory’s wall Is one of a dim old forest that seemed best of all.”
    Your memory-gallery picture may not be the old forest—it may be a little rippling stream that runs down to meet the sea; it may be a cottage in an old town; it may be a beautiful tree some-where yonder on the banks of the lake. Each and every one of us has his different pictures that hang on memory’s wall, and we are continually adding to our art gallery.
    Here, too, we find the familiar figures of the friends we have known in the, long ago, and the faces of loved ones now sleeping.
    OUR MENTAL CAMERA
    The mind is a great mental camera, and mental photography is a scientific fact. Now, the first step in developing your mental photo-graphs lies in the mastery of definite, concise perception. This is accomplished by means of undivided attention and concentrated interest, or undivided interest and concentrated attention.
    The trouble with most of us in the matter of attention is that we have a tendency to divide our attention, to scatter our forces. Careless, indifferent attention and lack of interest is the rule and not the exception. Our tendency is to notice everything in general and nothing in particular to perceive, perhaps, many things at the same time, but no one thing with sufficient accuracy to make a clear-cut mental photograph to image vividly on the brain so that the picture will endure. Now, in memory-training as in life; not many things indifferently, but one thing supremely well, is the demand of the hour. Concentrate on the mastery of mental photography, and to carry the simile farther, you must hold steady and in focus if you want to get a good picture. Your intensity as you take your picture is equivalent to your light exposure. Some can take snap-shots, while others take time exposures—it all depends upon the amount of interest you are able to flash instantly on the object as you take your picture and record it on the memory tablets of the brain.
    RULES FOR SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHY
    The next consideration is, how to operate the mental camera. There are several working principles to be understood and practised. The factor of interest should not be overlooked. Those .who believe in enjoyable education have always held that interest is the secret of true learning, the sure way to mastery. Some of our leading universities are now stressing this point in practice, and urging the student to get as much enjoyment as possible out of his work. Some one has defined interest as " Soul light for mental photography." It illumines the object to be pictured, etching it so sharply on the memory that a clear-cut mental photograph results. Without interest in the thing you are trying to remember, you are like the amateur who tries to take a Kodak picture on a dark and cloudy day, and you get the same result. We all know how desperately hard it is to learn anything in which we are not at all interested. Worst of all, such laborious effort is usually wasted. The ideas which we grind out by putting our heads in a vice are usually of little value. But how the ideas leap into life and how potent they are when a vital interest fans the flame of creative thinking! No possible benefit can be derived from using brute force on your memory —nor does the grinding process help in mental discipline. Contrary to popular belief, drudgery does not develop will power. Let us assume then that interest is a prerequisite for mental photography. Arouse interest, if you have it not, in the objects to be pictured.
    ATTENTION
    Another working principle is attention. With-out it, mental photography is impossible. One might as well try to take Kodak pictures with the shutter closed. Of the two kinds of attention, voluntary and involuntary, we are referring to the voluntary, which requires an effort of the will.: How should one go about it to acquire the power of attention’ The first step, it seems to me, is to form the habit of definite, concise perception. Most people look without really seeing. It was said of the great Houdini, “When he looked, he saw." His mind became a highly sensitized photographic plate and registered everything within range. After looking for a moment at a store window, he could describe accurately and with meticulous detail every, article displayed there. Think how much an untrained eye misses in travelling. Whether amid the stately cathedrals of the Old World or the scenic beauty of the New World—whether in the crowded city or out in the untracked wilderness, a keen perceptive faculty is a most precious asset. The Indian guide or the back-woodsman will notice a broken twig or a. footprint where an untrained eye will see nothing. So many people never notice anything.
    Two persons may go into a room and remain for a few minutes. Later, when asked to describe the room and what was in it, one cannot even tell how many windows it had or how many pieces of furniture in it. The other, with better perceptive faculties and a habit of accurate observation, can give you a clear picture of the room, how many windows, how many chairs, describe the table and the pictures and draperies.
    Two men were out on a hunting trip in the great North woods. A sudden blizzard swept down on them while they were miles from camp and they were soon separated and lost in the blinding storm, neither had a compass, but one of the men had noticed that they had traveled due west from camp that morning, and he had also noticed on former trips that the trees in that belt of timber had a thick growth of moss on the northwest side of the trunk. Using this knowledge as a compass to guide him, he found his way safely back to camp. But his companion had not noticed anything for a landmark, drifted blindly about in circles until he fell exhausted, and when spring came, his whitening, bones were found miles away from camp. For his failure to notice, he paid the price of life.
    ACCURATE PERCEPTION
    Accuracy, definiteness, and exactness are qualities very difficult to attain for most people. They are like the college student, who was asked by the professor of that most exact science, mathematics, if he had found the solution of a certain problem, and replied—" Well—er—yes —at least I. have rendered it highly probable."
    Until we learn to look at a thing and really see it, we cannot give concentrated attention to any-thing. Without accurate perception, our mental images and pictures will all be blurred. I have sometimes given the following test to my classes: “Without looking at your watch, draw a diagram of the figure six just as it appears to you in memory." When the papers were collected, it was found that some students had written the numeral six—others the Roman VI, but when I requested them to look at their watches to verify their impressions, and for the first time they really saw that there is no figure six on a watch dial, a blank look would spread over the faces of that class indicative of a sudden collapse of the ego. Although they had looked at their watches a thousand times, they had never noticed that the numeral six does not appear on the dial. Try this test on some of your friends, and note the result.
    " In order then to have a good memory—one that will bring the past clearly and accurately before us, we must attend to the formation of the images in the mind and see that they clearly and accurately represent the original sensations or ideas. In order to remember well, we must observe well and with attention. The great means, then, for strengthening and improving the memory are such as tend to the formation of clear and distinct images of the mind."

    Gabriel on

  • Only One Mind

    All is mind and, because it is, we can draw from that mind only that which we first think into it as reality. We must become the thing want, we must see it, think it, realize it before the creative powers of the mind can work it out for us. This is an inner process of the expansion of consciousness. It is a thought, growing and realizing within. All can do this who wish and will take the time and trouble, but it will mean work! The majority of people are too lazy to make the effort, daily we must train our thought to that only we wish to experience, and since we are growing into what we are mentally dwelling upon, we should put all small and insignificant thought and ideals out of our thinking and see things in a larger way. We Must cultivate the habit of an enlarged mental horizon, daily seeing farther and farther ahead, and so experiencing larger and greater things in our daily life. Good practice or the enlargement of thought is, daily to see ourselves in a “litter bigger place” filled with more of activity surrounded with increased influence an power. Fell more and more that things are coming to the US, see that much more is just ahead, as so far as possible know that we now have all that we see and all that we feel. Affirm that you are entered into that larger life. FEEL that " something within” is drawing more to you, live with the idea and let the concept grow, expectation only the biggest and the best to happen. Never let small thoughts come into your mind, and you will soon find that a larger and greater experience has come into your life.

    Keeping The Thing In Mind

    Never let go of the mental image until it becomes manifest. Daily bring up a clear picture of what is wanted, and impress in upon the mind as an accomplished fact. This impressing on our own minds the thought of wish we to realize will cause our own minds to impress the same thought on universal mind . In this way, we shall be “praying without ceasing” we do not have to hold continually the thought of something we want in order to get it, but the thought that we may inwardly become the thing we want. Fifteen minutes twice each day is time enough to spend in order to demonstrate anything, but the rest of the time ought also to spent constructively, that is, we must stop all negative thinking, and give overall wrong thought, holding fast to the realization that it is now “ done unto the US”. We must know that we are dealing with the only power there is in the universe that there is none other beside it and that we in it’s partaking of its nature and its laws… cause (you) and effect (experiencing what you caused consciously or unconsciously! ) Alway be behind the word that we send forth must the calm confidence in our ability to speak into the power and the willingness of mind to execute for us. We must gradually grow in confidence and in trust in the unseen of spiritual activity. This is not hard if we but remember the spirit makes things out of itself by simply becoming the thing that it that makes, and since there is no other power to oppose it, it will work. The spirit will never fail the if we never fail to believe in its goodness and its responsiveness. Life will become one grand song when we realize that since GOD is for us none can be against us. We shall cease merely to exist WE SHALL LIVE!

    Gabriel on

  • Hi Pamela. Just ran into your piece on " The body doesn’t know " and oh how true your words are and well articulated. I guess the upshot of it all is be alert and mindful from moment to moment as to what one is thinking. I live and work in the UK and am a life time student of learning about the laws of nature or to be more exact the primary and aboriginal law of life " Alternation " … cause and effect are two sides of one fact. We dont see life we just see what it does. When we truly understand this and that we are surrounded by and we are actually " in mind" that it surrounds us on all side and what we think into it (cause ) eventually becomes out-pictured on the visible plain of as experience in our lives. This primary law runs through every part and particle of nature including every atom. No-one can escape from this law just as one cannot out-run or escape from their own shadow. Thank you Pamela for your contribution to enlightening those who seek truth and understanding and assisting others to free themselves from ignorance. The world is beautiful and so is human life too and it all works as one. There is only one mind that we individually " think into" consciously or unconsciously twenty four hours a day. If you lift your eyes from this message for a moment and just look anywhere in the room or space you’re in…now imagin if you will a pink teddy bear ( or whatever ) in front of you..well thats the casual mind…your physical senses , your physical eyes cannot see the pink teddy bear nor can sound, touch, taste or smell either. This is the " within" that so many have failed to describe, the example I’m using gives the invisible ( cause) a sort of tangabilty. What we think consciously and deliberatly or unconsciously into this mind ( the within) is eventually reflected back to us through the medium of the five senses, as experience. When we know this truth we can deliberatly create the life we consciously choose. The primary law of cause and effect is immutable just as light or gravity . Light is a good example…as you look at people and objects and life in general you realise you can see theses things because light is illuminating them but heres the stange part… we need light to “see” but we can’t see the light…bit like the invisible causal mind…we can’t see it so-to-speek but we know it there. Anyway Pamela…just want to share a little of knowing with you as a thank you for your wonderful piece. I’ll leave you with a quote of mine… it goes like this : " May Your Originalty Continue To Blossom In The Rose-Garden of Your Soul " Gabriel… West Coast UK. Take care 😊

    Gabriel Mckay on

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