The Power of Autosuggestion
Your mind will eventually lead you to where you wish to be.
We are the only ones that our mind listens to. Yet we have the potential to hinder our own personal and emotional growth. Our internal dialogue with ourselves is what sets the precedent for our actions. While we may sometimes feel incapacitated and troubled by life stressors and with the very idea of failure, we constantly need to remind ourselves that we are stronger than all our problems.
How we talk back to our mind when it takes us down the road to disaster will eventually determine how we get back on our feet. There have been various researches that support the idea of “we feel how we think”. A person having a preconceived notion in mind is more likely to see things that reinforce and corroborate their thoughts and therefore, the said thoughts will inevitably be turned into reality. Our mind, capable of forming its own reality, can direct our course of action while we sit at the rear seat. How we converse with ourselves translates to power and energy, and from what we know, physics beats everything. When you put your thought and energy into something, your body starts following the lead. That is how placebos work: while the treatment itself has no medical effect, the mere belief of the patient that they have been given something curative helps their body build up defence and eventually recover from the illness.
Mental images, even when unreal, are able to foster powerful positive or negative emotions in us.
It is worthy to note, however, that a limitation of our powerful and influential mind is that it cannot differentiate between the real and unreal images that we have in our minds, hence the comfort or discomfort that we feel when we imagine hugging a loved one or dread an anticipated nightmare. Those mere mental images, even when unreal, are able to foster powerful positive or negative emotions in us. This small limitation of the mind can help us turn the table and get the brain working for us rather than us working for it. That’s how meditation and yoga work. Body and mind become allies, walking along hand in hand. How you treat your body will influence your thoughts and vice versa, putting us in a vicious cycle.
The question that arises is how do we get the mind on our side, working for our growth and progress? A few simple techniques where we tell ourselves good things about ourselves and pay selective attention on things happening around us amid the everyday chaos could be the solution we need:
- Start your day by telling yourself assertively how you are going to spend it no matter what. Planting an image for the day ahead will help better tolerate unseen stressors as well as smoothen the road to feeling the way we want to throughout the day.
- While encountering a negative thought, draw deep breaths to relax while cueing “re” with every inhale and “lax” with every exhale. Keep reminding yourself that how you think will form the reality in your mind and the only reality you want is that which fosters your growth, not the one that hinders progress.
- For troubling situations, try telling yourself that it may be unfortunate for you having to go through it but you still are in charge of how you feel. Rephrase problems into opportunities of practicing skills required to resolve the matter at hand.
Let us now practice a little to better understand how the mind works. Close your eyes and imagine that you are trying to open a stuck door.
What image came to you mind? Were you able to open it? Perhaps not.
Now close your eyes again and try to imagine that you have already opened the door.
Is the door open now? It probably is.
That’s how the mind takes your word for what it is going to make happen. Use the right words and appropriate positive language while you have an internal dialogue with yourself. Your mind will eventually lead you to where you wish to be.
The author, Alina Rashid, is a clinical psychologist and NLP practitioner . She is a consultant at Ed-watch and is also associated with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and Research Centre.