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          Today’s stren considers the last of the eight alternative action pathways available to our will power to transform information into action.  I have labeled it the Mind/body response because the mental energy we create powerfully influences the state of chemicals and nerves that are responsible for our physical state. 

          The way we think is directly linked to the way we feel and the way we act; thinking, feelings, and actions are interconnected.  It is also the reason why “stinking thinking” is the source of most of our life’s unhappiness and physical maladies.  This is the very reason why the newer manner of thinking is our opportunity to become director and producer of our life’s experience.  Mental strength, like physical strength, requires regular exercise for a big pay-off. 

          Consider just a few of the huge list of physical conditions that are influenced by the way we think.  These Mind/Body responses include:

  • skin … rashes, hives, blushing
  • our vascular system … high blood pressure, heart irregularities, stroke and heart attack;
  • intestinal system … vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, appetite change
  • genital and urinary system … frequency, incontinence (inability to control urine), impotence, frigidity
  • muscles … common muscle contraction pain that includes headaches, backaches, jaw clenching, fatigue, twitches
  • lungs … rapid breathing, dizziness, asthma
  • endocrine system … hormone irregularities, thyroid, obesity, sugar management, menstrual irregularities

          Accidents are more likely when our thinking is unhealthy.  There is recent evidence suggesting that even cancer and immune disorders may be associated with our manner of thinking.  Various terms have been used to identify the influence of the mind on the body such as “stress,” “somatization,” and “psychosomatic.”  This is why I label this action pathway the Mind/Body response.

          Try this simple exercise to show the power of stress.  With either arm, make as tight a muscle as you can.  When you think it is as tight as it can get, tighten it just a little more.  Within 60 seconds or less, you will experience pain.  Stop!  Don’t overdo it.  Now, instead of keeping the muscle extremely tense for less than a minute, imagine keeping it slightly tense, hardly noticeable, for hours at a time.  A slightly tensed muscle over a prolonged period will cause similar pain to a muscle intensely flexed for a brief period.  People often have a “target” set of muscles that they may keep imperceptibly tense over prolonged periods. Can you now understand why most headaches, jaw pain, neck, and back pain are the result of “muscle contraction pain”?