Stress free mind, how to stress free your mind , imagination essay, mind it , stress strain curve for mild steel
Free your mind with imagination
I saw a You Tube video the other day that may free your mind. It’s called ‘the scientific power of thought.’
It’s incredible stuff.
Apparently some scientists did an experiment on the power of imagination with two groups of people. One group did muscle building exercises for 4 weeks, while the others just imagined doing it. Astonishingly, this last group still managed to increase their muscle strength by a whopping 22% – maybe by mentally doing bench presses or squat thrusts on a couch, perhaps?
According to the scientists involved, this is due to the neurons deep within the human brain still being used and strengthened for muscle-building instructions.
Neurons are nerve cells that transmit and process information in your brain. They are extremely excitable, sending out electrical and chemical signals to other cells in your body – like the cells in your muscles – at lightening speeds.
Amazingly, your brain has around 100 billion neurons, averaging around 5’000 connections each, which is similar to having 500 trillion microprocessors wired up together in a single network. The potential combinations of these neurons firing or not, is at least 10 to the millionth power – more than all the atoms in the known universe.
Yes, your brain is truly an awesome machine, no doubt – a natural resource inside your skull right now. Imagine harnessing its power by using your mind?
What if I told you that the fourth largest supercomputer in the world took 40 minutes to calculate a single second’s worth of brain activity?
Known as the K computer and built in Japan, this awesome machine used 1.4 million GB of RAM to carry out its most accurate simulation. In fact, believe it or not, the time it takes this supercomputer to model a second of brain activity you could sit down and watch an episode of Mad Men.
Yes – your brain is currently more powerful than any supercomputer in the world. But before you cancel your gym membership, scientists warn us that any progress on any skill or training regime does require a good deal of physical work, beforehand.
This makes logical sense, I suppose. After all, it makes more sense that they would’ve wanted their study participants to be reasonably fit and muscular in the first place before the experiment began, right? Surely they wouldn’t pick a big couch potato for their experiment, would they?
Yes, the power of imagination must have earthly limitations.
In another study, similar test results were found with pianists. A group imagining their piano practice for two hours a day still achieved positive results in their playing abilities. The same physical changes in the brain still occurred, specifically in the motor cortex region. However, I emphasize that the participants involved were all competent pianists in the first place.
On a serious note, just think of all the things you can achieve with your willpower?
Your imaginative mind can harness the power of your natural gifts: your skills, your talents and your amazing brain. Additionally, it can do this even under the most difficult of circumstances. Amy Purdy believes in the power of imagination. In an inspirational TED talk – called Living Beyond Limits – Amy explains how imagination allows us all to break down borders, move beyond our circumstances and make creative decisions. Borders can either stop us in our tracks or force us to be more creative in order to progress, she says.
Amy has gone through tough challenges in life: at the age of nineteen she lost both her legs below the knee. Yet, she has persevered and accepted new challenges.
Today, in her mid thirties, she is an athlete; a top ranked snowboarder in the world winning Bronze at the 2014 Paralympics. Amy has inspired many others with similar problems and co-founded an organization called Adaptive Action Sports. She’s also a best-selling author and a movie actress!
Amy believes we should all draw inspiration from life’s obstacles. Our imaginations should be ignited by them, allowing us to live beyond our perceived limitations. The power of imagination can help unlock your true potential. As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.’ Why not use your imagination to make your dreams come true?
Free your mind from unnecessary fears
U.S Comedian Doug Stanhope refers to the news as a constant battering ram of fear-mongering. However, he doesn’t point the finger of blame entirely at the networks. Like all social media, they’re only supplying a demand for ego-enhancing stuff that makes everyone involved feel important. Doug says that it’s statistically high Vegas odds that anything remotely significant will happen to you in your entire life.
I’m not sure I agree with his cynical views entirely, but he makes a serious point despite his comic delivery. Our beliefs can indeed have an unnatural effect on our expectations of reality. We can worry too much about imagined fears.
I suppose we have to learn to balance these things out, still remain naturally concerned about our lives and the world around us, but not at the expense of realistic thinking. Take the odds of death in the U.S, for example. Like gambling, it can appear like a numbers game. What if I told you that you are far more likely to die from choking from a T.V dinner than from a car accident or a cataclysmic global warming storm? Or that your highest chance of dying (1 in 6) is from heart disease?
One of the leading causes of heart disease is down to too much stress.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to accept the things that you cannot control. Realistic thinking helps reduce the unnecessary fear of not being in total control. After all, it’s impossible to control every single aspect of your life. So why feed your fears?
Attaching your sense of self to a false view of reality can prove to be psychologically damaging in the long run.
The fear of missing out – FOMO – is a mental disorder for our new digital age. It’s based on imagined fears that everyone is having more fun, more excitement, making more friends and having better sex than you are.
(Ok, maybe some people are.)
Instead of feeling more socially connected to others, for some people new technology is only adding to their growing insecurities and ultimately disempowering their lives. Some people have been known to leave parties to rush home to their laptops.
How did it get this fomo crazy?
One reason put forward is that online we see all the opportunities that we don’t see in real life. Slap bang in our faces. Rubbing rock salt into our social wounds. A reality check is needed for some folk – or at the very least moderate use of technology is required. Things can get out of control. These weapons of mass distraction may prevent us from empowered actions in life.
One day I was on a bus going to work. A girl sat down in front of me. Over her shoulder, I saw that she had a set of notes written down for a job interview. She was frantically reading possible questions and answers. However, throughout her long journey every minute or so she would pull out her mobile phone and check out her Facebook page.
Did she get the job? I wouldn’t bet on it
Eckhart Tolle, writer of The Power of Now, says we can all escape the prison of our own minds by recognizing that what we think is our whole life is actually comprised of a conceptual reality of thoughts, views, opinions and knowledge. It’s not real in other words. This reality is what we regard as ‘I’ – ‘a mind-created false sense of self that will soon come to an end.’ Instead, we can learn to embrace the stillness inside us, he says: our true reality. He believes that if we weren’t somehow aware of this inner peace we would all eventually go stark raving bonkers – or words to that effect.
Our thoughts may prevent us from discovering this inner peace by producing fear simulations all the time.
Sometimes a little fear does have its uses – like making our five senses a little sharper when we are crossing a busy road, for example. But even so, when we are absolutely 100% safe and sound sat in our warm homes, inside our heads there may still be a gathering storm of fear. These dark clouds of thought have little to do with staying alive in the present moment, realistically speaking.
So when we imagine fears to be real – like impending changes or big bills – what we are actually experiencing are the effects of self-inflicted thoughts that may reflect no real danger at all to us. Our imagined fears then lie in anticipation. Imagine if you were really in a life or death situation? Your natural responses would soon kick in: heart and lungs would accelerate, your pupils would dilate, your hands would shake, your muscles would twitch and your whole body would be ready to pounce or run away – all caused by a basic instinct for self –preservation. This is known as the fight or flight response.
This is a completely natural reaction to deal with clear and present dangers; in real-time with our five senses. Evolution established this survival mechanism to assist our ancestors to deal with real threats like saber-tooth tigers, woolly mammoths or murderous, machete-wielding tribes. Excluding grief issues or serious health problems, most fears do tend to be exaggerated in our minds. Things do look a damn sight worse when we expect bad things to happen. Plus worry sticks like superglue to our minds – another self-preservation mechanism, perhaps?
What we need to do is to be more mindful of these fearful feelings and learn to transcend them. One effective way is to try to mentally observe them as something separate from the reality of our present situation.
There are other ways to limit unnecessary fears. We can focus more on deep breathing by counting each breath or focus our attention on a single object like a living plant; or use Yoga or meditation practices to reach the peaceful stillness within us all. We can learn advanced relaxation techniques. At times, these fear simulations run amok in our minds like little horror movies. But do we really need them at all? What is the chance this feared event will actually happen in reality? How bad could it possibly be? Will we survive? What is the worst possible outcome? On the whole, the world is a safer place than ever before in our history.
How do I know this?
In general, mortality rates are decreasing. People are living longer as a result of healthier lifestyles, safer roads and workplaces, better hygiene and medical care. Populations on Earth are exploding to levels never seen before.
So why choose to be so pessimistic?
Instead, why not choose the power of your imagination mixed with realistic thinking to create a happier state of mind? Why not expect good things to happen, problems to be overcome, a robust Earth, loving relationships and a mind free from unnecessary fears?
Free your mind by choosing happiness
Do things that make you happy more often. Do happy things… Show gratitude for the good things in life. Focus more on the present moment to reduce fears. Savor positive experiences more to enhance your quality of life too – like enjoying every sip of a refreshing beer in great company. Chill out. Dance to ‘Dancing Queen.’
Happiness shouldn’t be determined by what happens to us entirely, but also by the choices we make. Making happier choices is a liberating way to live. It helps us understand that happiness is something we can all learn to control. I’ve wrote about this in my new book called 16 Happy Choices which is based on the science of happiness – it’s also an inspiring and entertaining read. What struck me most during my research was how relatively easy it is to create positive emotions by making simple choices, such as being more kind to yourself.
Also, you can empower your happiness by becoming more self-reliant. What if I told you that there is a powerful chemical factory inside your head and you hold the keys to these happy ‘drugs’? That you can give yourself a moderate and healthy DOSE anytime you need to, without external drugs, just by doing simple actions to release them? D.O.S.E meaning the natural production of ‘feel-good’
brain chemicals such as:
–Dopamine (responsible for intense pleasure.)
–Oxytocin (known as the love hormone.)
–Serotonin (a natural mood enhancer.)
–Endorphins (a natural pain-killer).
About This Chemicals
All these powerful brain chemicals make us feel more alive, healthier and more enthusiastic about life. They give us a natural high! In an online article for Psychology Today, Lissa Rankin, M.D examines natural alternatives for treating depression. (Of course, there may be exceptions if there is a biochemical reason for this problem. Consult your doctor, if necessary.) However, Lissa suggests we all consider lifting our moods naturally.
Lissa makes an excellent point when she states that most anti-depressant drugs like Prozac only go to boost serotonin levels anyway; so in actual fact they’re just increasing a natural chemical that exists already inside our heads.
You can choose to eat a serotonin-enhanced diet, instead. You can eat delicious fish that’s rich in omega-3, or coconut oil, or a juicy, high protein steak. Evidently, for most people there’s a clear alternative to swallowing pills with possible side effects. You can choose to tap into natural sources of joy right inside your head, right now… and eat well into the bargain. It’s your call. Free your mind from unhappiness; consider the natural alternative. It’s your choice. No-one else has the keys but you – and it’s totally legal. So unlock your inner doors of joy right now by making happy choices today.