Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. – Mark Twain
Google the phrase “the human mind has the power to shape reality” and you will find my writing.
This is not just my personal philosophy. I believe this because I have experienced it. I know it is true. I live it every day.
Want to live longer? The importance of watching your diet and getting enough exercise are powerful ways to extend your life. But you have another powerful way to shape your future – visualization. Visualization is the mental creation of future situations and experiences. Your mind is constantly doing this as part of everyday life. Visualizing good health for your future self increases can extend your life. This is according to a scientific study just published in the International Journal of Aging and Human Development. Want to know one of the secrets to longevity? Some of it is in your mind.
The world feels a little brighter when scientific knowledge catches up with spiritual knowledge. People of faith, believers in divine energies have practiced visualization for millennia. You cannot think yourself to ripe old age. You must take steps, like dieting and exercise. But seeing your future self as happy and healthy, is a key step to being happy and healthy. There is a psychological concept called self-efficacy which is a person’s belief in their ability to succeed in a particular situation. In other words, visualize the person one wants to be and work towards becoming that person.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. – Gandalf
People build up their self-efficacy in four basic ways: Mastery – being successful at a new challenge; Vicariously – observing the success of others; Social Persuasion – encouragement influence belief in ones abilities; Personal well-being – increased positive well-being increases success.
One incredible finding from the above study was: participants who were optimistic about aging around the the age of 50 lived an average of seven and a half years longer than pessimists. Think about it – mature optimists increased their lives by positively visualizing their future self. And another key factor in extending a healthy life is to set aside stereotypes about aging – live the way you want, not how others believe you should live. Believing in aging stereotypes makes them more likely to become ones reality. The origins of some health issues are not biological. Believing bad things are going to happen to your possible future self stops you from being proactive and continuing healthy habits.
According to one of the co-authors of the study Shelbie Turner: “How we think about who we will be in old age is very predictive of exactly how we will be.”
Dealing with mortality is a fundamental issue of human existence. No one gets out alive. Everyone passes through the gates of eternity. Where the path leads is a matter of faith. But each of us impacts the quality of our life every day. Optimism, Positive thinking and Hopefulness are choices. Like all of life, the way you see the future can help determine the future. Remember this fact: The human mind has the power to shape reality.
Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning. – Mahatma Gandhi