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Our thoughts are powerful. In fact, they may be powerful enough to help maintain good mental and physical health.
Although much has been written about the power of thought over the past few decades, we are just beginning to realize the impact thought has on our lives.
Studies have been conducted to determine whether thinking about exercising a muscle group has any effect on developing muscle strength in that particular area. The results are quite amazing.
Our brain, amazing as it is, does not do a good job of distinguishing thought and action. Thought alone can trigger neural messages telling the body to change. The electrical activity in our brain is the same whether we do something or think about doing it.
However, there is a major advantage to actually exercising. Thinking about doing an exercise, or visualizing it, strengthens only the muscle group being thought about, but physically exercising one muscle group generates activity in other parts of the body as well.
This thought-muscle research seems to validate the use of visualization in mental health treatment to reduce stress and calm anxiety. If thinking about exercise can build muscle, it is not much of a stretch to think it can soothe our nervous system and influence our emotions.
Letting go of preconceived notions about how the mind functions and opening to its constructive potential may in itself be healing. Changing our limited awareness on the mind's generative capabilities could be the key to growing stronger mentally and physically.
Photo credit: / flickr creative commons
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