Are you an excessive worrier? Perhaps you unconsciously think that if you concern yourself over every little detail you can prevent bad things from happening. But the fact is, worrying can affect the body in ways that may surprise you. When worrying becomes excessive, it can lead to feelings of high anxiety and even cause you to be physically ill.
Worrying is allowing one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles without effectively dealing with any of them. Worrying often centers on problems that cannot currently be solved. Worrying may interfere with your appetite, relationships, sleep, and job performance. Worrying can lead to habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs.
Stress can be beneficial. If you have an upcoming job interview or test, it can help you rise to the challenge and prepare for it. But excessive worry leads to fear and one can become so irrational that you cannot focus or think clearly. This leads to physical consequences of the fight-or-flight system:
In 1998 study, they began following 30,000 people for 8 years. They found that those that reported the perception that stress affects health was associated with an increased likelihood of reporting psychological distress. Those that reported a lot of stress and perceived that stress affects health a lot increased the risk of death by 43%.
Even more intriguing, those who reported high levels of stress but who did not believe their stress was harmful were not more likely to die. They actually had the lowest risk of death of anyone in the study, even lower than those with little stress.
So, it is not the stress that has been killing us but how we interpret that stress.
Just trying to change your belief system from the surface level of the mind does not work well.
One of the most effective ways to change one’s relationship to their thoughts and beliefs is through the Ishayas’ Ascension. In the process of the Ascension techniques, a specific and highly individualized thought is created by the teacher working with the student as a “vehicle” to “ride” inward to the Source of all thought.
Using these techniques to retrain the mind, it becomes unnecessary to try to undo the previous beliefs and judgments; the power of this wholly beneficial inward process is sufficient to remove all previous false perceptions and understandings and replace them with the direct experience of the transcendental beauty and perfection of the Source within.
The 2018 rankings in Happiness scores world-wide shows that the USA has fallen to number 19, below Costa Rico, Israel, and a host of Germanic/Scandinavian countries. Mental health was one of the issues cited for the fall in USA happiness ranking which was 3rd in the world in 2007.
Mental health has been shown to be an issue with America’s young. 47% of college students have overwhelming anxiety; 30% are too depressed to function. Research suggest the majority of anxiety is about grades and time to complete assignments. This belies the fact that the things that are the source of anxiety has no impact on happiness. Even though today’s youth grew up with much more affluence, contemporary young adults face much more depression, loneliness, and social disorders than Baby Boomers.
In 2017, Harvard offered a course on “Happiness” that was its most popular class to that date. In 2018, Yale offered a course on “Happiness/Psychology and the Good Life”, which has become its’ most popular class in its 317 year history. Even though there were hundreds of other courses that conflict with the course in happiness, 1200 students were enrolled. No classrooms were big enough, so they had to move the course to the stadium used for concerts. 1 in 4 students at Yale took the course that will be given only the one time.
Dr. Laurie Santos, the instructor and author of the course, is hoping that this high percentage of the population will act as a seed to help to change the culture of the college campus. She said that students want the culture to change. Yes, they realize it’s a privilege to get into Yale, but at what cost.
She started by researching who is really happy and looking at their lives. Several practices are associated with happier people and make these the foci of the course:
The course emphasizes behavioral change. She stresses that you can’t just hear about the findings to be happier (what she calls “GI Joe mentality”), you must put in the work.
While others might see easy credits, Dr. Santos refers to her course as the “hardest class at Yale”: To see real change in their life habits, students have to hold themselves accountable each day, she said. You must form new habits.
She uses “Rewirement Assignments” or behaviors for the weekly or course long assignments. For example, each day they must log what they are grateful for today, meditate, and sleep for 8 hours, and “be kind”. They introduced a new app to log their random acts of kindness. For their semester research project, each student must set up an experiment on themselves about what makes them happy.
In the class on “Time Affluence”, which occurred during midterms, she gave the students the hour off (no class) to do anything that supported their well-being; the only rule being that they could not study. Some of the students began to cry and others hugged her, saying this was the only “free hour” they had during the entire semester.
Her expertise in Evolutionary Psychology brings light to this subject by realizing our species was built for cooperation and our minds, especially things coming from our primate brains, lie to us. It is important that many of the things we think will make us happy, won’t make us happy. Santos brought out a great term invented by Tim Wilson at the University of Virginia and Dan Gilbert at Harvard called “miswanting,” the process by which our brain tells us that if we could just have X we’d be happy.
She also warned about our natural inclination to compare ourselves to others which has become especially extreme in the digital age, and it’s the main reason social media addicts report higher levels of stress, depression, and isolation, and lower levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction.
If you are looking for a meditation technique that is extremely simple, focuses on gratitude, love, and compassion, and can be practiced anytime, anywhere, by anybody, check out our Free Live Introductory Talk Schedule link here: Directory of Teachers (scroll to lower portion of page). The event is live and interactive and will give you an opportunity to hear about The Art of Ascension, how it works to rewire the mind/body/brain, plus ask any questions you may have.
Are you looking for transformation? Have you found that affirmations are not working for you?
In Analysis of the Art of Ascension Maharishi Sadasiva Isham (MSI) said, “Simply deciding with the surface mind that “I am well” is not only useless but potentially mentally deranging. Affirmations repeated by the conscious thinking level of the mind, although occasionally soothing distraught emotional states, are all but worthless for bringing about a deep transformation of perception of Reality. An affirmation repeated a few times a day does little to counteract the intensity of the habitual patterns created by the average adult human’s 50,000 daily thoughts.”
Dr. Joanne Wood at the University of Waterloo examined whether affirmations made students feel better. 68 students were asked to repeat to themselves every 15 seconds, "I am a lovable person." Those with high self-esteem felt better, those with low self-esteem felt worse. She theorizes that those with low self-esteem feel worse because they did not believe the statements and also they could not resist negative thoughts. First, they felt bad because they had not responded to the affirmations as they thought they should and secondly they had negative thoughts.
Targeting beliefs at the conscious levels of the mind only go so far. As Einstein said, “"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
In Enlightenment MSI said “There are a number of different teachings today that encourage a constant repetition of positive or idealized statements. One unfortunate effect of this is a polarization between conscious ideals and the unconscious belief systems of the destructive internal programming. If we fail to recognize, accept and change unconscious emotional and psychological imprints, these forceful tactics of the ego will only serve to create tension and resistance in the personality and can lead to a dangerous split between the conscious and unconscious minds”
Trying to deal with duality from the surface of the mind only divides the mind. The only “cure” for a divided mind is to Ascend. Every time we use the Ascension Attitude, which has no opposition, the mind returns to the One Source of Everything. Even if it is brief, as it may be when one first uses the practice, the mind moves out of duality for that moment. Unity or duality? If one learns The Art of Ascension, there is choice.
The placebo has a lesser known flip side called the “Nocebo”. Placebo means “I shall please” whereas the nocebo means “I shall harm”. When the doctor tells you ‘you have an incurable illness’, or that you’ll be on medication for the rest of your life; if you believe it, they are invoking the nocebo effect.
Nocebo is at least as important as the placebo effect and may be more widespread.— Ted Kaptchuk, Program in Placebo Studies, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University.
In an oft-cited case from 1886, John Mackenzie, a surgeon in Baltimore, obtained an artificial rose of such superb workmanship it was like the original. He exposed a woman with severe rose allergy to the fake flower. Unaware that it was fake, the woman had a full-blown allergic reaction, including a running nose, swollen nostrils, and a tight chest.
The nocebo effect is not confined to clinical trials. A school in Tennessee was forced to evacuate after a teacher reported smelling gas fumes and became dizzy. Ultimately, over one hundred people were admitted to the Emergency Room; 38 were so sick they were kept overnight. Later, after an extensive investigation, no evidence was found of a chemical or any problem at the school.
After treating over 1000 melanoma cases at Sydney Hospital, Dr. Milton warned of another form of the nocebo effect. Upon delivery of a cancer prognosis, many of his patients became so disheartened, they died a premature death before the cancer had developed enough to cause death.
A study showed that “patients about to undergo surgery who were “convinced” of their impending death were compared to another group of patients who were merely “unusually apprehensive” about death. While the apprehensive bunch fared pretty well, those who were convinced they were going to die usually did.”
Other studies have noted that study participants became “addicted” to their placebo and had to be weaned off of it. In a chemo-therapy study, 30% of the participants receiving a placebo lost their hair.
The power of suggestion can have tremendous effects upon the unsuspecting mind. Did you know that our society has even given us a standard time to die? There is a day and a time when it is more likely you will die than any other? 9 AM on Monday morning. Why is that? Possibly, it just seems easier to die than face another week of this horrible job! This is a truly remarkable achievement of our species. Presumably no other species recognizes which day Monday is.
The power of the mind is everything.
Beliefs hold sway over our lives only as long as we give them power. But through a regular practice of Ishayas’ Ascension these faulty belief systems begin to collapse. By redirecting the mind with this practice, to perfect statements of Truth, one is lead to the Source of Everything. Through choice, one can break up these belief patterns and restructure the mind back to an innocence, back to its original design of perfection.
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