Can we change our thoughts by changing our sensations?

I remember at the beginning of the pandemic, I was glued to the news and reflected on how horrible it made me feel. I have since stopped watching the news. I do not live with my head in the sand, I am updated with what I need to know, I just do not need to have the negativity shoved down my throat so repeatedly and dramatically.

Many of my clients who were getting overanxious around the pandemic outbreak followed suit, gave up watching the news, and reported back with less anxiety. So much of our anxiety is insidious and subtle that we pick it up from the world around us. Don’t believe me? Well, many studies have shown this to be true.

A research study conducted by Dr. John A. Bargh of Yale has shown our mind is constantly being shaped by things we encounter in the physical world. This study is one of many. It took place outside malls and schoolyards. Actors were hired to approach random people and ask them to hold their coffee whilst they tied their shoelaces or put their phones in their pockets. After three seconds they thanked them, took their coffee back, and walked off.

Another set of actors came around 20 minutes later with a clipboard and asked the relevant people if they would mind answering a question and they will be rewarded with $20. These people were unsuspecting that they were part of any research.  They were asked to read a paragraph of a story and then asked was the main character warm and generous or aloof and cold.

What I did not mention is that half of the actors were holding hot coffee, whilst the other group of actors was holding iced coffee.

The results were astounding, 80 percent of the people that were asked to hold the hot coffee said the character was warm and generous, whilst 79 percent of the people who were asked to hold the iced coffee, said cold and aloof. This is one of many studies that prove that sensory stimulation can impact your mind.

Maybe the yogis had it right when they went into dark caves to eliminate any sensory input to get to know themselves on a deep level. Well, I am not going into any cave soon, but I am going to try the float tank that deprives you of all sensory stimuli. I will let you know my thoughts and experience in my next email. All I ask is that you grab a warm cup of coffee to read my next email 😉

Have a wonderful month and try being more conscious about what stimulus you are surrounding yourself with.

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