February 15, 2008

Power of the mind - Lite

In 2006, I wrote an article about the power of the mind to create fear from thin air as well as to control and reframe it, in reference to a friend's fear of speaking and my own post traumatic stress disorder I experienced after a car accident.

I was reminded yesterday of the intense power of the mind - to cure hiccups.

When I was in high school, I had a friend who would offer me an imaginary spoonful of sugar to cure my hiccups, sugar being considered one of many possible remedies.

I would pretend to take the sugar in my mouth and then let it dissolve, calming my breathing in the process and eliminating the hiccups. It always worked!

A couple of years ago, I had the hiccups in the car and my husband decided the best way to stop them would be to startle me. While I sat, unsuspectingly hiccuping away, he suddenly turned and roared loudly at me, scaring my socks off - and knocking the hiccups right out of me.

So yesterday I had tried everything to make my hiccups go away and they continued to linger. I told my husband, "I think you're going to have to scare me." He grinned an evil grin.

Almost as soon as it was out of my mouth, I started anticipating that scary yell. The more I anticipated it, the more nervous I got. I could feel the adrenaline start pumping.

The anticipation was so nervewracking, in fact, that I scared the hiccups right out of myself! (I think he was a little disappointed that he didn't get to do it.)

When I tell my clients that they can indeed control their anxiety about speaking, I'm not just spewing theories I've read somewhere. I've experienced the power of the mind to take control of the body, in both negative and positive ways.

You can control your anxiety, among other things. Share your examples here!

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Anonymous said...

Ok, here is my example. I had back surgery about 8 weeks ago.

While I was going throught the major recovery, I was of course in quite a bit of pain.

Sneezing was agony, and a single sneeze would put me flat on my back for at least an hour.

I learned through sheer will power to simply not sneeze. When I felt a sneeze coming, I would concentrate so hard at preventing the sneeze, that it would eventually just go away.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

That's a great example, Craig! It's amazing what we can do when we put our minds to it.

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