Thoughts Are Things

Tony sent me a text the other day, it was a quote from a text book he is studying, and it basically stated that words are things and as such, they have can have an impact on others. He and I have been having an ongoing conversation about healing and the contribution that other people make. In the recovery setting, words can make a huge difference in one direction or the other.

At the very minimum, 25% of people will so some improvement simply because of some interaction with a healer. Be it the placebo effect, bedside manner, or the simple caring offered by a health care provider, just telling someone that they are going to improve is enough for a quarter of them to improve. Real pathologies are likely not going to just spontaneously correct themselves but a lot of the things that do get people down can be addressed simply by believing they are going to get better. NOTE – it is always best to get checked out by a professional if you are sick or suspect that you are as positive thinking is NOT a substitute for medical intervention.

It works by using cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT helps people get better because thoughts impact feelings and feelings impact actions. If we’re able to change the thoughts, the actions we take will change. It is very simple and has been proven to be effective at treating a variety of psychological disorders in otherwise healthy people.

What gets me excited when I think about all of this is the realization that thought are thing in both a metaphorical sense and in a physical sense – thoughts are made-up of nerve impulse and therefore have a mass. Given that they have a mass, having a repeated thought is going to have a cumulative effect on an individual. Over time, the mass moving in a particular way is going to change the course of all the matter that surrounds it.

The brain adapts to repeated thoughts by increasing the amount of neural branching in the area that is responsible for the thoughts and the subsequent feeling and actions. This makes all of these things more likely in the future and effectively conditions the thought to become the baseline.

For things that make our lives better, this occurrence is exactly what we would hope for, but for things that make our lives more challenging, it isn’t what we want and it makes changing behavior a lot more challenging that creating brand new behaviors; the old pattern will remain hardwired in the brain for years and can be triggered easily.

But given that thoughts are things and that we have conscious control of them, enough consistent effort will change the course of matter and establish a new baseline. For me, this is a much more appealing way to look at life. It gives us the power because we can control the flow of matter, we just need to choose.