There is a very fine line between the ways we process the desire for something in our life. Each of us processes adversity (or Contrast as I like to call it) differently.
When we study how the mind works in assessing or dealing with Contrast, we see two very distinct methods.
When dealing with something like disease, and let’s use Cancer as an example, we tend to look at this ailment as an enemy, as an intruder into our well-being. We hear the term “cancer” and instantly jump to thoughts of “fear”, “death” or “demise”. We tend to see our lives as ruined, as only having a short time left on this earth and that our only way to extend this time is to “fight” against this horrible fate.
At least, this is the auto-response mechanism that is very much the norm.
You likely know someone who has been through cancer, and hopefully you know someone who is thriving and surviving after treatment, no matter what that treatment may have included. Sadly, you also likely know someone who has succumbed to Cancer, and for that I am truly sorry for your loss, and with the recent passing of my wife, Kate I know exactly what you are going through. We have all been touched by this disease in one way or another and it certainly isn’t an easy situation to deal with.
I often refer to the two ways of dealing with contrast as either “Pushing against” or “Pulling towards” and the following is an effective example of this philosophy as it relates to dis-ease and specifically to cancer;
As noted in the book: Radical Remission, by Kelly A. Turner, Phd. there are two types of mental approaches in dealing with Cancer, and for that matter many of life’s contrasts:
1. Having a strong fighting spirit, and
2. Having strong reasons for living.
As Kelly states:
“Most studies have looked at something called a “fighting spirit”, which means you are engaged in a fight against cancer. When a cancer patient has a strong “fighting spirit”, that focus on fighting can lead to a constant, low level, fight-or-flight response in the body, which can weaken the immune system and release a steady stream of stress hormones into the bloodstream. To our hunter-gatherer brains, it’s like constantly feeling as if we need to be fighting a tiger that’s chasing us. Alternatively, having strong reasons to live does not mean you are necessarily fighting anything; instead, it means you are focused on things that bring you joy, meaning, and happiness, and this actually turns off the fight-or-flight response and turns on the rest-and-repair response, which in turn tells the body to release a slew of immune-boosting hormones, such as serotonin, relaxin, oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins.”
In other words, contrary to popular belief, when we join the “fight against cancer” we could actually be doing more harm to our bodies that we are good. Your body cannot heal in the flight-or-flight response mode.
In Kelly Turner’s studies of Radical Remission survivors, having a strong reason to live is one of the traits that each of them possessed.
To truly reach towards your desire, or in this case, optimal health, my tip is to make your desire one of a positive nature.
Pull towards your reasons for living, for getting up in the morning, for being happy. Focus on the things that you wish to do and to be. Put your energy towards the good that you wish to see, and not the situation you are currently in. I get that this may be a difficult transition to make, but by doing so, you will, at the very least, improve the experience you are having .
As noted above, when we do this, we change our internal chemistry and help in the healing process.
And when we change our state of focus we attract to us circumstances, situations and events that align with these positive thoughts. My vision is to see you move to a more positive environment and stay there, regardless of the contrast you’re presented. Remember, we can’t always choose what happens to us, however we always have the choice to how we respond to it.
Live Life Awake!
Mental Fitness Coach