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Did you know that thinking negatively can cause a cascade of chemicals that can suppress our immune systems and make us not only feel bad but be more susceptible to viruses and bugs?
Marisa Peer, UK’s top therapist, shared some of her favorite – and most powerful tools – that can rewire your thoughts and beliefs to produce dramatic, life-changing results to your health.
She shared a story about a test that was conducted on a couple who were in love. They gave them a tiny bit of poison. Not enough to harm but just enough to make them sick. Being so in love, their bodies were filled with a cocktail of love chemicals and the poison didn’t have any effect.
Then, they took some anxious and worried people and gave them an even tinier dose of the same poison. They got sick immediately. Our emotions affect our immune systems and immunoglobulin levels, which are the antibodies in our bodies that fight off viruses and bacteria.
The bottom line, and Marisa has seen this repeatedly in her clients, if you are happy, if you are calm, if you think positive thoughts, you are less likely to get ill.
You can't separate the mind and body. What the immune system loves is passion, purpose, calm, and focus. What it absolutely dislikes is intense anxiety and stress. If you want to have strong immunity, it starts with how you think and how you talk to yourself.
Marisa shared that one of the rules of your mind is that you have to act in a way that is absolutely consistent with how you define yourself. A second rule is every thought you think is a blueprint that your mind and body work to make real. For example, if you’re always telling yourself that you have a memory like a sieve and you can’t find anything, that will come true. If you tell yourself every day, I remember where everything is, that can have a different impact.
Marisa has seen it come true countless times with her patients and herself. As she said, you make your beliefs and your beliefs make you when it comes to your immunity. You might as well make amazing beliefs because you've got nothing to lose except getting sicker and everything to gain, which is getting less sick and for longer. So, for instance, when she gets a cold, she always says to herself, well, I don't really get colds and if I do, I can knock that out of my system in a day. And the result is that she’s always had a super-fast recovery.
People who take control of their thinking tend to have a better belief system because they choose what they think about. For example, with COVID-19, you can’t control the virus but you can control how you choose to look at it. You could think about writing a book in the next three months or learn a new skill online. A positive person takes control of their thoughts. A positive person understands that your thoughts control your feelings, your feelings control your actions and your actions control your life.
What about those of us who worry about everything? How do we start thinking differently? Marisa calls those thoughts WPOs or Worst Possible Outcome thoughts. Some of us are handling really tough circumstances right now. Marisa’s trick - look at the worst possible outcome and then flip it.
She shared an example from her personal life when she had cancer. It was a lesson in how to look at the worst possible situation and flip it to what's good about it.
She said that although it may sound very Pollyanna, she thought that she had a lucky break in her life. “I don’t need a womb. It did a great job and gave me a great child.” People asked me if I felt like less of a woman now. I said: “Of course not, my femininity is not in my womb.”
She went on to say that even when you think there’s no possible good in a situation, you can find something. For example, with her cancer diagnosis, she thought, thank goodness I got this when I was in London and not in the middle of the jungle without access to a doctor.
Another strategy she has found immensely useful is to sit down and think, is there someone on the planet who would want to switch places with me? When I had cancer, of course, there are people with bone cancer and brain cancer in countries with no medical care who would have loved to swap places with me.
It’s the thoughts that you think about the event that affects you. And that's very good news because it means you always get to choose the meaning. And if you can choose what it means and even make it just a tiny bit positive, then you’ll feel better and that's a very good thing.
Although we know to wash our hands every day, are we washing our thoughts every day?
It’s important to go to bed early, drink water, do some exercise, but more than anything, Marisa reminds us to think good thoughts. One of the best steps she shared for fantastic mental hygiene is to write this on your mirror - I am enough. Then, every day when you're cleaning your teeth, say these magic words – I’m enough, I matter and I'm lovable just the way I am. Say it out loud every day. I'm enough. I'm lovable. I matter. Print it on your underwear or your pillows or your cushions, if you like. Make that your statement of truth. Although it may feel silly, know that your immune system loves those words.
Knowing our thoughts have so much power, why not expect great things? When you eat cake, isn’t it better to say that I have such a fantastic metabolic rate, it just burns up the calories immediately instead of all I have to do is look at a cake and I gain weight? You have a choice. If you keep telling yourself you gain weight at the sight of a cake, the stress that will cause in your body, the increased cortisol levels from that stressful thought can actually make it real that you can gain weight by thinking that you gain weight.
Marisa shared her secret to coming up with a great affirmation. Although she likes affirmations, she likes statements of truth better.
Saying every day is a walk in the park and the sun is shining is not as effective because some days it rains. Her approach is to use something like I have phenomenal coping skills. Or I'm here for a reason. I've got something amazing to offer the world and the universe supports me in finding out who I am and what I have to offer and how I can monetize that. These statements are not conditional on the sun shining. It's not conditional on the flowers growing.
It's not to say life is a walk in the park and the flowers are visible. What are you going to do on a gray, rainy day when there are no flowers and you just skated on some ice, which she did once, and broke her arm? But it didn't matter, Marisa shared that breaking her arm turned out to be a great experience.
She shared that her boyfriend came over, took her to a hospital and proposed the next day. Without that experience, who knows how long it would have taken him. But he did that very quickly because he wanted to look after her because she was suddenly very vulnerable. She can look at some of the worst times in her life, of being dumped, being fired or losing a much-wanted baby and looking back now, she sees that from all of those events, weirdly enough, something good came out of every single one.
Many patients come to her office wanting to find someone who loves them the way they are. Well, Marisa, always says, you have someone there in the mirror, there they are. Begin by saying to yourself I matter. I'm lovable. Believe in yourself. It's the beginning of a lifelong romance that never wanes, never disappoints you. And no waxing has to take place in advance. Just fall in love with you and then you give the whole world permission to join you and you can do it at any age.
It doesn't matter what the numbers on the scale say or your dress size or the numbers in your bank account. When you really fall in love with you, you'll let everyone else do that, too. An even faster way of doing this is what I call the missing bit of you. Think about the words you would love to hear. What would the best parent, the best partner, the best boss in the world, say to you?
Probably something like you're amazing, I'm so glad you're here, how lucky I am to have you in my life. These are the key words. Don't wait for someone else to say them to you. Say them yourself!
There are few speakers today that have the wide experience and stellar reputation of Marisa Peer. Named ‘Britain’s Best Therapist’ by Men’s Health magazine, Marisa has spent over three decades treating a client list that includes international superstars, CEOs, Royalty, and Olympic athletes. Her engaging and amusing talks are peppered with anecdotes from an unparalleled career in which she has helped thousands of people to overcome profound personal issues.
A bestselling author of five books, Marisa’s USP is that she teaches “simple steps that produce dramatic and life-changing results.” She seamlessly brings her one-of-a-kind therapy room techniques to the podium, leaving her audiences both transfixed and transformed. When she reveals her fundamental rule – that all our emotional and personal problems come from us believing that we’re not ‘enough’ – and explains how to overcome it, the results are tremendous and dramatic.