Mindset of Ageing
By Lynda Dyer
Why does a simple attitude adjustment suspend Ageing?
Why do some people become well centenarians while others die young?
Does Age affect our wellness or wellness affect our age?
All great questions and ones I wanted to explore to truly understand the ageing process.
Let me share with you some of my findings that I wrote about in my International Best Selling Book ‘Age is an Attitude’ in 2017.
“Cultural Beliefs effect our immune system and thus our health and ageing process”, says Dr Mario Martinez who is a clinical neuropsychologist and developed the Bio cognitive Science Institute in 1998. He wrote the ‘Mind Body Code’ by studying over 400 centenarians. From his research he believes that longevity is learned and not inherited. This study puts a whole new slant on the ‘Nature/Nurture’ controversy and I think it has great credibility.
His bio cognitive science is based on research that demonstrates how thoughts and their biological expression co-emerge within a cultural history. I find this fascinating as I believe our thoughts are so powerful. I have been teaching this for many years.
You have to ask yourself why can some people live well past 100 without seeing a doctor? Why can some people live well past 100 when both their parents died young? Why can some people reverse incurable diseases, like I did, while others hold onto childhood diseases despite years of treatment and therapy?
Dr Mario Martinez, on the 180 Nutrition Show with Guy Lawrence and Stu Cook talks about “The Secret of Living Beyond 100 years old”. He gave some great examples for us to get this concept of the cultural thinking influencing our health and thus our ageing process. This is the example.
“Let’s say your culture has a propensity in the immune system issue like Lupus or Cancer. Research has shown that that culture generally teaches you to be subservient with authority”. How many of you have felt subservient with authority growing up? I know I did. I had a big issue with ‘people in charge’. I think many of us have felt this at some time.
Dr Mario Martinez then says “Some of the characteristics for Cancer and Immune Disorders are:
- Inability to set limits
- Fear of the world and not being liked enough
- Inability to reduce fear which causes a low immunity and a low ability to produce the natural killer (NK) cells that can kill the pre cancer cells.
He goes on to say that “The family quite often fosters the illness teaching us helplessness and subservience”. So we teach ourselves to get sick and remain sick. We should never blame ourselves because we don’t do this consciously. If you can learn to get sick you can learn to trigger the causes of health you inherited.
I believe this because I did it. I felt subservient around authority. I created an auto immune disease.
I know from my teachings that we have a Mind and Body Connection. What Dr Mario Martinez has added is that this Mind Body Connection is influenced by our culture. So our perception of who we are and why we do what we do is cultural. In fact we are influenced by cultural beliefs from the day we are born. I believe Bob Proctor would call this ‘Programming’. In each culture our beliefs are different. We are influenced by what we share or fear even at the pre-birth stage.
As an NLP Coach and Trainer I know this from many processes that we can do with people to take them back to a time where they felt that fear or shame for example. The actual meaning of the words is different in each culture. For example, Dr Mario Martinez says that “Shame and Honour may mean different things in different cultures”. He goes on to say that “Shaming causes inflammation of the immune system by reducing imunoglukans”. Were you ever told that you did not do well at school or sport? This is one way of shaming. Each culture can shame in different ways. Some cultures shame the whole group. For example some older people feel not treated well as a group. Women in some cultures are shamed to keep them feeling subservient.
The problem with shaming, or any other negative word is that our subconscious mind is symbolic so it refers to words as symbols. “These symbols can create a bio cognitive set of responses that can influence our immune system. Therefore illnesses and ageing are learnt and the causes of health are inherited” says Dr Mario Martinez.
He goes on to say that “We are basically born healthy. There are very few chromosomal errors. In the process, however of dealing with the world, we learn to respond in a dysfunctional way. We have a pre-disposition in our DNA to overcome illnesses, through our resilience, that allows us to get well. We become ill from factors we have learnt. We have a tremendous ability to be well and overcome many illnesses and challenges”. I know this from practical experience.
So if .001% is inherited illnesses, why we age must have a lot less to do with our genetics and a lot more to do with our environment or culture. Dr Mario Martinez says “We don’t inherit illness. We actually inherit a propensity for illness. What we do learn is how to be hyper alarmed.” So we live in a constant stress state without realising it.
So let’s have a look at an example of why he says this. “Let’s say you are raised by abusive parents, where you are constantly mistreated. That is not just psychological damage. That creates problems with the immune system and endocrine system and nerves. These systems are learning to get sick and so they secrete chemicals, stress and cortisol steroids, into our immune and endocrine system which lose their ability to assist us. So all our systems, nerve, immune, endocrine, and cognitive are learning stress. The medical system then offers us a tablet for that which enforcers the illness belief.
We don’t inherit illnesses. We inherit the propensity for the expression of genes based on our environment, culture and beliefs”.
Ellen Langer, a Professor in Social Psychology from Harvard University did a study on working women in a hotel. The study was to demonstrate ‘How Context Affects your Ageing Process’. So she split the group of hotel workers into two groups;
- Group 1 were all told that what they do in the hotel must be hard work and I’m sure you must get tired at the end of the day”. In NLP we call this an ‘embedded command to the mind’ because it is so suggestive.
- Group 2 were told “Do you know that the work you do is similar to aerobics, bending and stretching, like going to a gym and you must be burning lots of calories”. So these workers also had embedded commands of a whole different nature given to them. They were given attributes that the work they were doing attributed to their fitness and had aerobic consequences.
So they then looked at both groups 6 weeks later:
- Group 1 got worse
- Group 2 allowed the attributions of aerobic exercising while working to change their mindset and attitude about their work and they made significant changes. They dropped their cholesterol, weight and blood pressure significantly, just from thinking about their work differently. They allowed the attributions to change their attitude about their work and they had a significant mind body change.
I actually did this exercise with my son. He was working in a ‘Boost Juice’ bar and he was not happy with the amount of work he had to do for the amount of pay. So I said to him “why don’t you go into your work tomorrow and pretend you own the business and work as if it is your business”. To do that he would have to change his mindset and attitude about his work and his role in the job.
Well the outcome not only surprised the people at his work, it also surprised him and me. He was told “you can’t change that quickly”. His comment was “yes you can because I just did”. He was then asked to become the assistant manager in four days. He not only did this at this casual job, he did it at his next job in a music store with the same results. He now knew that he was in control of his outcomes every day and that his attitude was very much connected to his aptitude.
In NLP, we believe that Attitude is very much attributed to Aptitude. The effort you put into anything in your life will be governed by your attitude, thoughts and beliefs around that task. Attitude is the way we decide to do our behaviour from the way our beliefs and values are. So our behaviour is a great indicator of our mindset and attitude. If we want to make change we may like to check our willingness to change our mindset and thus our attitude first.
So Can The Power of Thought Stop You Aging?
“Professor Ellen Langer carried out another experiment in 1979 to find if changing thought patterns could slow ageing” according to the BBC News. The full story of this experiment was hidden until 2010 so it’s just being realised now.
Here is the link to the full story http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8498233.stm
The most important point here is that thoughts can actually change the chemistry in the brain. We can make the choice to grow older in a healthy happy way or not. To become a well centenarian is a choice.
So let’s look at what Dr Mario Martinez found as the common denominators for longevity according to his research on over 400 centenarians.
- They all intuitively express the causes of their wellness
- They were all assertive, celebrated life and others
- They had what has been called righteous anger which is good for letting off steam
- They all set their own limits. They were happy to help others but only to a point.
- They ate mostly vegetarian or Mediterranean diets until they were ¾ full
- They don’t manipulate. They acknowledge that both they and you were worthy. This is healthy for the immune system. If we don’t feel worthy and acknowledge it then how can we project ourselves. Our culture quite often teaches us to be humble and helpless.
- They exercised regularly by walking, riding bikes and dancing
- They had a purpose every day. Whatever they did (even if it was to mind the great grand- kids) they did it with the best attitude.
The important point here is that cultural anthropology and neuroscience back this information up. So if ‘SHAME’ is the underlying reason behind your immune system not allowing you to have the longevity that you want then you can STOP and DECIDE to find times in your life when you felt HONOUR because honour is the healer for shame. Honour becomes an anti-inflammatory component. So what may be a great exercise for you to do is to write about all the times you felt honoured in your life. You may be surprised at how far you can go back. By focusing on your worth, and a mindset of your purpose, your body feels well and you age well.
Lynda Dyer Msc, Mind Power Global
Certified NLP Trainer & Master Trainer of Matrix Therapies
International Best Selling Author of 8 books Including ‘Make it Happen Now’, ‘Good Grief Book’, ‘Healing your Immune System’ and ‘Create Confident Kids’.
You can connect with Lynda at http://mindpowerglobal.com.au/
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