This section is from the book "Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and Business Efficiency", by Warren Hilton. Also available from Amazon: Psychology and Achievement - Applied Psychology 12 Volume Set.
THERE would seem to be two ways in which functional disease may be avoided: first, by avoiding the states of mind that tend to produce it; second, by cultivating contrary states of mind. Now, the states of mind that produce disease are those in which the aspects of disease are dwelt upon.
All consciousness is creative. No image can be held in consciousness without a coexistent associated motor impulse prompting the bodily action that would tend to make the image a reality.
Not that the mere thought of a disease will cause its immediate appearance.
But that the constant thinking of symptoms will release the energies that tend to their development.
Therefore, if you would be assured of health, avoid the subject of disease. Avoid reading, talking or thinking about abnormal conditions of the human body. Never allow such ideas to enter your mind. If they are thrust upon you by another, banish them with his presence.
Above all, avoid the sort of bodily introspection that looks for symptoms of disease similar to those of others. Those who practice this sort of thing are sure to find what they are looking for. And the more definite in the mind the object of search, the more certain the finding.
Ignore the remarks of others about the harmful effects of certain foods upon them. If there is nothing hurtful nor indigestible in the inherent character of the food itself, your own judgment must tell you that it is digestible and fit for food, and that the fault lies with the mental bias of the dyspeptic.
Every thought of bodily derangement is a prolific source of functional disorder.
Hence, the beliefs created in your mind by the mistakes and falsehoods of others may be productive of dire consequences.
Be ever on the watch. Post your atSources of Functional Disorder tention as a sentinel to guard the gates of consciousness. We have said that there seem to be two ways in which the effect of adverse mental influences upon the body may be avoided. Yet in reality there is but one.
For so long as consciousness is under the control of the waking will it is never empty.
It demands incessant food for thought.
And the best way to avoid pernicious thoughts is to keep your consciousness busy with beneficent ones.
There are two steps in the stairway to perfect automatic functional health.
The first step is to supply the material necessaries of life. Know that your body requires at least two quarts of water in some form every day, that it requires fresh air, deep breathing, cleanliness, exercise and sleep, and that it requires food of the quantity and quality that the average man eats and enjoys.
The second step is to think stimulating thoughts. By stimulating thoughts we mean such thoughts as will prompt the organs of the body to transform the necessaries of life into flesh and bone and to discard the waste.
Stimulating thoughts are thoughts of health and well-being.
Whatever you do, do it with the serene conviction that it is good for you.
Whatever you eat, be assured that it is nourishing and digestible. If you have this idea firmly implanted in your mind, if you really believe it, you will enjoy your food whatever it may be. And tasting and enjoyment, the appreciation of delectable flavors, will be accompanied by thorough mastication and by the secretion of all the necessary digestive fluids.
No man can thrive upon an article of diet that he does not relish. Any well man will thrive upon any article of diet as long as he thoroughly enjoys it.
If you have perfect health, we have given you all that you need to know to avoid functional disease. And the less anxious thought you give to the state of your body the less likely will you be to contract disease. For every thought tends to work its own fulfilment.
Health implies bodily serenity. You cannot be healthy if you are seeking health.
Health is a state of physiological efficiency. It is a condition that is to be realized.
If you have health, you are in health, and health is in you. To keep mind and body in this state of harmony and working efficiency, all that you need do is to exercise a little common sense and obey these simple rules:
1. Think only those thoughts about your body that you desire to see realized in your body.
2. Think and talk health, and fix your mind in grateful serenity upon the assurance of your own immunity from disease. By so doing you will not only safeguard yourself, but you will sug~ gest healthful and creative thoughts to others.
3. Steel yourself against all thoughts adverse to health that may be suggested to you by what you see or hear.
4. If such ideas are forced upon your attention, combat them with thoughts of your own strength, vitality and assured immunity from sickness.
5. In the presence of the sick, do not waste your time and their strength discussing pains and symptoms. Such thoughts will only emphasize the symptoms and aggravate the illness. Instead, talk and think Hope, Convalescence and Health. Get creative ideas into the sick man's mind instead of destructive ideas. And when you are out of his presence rejoice, for your own selfpreservation, in your own bodily health and freedom from pain.
6. Do not allow your friends to tell you their troubles. Make them tell you of their improvement and their expectations of health.
7. Eat all the food you can enjoy. The kind is immaterial so long as you are really convinced that it tastes good and that you can assimilate it.
8. Get plenty of fresh air, exercise and sleep; practice deep breathing and cleanliness and be regular in your habits.
9. Drink at least two quarts of water in some form every day.
If you adhere strictly to these rules, the functional health you now enjoy is yours for the rest of your natural life.
And if any functional disorder should ever come upon you, you can ascribe it directly to your own disobedience of 6ome one or more of those injunctions.