This section is from the "Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure" book, by Henry Lindlahr.
If I were asked the question: "What do you consider the greatest benefit to be derived from the Nature Cure regimen?" I should answer: "The strengthening of willpower and self-control."
This is the very purpose of life. Upon it depends all further achievement. Self-control is the master's key to all higher development on the mental, moral and spiritual planes of being; but before we can exercise it on the higher planes, we must have learned to apply it on the lower plane, in the management and control of our physical appetites and habits. When we have learned to control these, higher development will come easy.
A good method for strengthening the willpower is autosuggestion. The most opportune moments in the twenty-four hours of the day for practicing this mental magic are those before dropping to sleep. At this time there is the least disturbance and interference from outside influences, the mind is most passive and susceptible to suggestion and impressions made under these favorable conditions upon the "phonograph records" of the subconscious mind are the most lasting and the most powerful to control physical, mental and moral activities.
When thoroughly relaxed, at rest and at peace, say to yourself: "Whatever duties confront me tomorrow, I shall execute them promptly, without wavering or hesitation. I shall not give in to this bad habit which has been controlling me. I shall do that only of which reason and conscience approve."
In order to be more specific and systematic and to obtain results more surely and quickly, concentrate upon one weakness at a time. When that has been overcome, take up another one, until in this way you have attained perfect control over your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Suppose you have acquired the habit of remaining in bed and dozing after your mental alarm clock has given its signal to arise and you dread the effort of going through your morning exercises and ablutions. Then, the night before, impress upon the subconscious mind deeply and firmly the following suggestions: "Tomorrow morning, on awakening, I shall jump out of bed without hesitation and go through my morning exercises with zest and vigor."
Or, suppose you are subject to the fear and worry habit. Say to yourself: "Tomorrow or any time thereafter when depressing, gloomy thoughts threaten to control me, I shall overcome them with thoughts of hope and faith, and with absolute confidence in the Divine power of the will within me to overcome and to achieve."
In this manner you may give the subconscious mind suggestions and impressions for overcoming bad habits and for establishing and strengthening good habits.
If a serious problem is confronting you, and you are unable to solve it to your satisfaction, think upon it just before you are dropping off to sleep and confidently demand that the right solution come to you during the hours of rest. The inner consciousness is always awake. It is the watchman who awakens you at the appointed time in the morning. It will work upon your problem while your physical brain is asleep. In this lies the psychological justification for the popular phrase: "Before I decide the matter I'll sleep over it."
In the practice of mental magic, as in everything else, success depends upon patience and perseverance. It would be entirely useless to go through these mental drills occasionally and in a desultory fashion; but if persisted in faithfully and intelligently, they will prove truly magical in their effects upon the development of willpower and self-control, and on these depend the mastery of conditions within and without, the conquest of fate and destiny.