What a year 2016 has been, and as it slowly fades into the background, we usher in 2017 with all the optimism and confidence we can muster.
“What you expect to get is what you get in the end,” our mother used to admonish us, as our father, despite his down-to-earth, realist orientation, would nod approvingly.
Every time a new year comes, I’m reminded of the words of wisdom our mother used to impart when we were children, particularly in the first few days of the year. She always spoke with deep insight, although it seemed she gave us double servings of her insights at the start of the year to either keep us on track, or more frequently, to get us back on track.
She never tired of asking us to make New Year’s resolutions, never mind if we had recurring items on the list each year, because they never got done well enough to be stricken off the list. Making the list was already a big step forward, “because goals that are written down will be achieved at some time,” she would tell us.
Looking back, she was absolutely right. Writing my goals, whether at the start of the year or at any other time, gives them some sort of leverage to get achieved—by constantly reminding me of what I need to do to achieve them. Sooner or later, partly or totally, they get done.
“Happy thoughts, big dreams for the new year,” Mama would repeat like a mantra, as she got the dinner table prepared on New Year’s Eve. These words somehow created an indelible imprint in my mind, and I would frequently catch myself saying the same words many times, mumbling them to myself, as the clock struck 12 on Jan. 1 every year.
I believe my fellow columnists in this section, Cory Quirino and Jaime Licauco, are more the experts in this mind-body connection, and I fully endorse what they’ve been telling us about the importance of harnessing the limitless benefits of a healthy and positively oriented mind-body synergy.
Just as our physical health depends to a great extent on what we eat and drink, our mental and emotional health depend mainly on the thoughts we feed our minds. Science may still be inadequate to explain it in clear terms, but the connection between our thoughts and what happens in our lives is logical and rational.
If we constantly think of negative thoughts like fear, anger, resentment, revenge, despair, envy, pride, arrogance, jealousy and greed, the outcome in our lives will also be negative and could result in illness, poor health, failure, and all sorts of bad luck.
If we constantly talk about our problems, we’re unwittingly magnifying them so they never get solved. Instead we should constantly talk of positive solutions to the problem. Mother Teresa is frequently quoted as saying something like, “I’ll never join an antiwar rally, but I’ll join a pro-peace rally anytime.”
Feed our mind
If we constantly feed our minds with “happy thoughts”—positive ones like love, gratitude, compassion, humility, generosity, hope and a desire to know what our spiritual purpose in life is—then we can reap the benefits in terms of good health, happiness, peace of mind, success in our career and personal lives, and all forms of abundance from God’s bounty.
Many of us don’t realize it, but we’re frequently talking to ourselves through our thoughts, and this self-talk can either be positive or negative, healthy or unhealthy. If we’ve been giving ourselves a lot of negative self-talk over the years, it’s never too late to change that, and this new year is an opportune time to do it.
In fact, this very moment is the best time to make that resolve to reduce, if not totally eliminate, all the negative thinking and self-talk.
This can go a long way in reducing our stress level, more than any potent tranquilizer or sedative.
Many experts in the mind-body connection tell us that whatever circumstance in life we have right now is the result of the thoughts we’ve been nurturing in the past. So, if we’re happy with our lives right now, that means we’ve been feeding ourselves with happy thoughts, and we should continue doing so.
If we’re not happy with our lives, and we wish we could be healthier, sleep better at night, have better relationships, and enjoy a little more abundance in life, then it can serve us well to change our thoughts.
“Happy thoughts, big dreams for the new year,” as our mother would advise us. I assure you, it works.