Two little words can do so much damage!

Do you know what hinders many elders from getting more out of life? It’s a small mental packet of energy – a little phrase with a big impact: I can’t. They think I can’t begin dating at my age or I can’t cut down on watching TV and convince themselves it’s true. Or someone says You can’t and they believe it.

Paul Scheele gives a good example of the power of I can’t. In his book Natural Brilliance, Scheele tells about the time he was studying hypnosis. His teacher said, “Once you’ve put someone into trance, suggest that they can’t do some simple act, like they can’t lift their foot because their shoe is glued to the floor. Then repeat these words several times, No matter how hard you try, you can’t.

Well, during his first stage performance Sheele was amazed to see a six-foot tall man he had put into a trance stand before him unable to pick up his foot because he really believed his shoe was glued to the floor. The phrase I can’t is a very powerful negative force.

Often what we say begins with what we believe, and some of our beliefs about aging can be very debilitating. The idea that getting older means you have to stay cooped up in the house because you might slip or trip – this is just a belief. The idea that getting older means your brain will become foggy and forgetful – this is just a belief. The idea that getting older means you become grumpy and lonely and lose the joy of living – this is just a belief. These are just beliefs. But they’re beliefs that have been reinforced by years of programming and conditioning and they’re beliefs that contribute to aging ungracefully.

These beliefs become rooted in our minds through the negative impact of incessant mind chatter.  According to the National Science Foundation, the number of thoughts we have each day ranges from 12,000 to 50,000, though many themes are repeated relentlessly. Often these repetitive thoughts are negative – full of what we don’t like about ourselves or about what we’re afraid might happen as we get older.

This negative mind chatter keeps us from enjoying life. It stops us from living up to our full potential as powerful, magnificent, joyful beings. And the dis-ease in our minds often becomes the disease in our bodies.

The mind chatter I’m referring to goes something like this: Oh, my bones are getting old; my eyes don’t see very good anymore. Guess my hearing will go next. And on top of all that, my memory is going to hell in a hand basket.

We’ve all been bombarded with ideas and images of what it looks and feels like to grow old and they contribute to our negative mind chatter. The good news is: you can change your negative mind chatter into positive self-talk and bring about the good feeling of rejuvenating your life and living happy. It all begins with watching – observing – what’s going on in your mind.  Do you have particular ways of changing negative mind chatter? Please share your ideas with our online community by commenting below.

4 Comments so far:
  •   August 14, 2015 - Reema Says:

    I just use the word ‘STOP’ everytime i hear a negative mind chatter. It just helps me not build more permutations and combinations of that single negative thought.
    It has helped me curb the negative talks to an large extent.

  •   August 14, 2015 - Ellen Wood Says:

    That’s great, Reema. Even better than: Cancel, cancel.

  •   August 14, 2015 - Billie Jo Says:

    When My mind wants to go towards the negative, I just say to myself….nope, Im not going there… It helps me to redirect my thoughts.

  •   August 15, 2015 - Ellen Wood Says:

    Wonderful, Billie Jo. Thanks for sharing.

4 Responses to “Two little words can do so much damage!”

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