This saying popped into my head a few days ago: ‘Mind Over Matter’. Growing up it was kind of flippantly used as a ‘You can do it!’ type of encouragement, but I never really thought about what it meant. Mind over matter.

Over the past few years, but more so recently, I’ve been reading and learning about how much our minds do control our existence, our reality. My first experience of learning about this was probably back when people talked about the placebo effect. Getting tricked into thinking you’re taking medication when you’ve really been given a vitamin C and getting well anyway. But I just thought ‘well that’s pretty funny and clever, tricking people into thinking that they get well.’

The way this subject matter gets brushed over or considered some type of magic is really bizarre, because it’s actually the most powerful tool we have as human beings. Using your mind to overcome a situation, or a matter, is real and you can actually harness it. Why are we not paying more attention to this?

Did you ever do those experiments at school where your friend would get you to put both your arms up and you had to say ‘yes, yes, yes’ and see if your arms stayed up when they pushed down? Which it would (unless your friend decided to push all their body weight onto it – hilarious). Then you’d say ‘no, no, no’ while they pushed down and your arm would mysteriously go down? That is a perfect example of something you can do to show that the power of your mind and your thoughts can change an outcome. Try it if you have never done it.

If we tell ourselves ‘no’ then no it shall be. If we say ‘I can’t’ enough times, then the truth is, you can’t. This is not to say that at times in our lives we honestly believe we can’t. Because I think we’ve all been there at some point or another. Things start to go a bit pear shaped, or a lot pear shaped, or really traumatically wrong, and the optimism and fight starts to reduce to almost nothing. Picking yourself back up when you’ve hit rock bottom is one of the hardest things I think we will ever do.

I have a saying I’ve used in my life on almost a daily basis for the past 6 years. ‘This too shall pass.’ I tell myself this and I truly believe it. Because I believe it, it’s true. So a happy moment, I embrace and accept that ‘I’m so happy right now, and I’ll remember this feeling and what it’s like, because, this too shall pass.’ And when I’m in a slump, I will say ‘This too shall pass. I won’t feel like this forever.’ That way, when you are in a low space, you can kind of give yourself permission to just feel what you are feeling, and know that it will be gone at some point. This is really helpful when dealing with grief. You need to feel it. You need to allow it to happen. And know that one day, near or far, it will pass.

What all of this is dependent on though, is our mind. Our thoughts. Our belief in what we are thinking.

This is not to say ‘I believe I have a million dollars in my bank account’ and it will happen. But if you start to manifest that intention to be wealthy, and work towards it, you’ll be on a better path than sitting on the couch thinking ‘I wish I had more money.’ Build a vision board, meditate on the idea, expand your senses to the world around you and the wealth that might be available to you.

Something interesting in acknowledging the power we have in our own minds is that sense of responsibility to ourselves. When I first started to gain awareness I kept thinking ‘yikes, if I think the wrong thing, that could make it all go wrong!’ And it’s really important to be aware of those thoughts. Because it is when we let those thoughts run away from us – the negative, fearful thoughts – that things can start going wrong. Things like ‘I have to stay in my job because I’ll never get hired somewhere else’ or ‘I’ll be happy once I can get away on a holiday’. Any thought that doesn’t serve a positive purpose needs to be identified, understood and changed.

My way of getting around that fear of ‘what if I think the wrong thing’ was to say ‘well what if you think the right thing?’ Counteract them. Give them an opposite. Challenge those thoughts with the positive. Or I could look at that little voice of fear and say ‘Hello. You’re not being particularly helpful, so, keep it down if you don’t mind.’ (I don’t actually say any of these things out loud but feel free to if it helps – just perhaps not on a bus or train…)

So mind over matter. Have a think about it, and what it means to you. Do you believe your thoughts can change your life? Imagine that. The whole way you see the world is your choice. It’s in your power.