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• Because thoughts help us create the reality we experience, regardless if that experience is good or bad, all of it is governed by our belief system and our view of our self, the experience and self- perception. • Lack of awareness of our thoughts can easily lead us into a negative mindset. • Dominant thoughts control one’s emo- tional state. • A weakened confidence elevates self- doubt and undermines one’s perfor- mance ability. • In many sports, top performers are set apart by only millimeters or hundredths of a second. It’s important to recognize these tiny differences can be generated by negative or unfortunate, uncontrolled thinking.

Referring back to Mr. Aquinas’ thoughts about ‘jumping monkeys’, unlike our pri- mate family, we humans are not designed to impressively swing with remarkable skill from ‘one branch’ (idea, thought, or per- ception) to another for extended periods of time. Looking at this situation through the eyes of an athlete or individual that does not KNOW HOW TO achieve ‘men- tal manage control’, using the example of an ape that has taken control a banana, the individual has a high likelihood of feeling that he/she has become a captive of their mental-emotional state. When our rambling ‘Monkey Chatter Mind’ begins to bounce, we disconnect from one idea to another. Distraction re- duces our physical and mental abilities > break our focus > block our happiness. If

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mind chatter or mental clutter is not con- trolled, our thought process disconnects: • Evicting us from the full experience of the present moment > the poorly con- trolled mental distraction breaks or blocks our concentration > elevating the potential to leave us in a state of confu- sion or even blankness. • Generating worrying, doubts and fear > feelings of being overwhelmed. • Learning too quickly that we can barely focus on even these redundant, unneeded emotions for very long. • Creating a state of high anxiety (arous- al state), > poor potential for ideal per- formance state.

A writer in the February 4, 2014 issue

of Time Magazine found that she, like so many individuals, is “hyper-connected” to multiple electronics at one time, due to the internal urge (and habits) of keeping in constant touch with the outside world. She also noted researchers have found that multitasking leads to lower, overall pro- ductivity. It has been found that the minds of people who rapidly switch between tasks, have less ability to filter out irrele- vant information, hence, they make more mistakes. You can probably see what that can do to students, business professionals, competitive athletes, or anyone who must be at the top of their game.

Mental training and Mindfulness: Mindfulness is an intentional process of thinking about what you are thinking about, in the present moment. With prac- tice and without judgment, individuals

purposely train their brain to become aware by centering their attention on in- ternal and external experiences, in the present moment of time. Research suggests that: 1. Mental training has gained acceptance with even Pentagon chiefs and Fortune 500 executives.

a. Mindfulness (and other forms of mental training) can be beneficial with enjoying more of everyday life. b. Because of the many wellness ben- efits, it is rising in popularity among mental health professionals for chron- ic pain, stress, depression, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, and addiction.

2. Mindfulness is not meditation. Mind- fulness can be practiced through medita- tion, through watchful eating, mindful walking, attentive driving, or being very conscious of any experience in our lives. 3. Both mental and physical skills take ongoing practice. In order to have a keen awareness of the present moment, you and the present experience must become one. a. As with the ongoing practice of physical exercise and practice drills, you can quickly bring about good re- sults, and carryover into your daily life and activities. b. Some benefits include: 1). When you are in the moment, ‘other things’ within your environment seem to dis- solve from your thoughts and, you re- main focused, in-the-moment. This is essential for all whom must remain focused. 2). Mindfulness allows a per-

Marcelle Hammer, MA Ed Certified Medical Support Clinical Hypnotherapist

336.768.7000 Natural Triad Magazine

MARCH 2014 41

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