No one ever wonders if they have the license to worry. It is programmed into our DNA, hardwired into our brains, and our cells are steeped in chemicals compelling us to do so. It is not just our birthright, it is the primary we way we know to survive. And it’s worked. We’ve come this far, we humans. Good job, us.
But what if it’s also the thing that’s going to stop us from evolving further?
Saber tooth tigers rarely make an appearance on our ride into work. And for most of us, we don’t feed ourselves by being faster than our food or protect ourselves by being physically stronger than our enemy. Studies have shown that as much as 85% of the things about which we worry don’t come to pass. They’ve also shown that of that 15% of things about which we worry, we are able to successfully handle 79% of these instances. That means that of all the things that cause us mental anguish, only 3.15% ever actually matter.
Think of that, all those tight stomachs, racing hearts and clenching muscles we experience on a daily basis – all generated to fight monsters that don’t exist. And since you’re reading this, I know you have access to the interweb, and since you have access to the interweb, I’m assuming you can look up the health risks attached to the chronic stress that comes from worrying.
But what about dreaming? What about giving ourselves license to dream? Praying (the assertive cousin of dreaming) has been shown to negative health effects in scientific studies. It increases oxygen intake, calms our parasympathetic nervous systems and increases blood flow to the frontal lobe in our brain, the seat of higher order reasoning and creativity. Creative visualization (the other, more organized sister of dreaming) has been used for years in the treatment of chronic pain and cancer.
And not only is it good to do, we need to do a lot of it. Because our physiological predisposition towards negative emotions, it takes approximately five positive experiences to counteract the physical effects of one negative experience. Which let’s face it, when we’re trying to make our dreams come true, happens a lot.
So, my dear dreaming-doing friends, keep it up. Say your affirmations. Continue your vision-boarding and take every opportunity you can to let your soul soar. It’s not only fun, it might be the key to evolving past just surviving, to actually thriving.
How can you up your daily dream quotient?
Credit to Lavonne van der Zwaag Pixabay