Reading time: 3 minutes Jun 25th 2014

In our head, chemicals swirl around in the form of hormones and neurotransmitters. They cause us to feel certain emotions. Cortisol, for example, is the stress hormone and has a largely negative impact on the body. It effects the immune system and our decision making capacity. When we are stressed we are more likely to forget things and make mistakes.

These negative chemicals are created by our thoughts and our physiology. When you are in good physical health and when you stand in the right posture, you create a physical environment in your body that is conducive to creating the right neurochemistry. When you aren’t, your physical environment does not. However, your thoughts play the biggest part in the chemistry of your brain.

Cortisol is an example of chemical warfare that occurs inside your head. The terrorists are the negative thoughts that create these feelings. Your own counter terrorist unit is the positive and practical thoughts that you have at your disposal. By not taking care of your physical conditioning and posture you give the mental terrorists room to breathe. By letting the terrorists do what they do without combatting them, you give them power.

Contrary to how governments handle terrorism by the policy of no negotiation, handling inner terrorists can involve negotiating. The key is to understand what these thoughts are trying to do. If they are depressing thoughts they might be searching for sympathy or looking to keep you away from harm. If they are worries or stressful thoughts they might be there to remind you to handle certain situations carefully, like an alarm system.

To combat these mental terrorists, firstly, look after your physical health and your posture (check Amy Cuddy’s great research on Power Poses for more info on this). Secondly, notice your thoughts and when you observe a negative thought ask yourself, what is it trying to do and then make sure you take care of its desires. It is usually there to protect you and help you survive. However, it doesn’t always achieve that. So, you need to carry out its wishes but on your terms. You can do this by replacing the negative thought with, not just a positive thought but, a practical and positive thought.

For example, if you are find yourself worrying about something, its intention is to ensure that you pay attention to a potential problem in the future. Write it down and ask yourself what’s possible for you to do. Then, schedule in the necessary actions. By doing this, you are replacing the old habit (worry) with a new, positive and practical thought and decision and it allows you to live in peace and harmony once more.

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