Dr. THOMAS KAISER MD, DRCOG,
THE SECOND part of the Kaiser Cure programme is about our beautiful and powerful mind.
Rather, I should say, the power of our subconscious mind. The sub-consciousness is the great forgotten and neglected part in our modern life. While we become more and more sophisticated with information technology and engineering, nobody, other than the marketing and advertising experts of the big companies seems to focus on the really powerful thing, our sub-consciousness.
Our children’s curriculum is full of subjects and so called hard facts. There are no lessons like: How I can make my mind work for me.
I once attended a seminar with a famous psychoanalyst. She started the seminar by putting a tiny paper clip on the big desk in front of her. “This is it,” she said. “This is the consciousness we make such a big fuss about, that little paper clip. The rest, the huge table is our sub-consciousness.”
I often remember that interesting picture. We focus on the paper clip, while the much bigger area in our mind is forgotten and is not used to our advantage.
Here is mental training made easy for you:
Step one: Find out what you really want. Be very honest with yourself and ask yourself why you want it. Would it make you happier? Only goals that you really desire and that are realistic for you to achieve are worth pursuing. Don’t waste your time with vague ideas or conflicting interests. You can’t be a successful stockbroker in London and, at the same time, enjoy rural life in the Algarve, bring up five children and breed horses.
Try it out, and see if you really like what you think you want and establish if you are really prepared to pay the price. You always have to pay, before or after. Not in money, but in investing energy, thought, time and willpower. This investment can be really rewarding if it is done in the right way, for the right reasons.
Step two: Forget about clenched fists and dreadful iron discipline that must hurt. It is an invention and preconception of modern times that discipline should, and must, be unpleasant for it to work. Human beings naturally enjoy discipline. You have all experienced that pleasant uplifting feeling when you stuck to your resolutions or when you have been good.
Discipline works best with a smile on your face.
Step three: Imagine and visualise, use your powerful subconscious mind. Forget positive thinking in the conventional way. Our sub-consciousness and mind work, not with words, but with pictures, sounds, scents and associated emotions.
It is ineffective to repeat to yourself that you look like Richard Gere (I know from my own experience), or to memorise that you are rich and powerful, when a short glance at your last bank statement can destroy that immediately.
We don’t get what we want, but what we really believe in. In your dreams and imagination you don’t have to be modest. Imagine yourself exactly how you want to be. Go into detail, smell the leather of the new car you will buy once you get a new job and see yourself walking on the beach with your partner and children.
This is the method that works. You don’t have to believe me. Look around and see for yourself. Modern advertising successfully uses these techniques all the time. Advertising is really applied psychology, if you want to be cynical – manipulation of our mind. Observe how advertising is done; emotions and visions are put together with a product.
Mobile phones are put together with “being in touch, modern, cool, safe, having fun”.
Cigarettes are not really harmed by the advice written on the pack. Can you imagine another product people would buy if it says on the box this product can kill you, harm your children or cause impotence? Cigarettes still sell because the subconscious message is too strong. There are these images of being cool, socially accepted, there is the air of adventure and art around cigarettes – not in words but in images and feelings.
Do your own advert. Imagine and dream yourself how you want to be.
This is where I would like you to become a child again. Allow yourself those dreams. Don’t listen to the grown ups who have forgotten how to use their minds.
Step four: Become addicted to good habits. It is true, humans are creatures of habits and, interestingly, we mainly hear and speak about the negative effects of bad habits.
I would like to encourage you to become addicted to good habits. Good habits are even more powerful than their bad counterparts.
Habits are created by doing things repeatedly. If you do things that are in any respect rewarding, you will soon miss them if you don’t do them. Sounds simple, but is so very true.
While you may have to push yourself in the beginning to go for a long walk you will feel better after you have done it. You get a positive reward afterwards or even satisfaction while you do it.
Take a long walk 10 times and you will start to develop the habit of walking. After 50 walks you will almost be addicted and, after 50 more, I would guarantee that you will become desperate for fresh air once you have not been out for two days.
Step five: Go into “alpha state”. Our sub-consciousness is open for wishes and dreams when we are deeply relaxed – in alpha state.
All relaxation techniques like progressive relaxation and some forms of yoga aim to get you into that state of mind. Book a course with an experienced instructor or buy a book. Visualisation works much better when you can deeply relax.
To summarise where we are at the moment in the Kaiser Cure.
• You are keeping your lifestyle diary.
• You are smiling a lot and finding new funny and positive things every day.
• You have established a realistic goal that you want to achieve by Christmas.
• You are taking 10 minutes per day to visualise yourself having achieved that goal.
In the last issue of The Resident you had a list of possible exercise activities available.
This list, of course, is not complete. There is certainly no lack of facilities or options throughout the whole of the Algarve, so make the most of what is available near where you live.
Why not make your programme a family affair and get your partner involved. With the company and support of a friend most things in life are much easier.
And the bottom line: There is nothing new here – we just have to do the right thing, all the time, with a smile on our faces.
Dr Thomas Kaiser
Dr Thomas Kaiser is a General Practitioner and specialist in Family, Preventative and Cosmetic Medicine. He is the director of the Vale do Lobo Medical Centre (289 398 009) and partner of Dr Robin Thomson in the Family Medical Centre, Almancil. E-mail [email protected]