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(from the book, Being Happy, by Andrew Matthews, pp 25-27)

Scientific experiments have demonstrated incredible ways to kill guinea pigs. Emotional upsets generate powerful and lethal toxins. Blood samples taken from persons experiencing intense fear or anger when injected into guinea pigs have killed them in less than two minutes. Imagine what these toxins can do to your own body.

Every thought that you have affects your body chemistry within a split second. Remember how you feel when you are barreling down the highway and a big truck suddenly brakes twenty meters in front of you. A shock wave shoots through your whole system. Your mind produces instant reactions in your body.

The toxins that fear, anger, frustration and stress produce not only kill guinea pigs but kill us off in a similar manner. It is impossible to be fearful, anxious, irritated and healthy at the same time. It is not just difficult, it is impossible. Simply put, your body’s health is a reflection of your mental health. Sickness will often then be a result of unresolved inner conflicts which in time show up in the body.

It is also fascinating how our subconscious mind shapes our health. Do you recall falling sick on a day when you didn’t want to go to school? Headaches brought on by fear? Do you know anyone who got laryngitis before his big speech? The mind-body connection is such that if, for example, we want to avoid something, very often our subconscious mind will arrange it. Once we recognize that these things happen to us, we are half way to doing something about them.

Our belief system and our expectations can keep us sick. If our brother-in-law says, “I’ve got this rotten cold and you’ll probably get it and be in bed for two weeks,” then we become susceptible to the illness. We get sick in part because we expect it.

There is also evidence to suggest that we may suffer a disease because our parents had it and we think it is “appropriate” or inevitable. We carry subconscious patterns or programs around on our brain cells that keep us either healthy or sick. Some people say “I never get colds” and never get them. Others say “I always get at least two colds per year” and they succeed. This is not coincidence.

As children, we learn quickly that being sick is one of the most effective ways of getting attention. For some of us it is the only way. When we become sick, our friends and family rally around and immediately we feel more loved and reassured. Some people never break this pattern and for a lifetime manage to fall ill, fall off ladders and break legs whenever they feel ignored or unloved. Clearly, this is much more an unconscious than a conscious behavior. However, the fact remains that those people who feel loved and secure have far less illness and “accidents” than those who don’t.

Repressed feelings and emotions affect our health. The classic victim syndrome, “don’t worry about me, I’m not important” or “I’m used to being ignored and disappointed” or “I’ll just sit here with a smile on my face and stew inside” is the beginning of disaster. To be healthy and energetic, we must maintain positive emotions and we must be expressing our feelings. It is also very important to believe we DESERVE to be healthy. If we harbor any subconscious feelings like, “I’m not a nice person” or “I’ve done a lot of bad things” or “I deserve to be punished,” then a classic way to suffer is through ill health—sometimes for a lifetime.

If we are not doing the job or leading the life we enjoy, our mind is constantly holding the thought, “I wish I wasn’t here.” As our body is a slave of the mind, our body will then start getting us out of whatever we want to get out of. The first step is illness. The more permanent solution is death.

I don’t suggest that our health can be totally explained by the preceding paragraphs. I do wish to emphasize the mental role in our physical health. If I take a banana to the South Pole, dig a hole and plant it, and, ten years later, return with a big basket to harvest my banana crop, how many bananas will I get? You say not very many? The reason is that the environment is bad for growing bananas. Well, through your thoughts and emotions you control your bodily environment. It is your choice whether you make it a hot house for germs or a temple of health.

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