I like to write about subjects that I understand thoroughly and feel rather expert-ish about. So I am on shaky ground today as I embark on a topic that I possess a feeble understanding of. However, in my own defense, there are probably not many people who really have a handle on the theories of quantum physics. I have been studying the implications of quantum physics theories on wellness. The most interesting thing to me about quantum physics and the field of psychoneuroimmunology (the meshing of brain, mind and immune system research) is that, after years of testing their theories, scientists have drawn conclusions about the nature of our physical world that align very closely with the ideas of the ancient mystics.
When I casually mention I have been reading about quantum physics, people will sometimes ask me to sum up what it is telling me. I tell them that in my infantile understanding, quantum physics says, when considering very, very small physical objects, their existence appears to be a sea of possibilities. But when we actually observe them, the possibilities collapse to one specific location in space. So, on the molecular level, particles pop in and out of physical existence depending on whether we are observing them or not.
Some scientists speculate that since we are made of molecules, maybe our experiences in life are determined by what we are observing – or the focus of our attention. This implies that our observational skills and our ability to hold attention are very important. Our five senses are our interface with the physical world and we tend to keep our attention on what they are telling us. Unfortunately, our senses are not necessarily giving us the straight line. We know there are many types of electromagnetic signals, like radio waves and x-rays, that our senses cannot detect, but there are other ways they deceive us. The truth is that the brain interprets the signals from the senses based on past memories. So, our perception of our sensory input may be different from the actual input. We may actually be repeating our past – over and over again!
The next idea that is important is the finding in psychoneuroimmunology that emotions are created by chemicals (like endorphins) released from our brain and immune system. These chemicals physically change the cells of our body, which creates emotions and affects the health of the cell. They key ideas here are first, that emotions are actually cellular events triggered by brain chemicals, and second, that the immune system has both the ability to create and react to these chemicals of emotion. And since the immune system mediates our response to illness and disease, this is how our health is governed by our feelings.
So how do we use this to improve our health and our happiness? Here’s the gist of what I have gleaned from the experts in the field. Instead of living our lives backward and allowing our senses to trigger past experiences and emotions, we can change how we feel and change our health by creating new thoughts. We can create new thoughts by consciously deciding that we do not know what anything means, but we can give it the meaning we desire. Neuroscientists know through experimentation that an imagined experience triggers that same brain and nerve response as a real physical experience. We can learn to “observe” from our imagination and create a reality based on how we would like to feel and be.
I am not going to pretend that this is easy. In my experience, changing thought patterns is one of the hardest things to do. But I know it can be done with enough persistence and enough desire for a different life experience. However, it must be a high priority and given constant attention throughout the day. And besides, what have you got to lose?