a happy mind conquers illness

Illustration by Robert Labayen

Changing the way we think will dramatically change the way we live. The happy mind can attract an abundance of wisdom, love, wealth and good health.

In 2014, I was going through a serious case of insomnia which was leading me to depression and claustrophobia. I was almost like a zombie at home and in the office. When alone, I cried and screamed inside. I went to a good sleep doctor, a therapist, an acupuncturist and a yoga teacher. They all helped. But the breakthrough happened inside a parish adoration chapel.

While praying in the chapel, I read a book that narrated the experience of St. Paul and Silas in jail. Instead of feeling miserable, the two spent the whole day and night singing praises to God. Then an earthquake came to crack open the walls of the jail!

Learning from this story, preacher Joel Osteen advised that when we are going through a difficult time, we just have to offer “a sacrifice of praise.”  It means thanking and praising God in our mind the whole day. If we dwell on our problem, we may lose our appetite, have high blood pressure or even a nervous breakdown ! This suggestion to feel happy and grateful all day is very consistent with the tips from the best known authors on the subject of insomnia.

Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs,  pioneering researcher on insomnia, wrote the book Say Good Night to Insomnia.  He revealed that the condition of our health worsens if we listen to “negative automatic thoughts” or NATs. Examples are thoughts like “ This looks like a bad day,” “ I am so unlucky,” “When will my life ever change,“ etc. Among insomnia sufferers, common negative thoughts are “Here comes another bad night, “ “ I can’t sleep without my medicine,“ “ This is so unfair !”

The cure, he prescribed, is cognitive restructuring or replacing your NATs with positive thoughts. We can overcome our problems if  we say to ourselves things like, for example, “ I am recovering fast, good sleep awaits tonight, “ I’m getting better every day in every way,” “ This is a day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice in it. “ ( I sometimes told myself it was better to be unable to sleep than unable to wake up. )

I was cured almost instantly because insomnia is usually caused by anxiety while thinking positive thoughts and thanking God the whole day is so relaxing. Relaxation makes us sleep.

Probably the most famous book on the subject is The Effortless Sleep Method by Sasha Stephens.  She had insomnia  for 15 years but she advises sufferers to never call themselves an “insomniac.” Also prescribing positive self-talk, she counsels people to never even mention in a conversation that they have difficulty sleeping.

My office buddy, Johnny, knew the trick all along. He said “ Never let it rule you. If you can’t sleep, just enjoy the night ! “  Exactly the same tip from Ms. Stephens.

Two weeks ago, we decided to hold our Couples For Christ prayer meeting in the house of a member who was recovering from a stroke. I was told she was frowning and crying the whole day every day in the hospital because she was so bitter. We advised her to think happy thoughts and to offer “a sacrifice of praise. “  When we’re happy, our brain gives a rush work order to our body to heal itself. ( More on this in next blog post. Promise. )

A few days later, our member was already in the mall. She was still on a wheelchair but she could already move her limbs and smile like a very happy shopper.

So, think happy thoughts now and catch the sale !


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.   Philippians 4:8
a happy mind conquers illness a happy mind conquers illness Reviewed by Robert Labayen on 11:01 PM Rating: 5

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