If you want to change your life, begin by intending to do so. The power of intention is no longer in dispute. Its credibility was thoroughly examined back in 1990 by the National Academy of Sciences. This group "examined all the scientific studies to date on these methods [of intention] and declared them effective." Indeed, the power of intention can change your reality, your health, your career, your world, and your habits of thinking, feeling and behaving.
Whether you call intention "mental rehearsal," "mental practice," "implicit practice" or "covert rehearsal," its effectiveness has proven itself in influencing all the desired outcomes in your life. Before any athletic contests, winners imagine their own feelings of victory, the elation, their behavioral reactions, the responses of friends and family, and their rewards. They send intentional images and messages to their bodies. Because their brains [like anyone’s] don’t distinguish between actually doing something and clearly thinking about doing it, their bodies respond by following the intended thoughts. Electroencephalography (EEG) research has shown that the electrical activity produced by the brain is identical, whether we’re thinking about doing something or actually doing it.
Perhaps the most dramatic impact that intention has on our bodies is the "placebo effect." Lynne McTaggart, in her book The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World, writes: "The placebo effect has clearly demonstrated that one’s beliefs are powerful healing agents, even when those beliefs are unfounded. When a doctor gives a patient a placebo [sugar pill], he or she is counting on the patient’s belief that the drug will work. In effect, the placebo is a form of intention. It has been well-documented that belief in a placebo will create physiological effects similar to that of a [proven] active agent. So besides improving performance, mental intention produces actual physiological changes in our bodies." Your thinking alters your physiological activity in a negative or positive manner, depending on the nature of your thoughts. Keep that in mind as you intend to recover from illness.
Again, McTaggart writes, "All this evidence has convinced me that the power of intention can be used to heal and promote good health, improve performance in many areas and even affect the future."
The most effective intentions are those that have a very specific goal…that you visualize in your mind’s eye with photographic clarity…that you focus your mind upon while in a physically relaxed state…that you engage all your five senses in the imagery…and that you hold your mental picture as if it were occurring to you at the moment.
Each of us is capable of using our intention to improve the quality of our daily lives. McTaggart writes, "At home, we might be able to send intentions to our children to perform better at school or to allow us to be more loving to friends and family. Human intention might be powerful enough to affect every element of our lives."
What an awesome responsibility! Only you are responsible for the quality of your thinking, of your intentions and of your consequent behavior. Only you can choose the nature of your habitual thinking patterns…your sub-vocal speech. Ask yourself, "Am I sending out thoughts that are positive or negative, healthy or unhealthy, supportive of my desired outcomes or not?" You create your own perceptions…your own intentions. Are they benefiting you, others and the world? Are they creating the life that you genuinely desire? If not, change them!
Live an intentional life, and you use the most creative power you possess.