The Mind & Body Connection – Changing The Way You Think
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In this episode Juan Acosta is guest hosting today’s show, and he brings some incredible insight to many of the issues you may be facing on a daily basis. For many people, the dentist or the thought of going to the dentist brings these strong negative emotions, and yet it is something that is almost never addressed. So on today’s episode Juan Acosta goes into depth on why you have this, what it does to you, and most importantly, how you can go about addressing it and overcoming it. So with that, lets get going on this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Dentistry!
— Transcript Below —
Good morning, San Diego. This is Juan Acosta guest hosting of Dr. Marvin on Let’s Talk Dentistry. I work with Dr. Marvin’s patients to help them relieve their dental anxiety. Today I want to do an exercise with you, and I wanted to show you the causes and the remedies for dental anxiety, so that you don’t have to continue to put off the visit to the dentist.
I’ve been taking calls for this emergency dentist and what happens is people call me crying, because they are afraid to go to the dentist. They are scared in some way, and there are several causes that come up. One of the things that people call about is shame. They are actually ashamed to show the dentist their teeth. There are other things, like paying for the bill or whether the doctor will do a good job. Is there going to be pain? What about that stomach ache that I get when I’ve had the anesthesia? All of those things are causes of anxiety, and I want to show that it’s very simple to not only get rid of the anxiety, but also to get rid of anxiety in any other areas of your life.
Our thoughts control the results that we have. If you’re having negative thoughts about yourself, if you’re giving yourself negative feelings by saying, ‘I’m scared… this is going to hurt… this is going to be weird… I hate the dentist.’ All of that negative self talk creates feelings of anxiety inside, which prompts you to take the negative action of not going to the dentist or waiting too long.
Yesterday, for example, I had a caller. They said, “I have a severe tooth ache. My tooth has broken off. The nerve is exposed and now it’s an emergency; I have to go to the dentist.” Don’t wait until it’s an emergency. I asked this guy how long it had been a problem. He said, “The pain started about two months ago, but I’ve known about the cavity for two years.”
Why do you think that person went all that time without going to the dentist? It’s because he had anxiety. He was scared to go to the dentist and be taken care of. I asked him why he waited that long. He said, “Because I’m ashamed to even go out in public, because my teeth look so bad.”
Why would anybody wait that long? Because they talk to themselves in a way that is negative. I want to show you today how the mind and body are connected. You can think different thoughts that will bring you different results. It’s about the mind and body connection and how the way we talk to ourselves can effect the way that chemicals are released in your brain. If you have any questions during the show, make sure to call 1-866-KPRAISE. That’s 1-866-577-2473 and your questions will be passed on to me, but I’ll be talking in the mean time.
When you take an anti-anxiety medication like Xanax or something to help you relax, that releases chemicals to neurotransmitters in the brain that tell the rest of your body that it’s time to relax. It relaxes your muscles and your mind. We can do exactly the same thing just by changing the way that we think and the way that we talk to ourselves. Think about the difference between medication and the natural remedies for this. In medication you have all of these side effects. You’ve seen the commercials where they say, ‘This is great for you; it will help relieve anxiety, and it will keep you in your best spirits.’ Then there’s a long list of side effects, like possible heart attack, may cause cancer, or this or that. The difference between having a medication and having a natural remedy like better self talk, or talking to yourself in a way that is empowering about your visit to the dentist, is what’s going to make the difference in your anxiety.
Today we’re going to talk about a hypnotheraputic approach, if you will, where you talk to yourself in a way that allows you to get in to a better state of mind. Your thoughts create the feelings that you have, and the feelings that you have determine the actions that you take. Whether you take a positive action or negative action, you get that same sort of result. Thoughts create feelings, feelings create actions, actions create results. Your thoughts create your results.
If we analyze the process of anxiety, think about what happens when you become anxious. When you become anxious, you might be telling yourself, ‘I’m scared to be going to the dentist. I hate the dentist. I hate the needle. I know that I’m going to have to pay a lot of money.’ It’s scary stuff, so when you think about it, pay attention to what happens in your body. When you say to yourself ‘I’m scared of the dentist,’ notice where your body lives. Notice where the stress is in your body, and just be aware of that, because awareness is the first step to fixing any problem. When you’re saying to yourself that you hate the dentist, and that creates a negative feeling of anxiety inside, it prompts you to not take action. So how can we replace that feeling with something that is more empowering and gets you ready to go? It’s about the direction of your motivation. If you’re motivated away from going to the dentist because you perceive the dentist as being something harmful or scary, then you are essentially keeping yourself from seeing all the benefits of going to the dentist.
If you think to yourself, ‘I am going to have a great visit. This is going to be easy. There will be no discomfort, I will be feeling great afterwards. I will have a beautiful smile. I will be feeling just amazing,’ then that feeling inside just recreates a feeling of euphoria that releases the different chemicals in the brain that allow you to relax. Just like if you took anti-anxiety medication or something like that.
The first step is to become aware of those feelings. If you’re about to go to the dentist or you’re even thinking about going to the dentist, you may get that sensation inside that lets you know that you are anxious. Sometimes people feel it in their chest or their throat. Sometimes it’s just in their head. All it is, is becoming aware of that and breaking that pattern. When you have the thought in your head and you just let it go on, and on, and on, it becomes stronger. So if you’re saying, “I hate the dentist, I hate the dentist, I hate the dentist,” that creates a pressure point inside that keeps you from going. If you say to yourself, “I’m feeling great, I’m feeling great. I love the dentist,” even if you’re lying to yourself to begin with, your subconscious will begin to shift the way it feels and thinks about that.
I want to give you a little free gift today. If you text your name and email to me, I will send you a free audio program, so that you’ll be able to experience this sort of thought pattern first hand. It will be a short audio program that you can listen to that will help relieve your dental anxiety and any other anxieties that you have. Text your name and email to 858-461-9861, and I will be sure to email you later tonight with free audio program for your listening pleasure.
Let’s do a little exercise for the listeners out there while we wait for any calls. Just think about any anxiety that you have. It doesn’t have to be dental, but it could be. Think about that anxiety right now. Think about what it’s like when you have that moment that lets you know that you have anxiety. You have that feeling inside your body that lets you know that you have that anxiety. It starts to move inside and it becomes stronger and stronger the more you think about it. I wonder what would happen if you were able to imagine that the feeling has that process?
The feeling has that sort of cyclical movement that you can stop at any time. What I want you to do instead of stopping that feeling all together, is think about which direction it’s moving. Say the feeling is in your chest. The feeling may be moving up towards your throat. You can feel it almost coming out and going in through your stomach, then back up to your chest. It’s almost like it’s cycling through. It’s going around and around. I’d like for you to imagine that you’re going to the dentist, so that you can allow yourself to feel that anxiety for just a moment just to go with this process and understand how it can change so easily. Allow yourself to feel that right now. Allow yourself to feel that anxiety that you’re going to the dentist and you hate the dentist. Notice where the feeling resides in your body. Just allow it to sort of float outside. Just imagine that the cyclical movement is floating just outside your body. Then you’re doing a 180. You’re completely flipping it the opposite way so that it’s cyclical in the opposite way. Just imagine that it’s floating out of your body. That feeling is moving up and down and up and down. When you turn it, it’s moving down and up, down and up, then you can put it right back where it was.
Notice that the good feeling will now take the place of the negative feeling. That is a very simple technique that you can do on your own, and of course I’d be happy to help. If you want to call in live, you can do so at 866-KPRAISE.
There are many techniques that we use to relieve anxiety. One of the techniques we can use is objectifying that feeling. You see, a lot of times we don’t realize, but we are creating those feelings with our thoughts. Turning those feelings in to something that is more tangible allows you to sort of see them as they are, see them as something separate from you, something that you can actually control as if you had them in your hand. If you have that feeling inside and you imagine pulling that feeling that may be in your chest outside of your body and holding it in your hand, you may notice that if you move your hand closer to you, you feel it one way. If you move your hand further away from you, you feel it a different way, just because the feeling is outside of you. That is what is called a disassociative process. You are separating yourself and your thoughts from that feeling. Once you turn that feeling into a shape with a color, you can give it a texture and a temperature, all of those things can be qualities that you attach to that feeling.
Imagine, if you will that you have that anxiety and you’ve put it in your hand. Imagine that your looking at that anxiety. Take a good look at it and realize what it looks like, what it feels like. Is it soft? Is it hard? Is it shiny? Is it hot? Is it cold?
Just think about the feeling, and if you were to rate that feeling before this exercise, you might think about that anxiety and you might say that on a scale from 0 to 10 your anxiety is a 9. You’re really anxious; you’re really scared about going to the dentist, because you have shame, or you know it’s going to hurt, or you don’t have the money for it, or you don’t know if they will do a good job or what you will look like afterwards.
When you put that feeling in your hand, just imagine that you are looking at it. You’re looking at it, and it’s an object with a shape. Looking down at it now, imagine all the qualities that you can have attached to that. Then pull it a little bit further away with your body. As you’re holding it out with your arms fully extended, you’re looking at that feeling. Imagine what it would be like if you could begin to mold that shape that you have in your hand into something that is different. If you had a hard, fuzzy triangle that is red, imagine changing it into something that you can mold, like a soft, squishy circle that is now white. Just by changing the qualities that you are imagining on this feeling, that alone allows you to change the thoughts that you have about this feeling, and it helps you relieve that anxiety. It’s about creating that better state, creating the better thoughts that create the feelings which push you to actions that create results.
I’m going to offer you a free consultation, if you’d like to call and book a free consultation within 24 hours and you mention the show, I will give you an offer at the end of the show, so stay tuned. Call within 24 hours for your free consultation. My number again is 858-461-9861. If you text me your name and email, I will be happy to send you a free sample. Something that you can listen to and experience first had what it’s like to have this much relaxation all to yourself.
Let’s talk about what happens when you have that anxiety, when it happens, and how it happens. A lot of times people are unaware of how the process they’re having is controlling the thoughts that they have. What happens in your body? When you think about anxiety, when you think about going to the dentist and you begin to run this scenario in your head about how scary the visit is going to be or how expensive it’s going to be or how ashamed I am because my mouth looks so bad. It’s time to figure out what those thoughts you are having are actually doing to your body.
Think about what you tell yourself when you’re going to the dentist. As you’re thinking about that, think about what it does to your body, how your physiology is affected and how your mind and everything gets involved with that feeling. Most people have that issue when they think about the dentist. In fact, this is something that translates into almost any area in life. Think about something that you’re anxious about, and pay close attention to what it is that you’re saying to yourself. Most likely it’s negative self talk that is causing this anxiety. When that happens, notice what happens in your body. Do your muscles tense up, or do they relax? Do you feel your heart rate getting faster? Do you feel your hands shaking a little bit? What is it that you feel in your body? Become aware of those feelings, become aware of how those feelings are effecting your physical body.
Our mind and body are so connected that whatever we think about becomes our experience. When you have those negative thoughts and you have those feelings, the first step is being aware. Notice what it is that you’re feeling and how you are feeling it. Like what I was talking about with the cyclical movement. How are you experiencing it? Everybody’s experience of life is always different.
The other day I was driving down the road and I had this weird thought. As I was driving, I looked out to the side, and there was a mail man dropping mail at a mailbox. This is what they do, of course, but I got to thinking, ‘I wonder what that man’s life is like?’ I sort of put myself in his shoes, and as I stepped in his shoes I started thinking, ‘If I were this person, I would be leaving my home at this time. I would be bringing all these people’s mail to their mailboxes, and maybe I would be thinking something as I dropped the mail off: I wonder what this one is about?’ That’s what I told myself. I put myself in that person’s shoes, and I realized how different everyone’s experience is.
If you have an experience of anxiety that you’d like to talk about, you should call in at 866-577-2473. I’ll be happy to guide you a little bit and help you to relieve some of the anxiety that you’re having. Whether it’s dental or not doesn’t matter. This show is sponsored by the Center for Natural Dentistry. Next week, you’re going to have another amazing guest host, which is going to be Dr. Staci Godes. If you have any dental questions, I’m not a dentist. I just help the dentist and his patients. If you have any dental questions, you can call in next week at the same number, and Dr. Godes will be happy to answer your questions and take care of you.
Replacing that emotion of anxiety with something other than that, which is more empowering and will allow you to go to the dentist when you need to is just about figuring out a better way to say things to yourself. Think about those moments when you have anxiety, and think about what you would say to yourself that would potentially change the way you think and feel about it. If you’re telling yourself you hate the dentist, what would counteract that? Maybe if you say, “I love the dentist.” Tell yourself why you love the dentist to continue to build on that good feeling. You can say, “I love the dentist, because I’m going to go there and I’m going to feel great. There is going to be no discomfort, because the dentist is really gentle. This is a very experienced person. I absolutely love going to the dentist. Their front office is so nice. Everybody is just relaxed. It smells good; it’s clean. My mouth is going to feel great afterwards. I’m going to just have a great experience, and I’ll have a beautiful smile when I’m done at the dentist.” Those things will always be more empowering. They’re going to help you feel much better about yourself.
The key points to take away from today’s show are to think about the way the cyclical feelings happen. Notice where they are in your body, pull them out of your body and put them back in a way that counteracts them. The thoughts that we have create feelings, the feelings that we have push us to take action, and then the actions that we have create our results. Thoughts into results.
By the way, that is my website, thoughtsintoresults.com. You can check me out there. I have plenty of video blog posts where you can learn a little bit about this mind and body approach that I’m talking about and get you on the way to losing that anxiety and feeling much better, much more prepared to go to the dentist whenever it’s time, or to handle any other situation in your life that may be bothering you or producing that feeling of anxiety.
By effecting that cycle of thoughts, feelings, actions and results at the thought level, we are essentially attacking the source. We’re attacking the problem at the root, so that all of the other things will fall into place. It is the easiest and the fastest way to change your feelings about something. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be anxiety about the dentist. It could be anything. You could be scared about the needle. It’s the same thing. Think about why you’re afraid of the needle. Is it something that you’re telling yourself that is bothering you? Is it something that is true or something that you just believed? That’s another key point. It’s the process of realizing that all the things that we believe inside are things that we have simply come to believe. They’re things that have been ingrained in us, but we can create things that are better for us that are more empowering and allow us to actually take action in a positive way. We can effect it so easily just by changing the way we think about it and the way we act about it in our body.
If you’ll do this example with me, just think about something that bothers you. Notice how your body reacts. Allow yourself to slouch, maybe put your head down a little bit. Look down like you’re ashamed, and just notice how that simple change in your body makes you feel. If you slouch, let your shoulders go down, and allow yourself to kind of sigh, how does it feel? How does it change your body? How does it change your mind? Just by changing your body and the things we’re thinking about.
No do the opposite. Put your chest out and your shoulders back, and just notice that feeling of confidence that you’ve had in any area of life before. Just imagine or remember what it was like when you were feeling so good. You’re feeling so great that you can hardly notice that there would be any feelings of anxiety, because you own the person that you are and the feeling that you have.
Physiology and thoughts are so involved in the way that we perceive things. Let’s talk about the fear of the needle. What if you didn’t have to be afraid of that? Would it be quicker? Would it be less painful? Absolutely it would be; it would be something that you don’t even dwell on. Once you’re there, you’d get the shot and your’re done. If you’re giving yourself negative self talk throughout the whole time you’re driving to the dentist, you’re experiencing that fear and anxiety for a much longer period of time. It’s something that you really don’t need, because anxiety causes stress inside the body. I don’t know where you are, but stress is one of the main causes of a lot of other diseases that we go through. In fact, you can think about something like cancer. Cancer is caused simply by stress in the body. The body gets stressed, the cells break down, and the cancer cells that are in the body are allowed to be released. That’s what causes this thing.
Relieving that stress and anxiety can be so beneficial for you, not only to be able to go to the dentist for whatever work you need to get done, but also in any area of your life to help just clean up your system. Get it free of all that debris and negative thoughts that are holding you back.
We have only a minute left, so I want to give you these numbers again. Text me your email at 858-461-9861, and you’ll receive a free audio program from me that will help you relieve that anxiety. If you call and book a free consultation with me within 24 hours and you mention Dr. Marvin’s show, I will give you $50 off your initial session, so you can experience this live first hand or via skype before you go to the dentist. If you call me within a few days before you go to the dentist, we can schedule your free consultation, then we can do a session and you can have a wonderful time at the dentist next time you’re visiting.
This show is sponsored by the Center for Natural Dentistry in Encinitas. Dr. Marvin wasn’t here today. I hope you enjoyed the show. He’ll be here in a couple weeks. Next week stay tuned for Dr. Staci Godes and bring your dental questions to her.
That’s the end of the show, you have a great day.