We often think of exercise and fitness as important in invigorating our bodies to slow the aging process of our muscles and, thereby, our bodies. However, we should consider that our minds are the greatest muscle of them all and could very well be the cornerstone of ultimate health and wellness.

What would be a strong mind or a weak one? How would we exercise our minds and what benefits would it give us? If we see the mind as a muscle and learn how to literally exercise it, we will discover strength we never knew possible. We will find the power and understanding of how to walk through life rather than have life walk through us. It’s our reactions to stress and stimuli that literally hypnotize, overload and over-stress our minds.

When we learn how to control our thoughts and our reactions to stress, we also learn that we can change the way we look at things. As renowned author and speaker Wayne Dyer said, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”

Meditation has been used for thousands of years. Its use was generally for spiritual practices. Many types of religions encourage meditation and prayer to bring one to a state of spiritual enlightenment. Meditation can enable anyone to improve concentration and increase self-awareness.

The thoughts in our mind often have an unconscious or hypnotic effect on our awareness and tend to mold our internal perception of reality. Perceived reality can often have little to do with true reality. How many times have we worried only to later realize that our anxiety was a waste of time and energy and that it had nothing to do with the final outcome? We torture ourselves with fear of failure, doubt, judgment and the cheap opinions of others, which often distort our view of reality.

When we get into our cars and drive, we are, in essence, an accident avoider as that’s what safe drivers do. When we enter life in our day-to-day interactions, it’s the same thing. We are constantly dealing with people in our daily lives that are unaware. The truth is dealing with what has gotten inside of their minds and their perceptions in that moment.

Staying aware and mindful of this fact will allow us to be in better control of the situation and enable us to communicate more effectively in our personal and professional interactions. We’ll be better able to sense where people are coming from and disarm most situations with minimum misunderstanding. It takes two people to create an accident and one to stop it. The person, who has greater awareness has more control, whether that person is driving or involved in a human confrontation.

When we react to situations while “caught up,” we risk coding the experience into our subconscious mind in undesirable ways. The trained objective mind has the power to choose the way it experiences reality and thereby, the way the experience affects us within. We might begin to notice opportunities in situations that might otherwise have been misinterpreted, resulting in confusion and unnecessary negative thought patterns.

As we experience stimuli that manifest themselves as worry, doubt, fear and envy—or any other emotional responses to a situation—illusions often begin with a reaction to an experience on the outside that gets into our mind. As the thought process begins to build and manifest, the reaction often gets distorted and then becomes an illusion that seems so real to us that we lose our sense of the truth. We often suffer greatly with this process of self-induced doubt and gloom.

When we learn how to meditate, we ultimately de-hypnotize our minds’ programming, enabling us to have an objective view of our reality. When objectivity is achieved, we then realize that we are able to choose the thoughts we want in our mind. The thoughts that we allow to occur on a regular basis eventually manifest in our lives. This process of manifesting the thoughts we want to dominate in our mind also influences the subconscious mind at the same time. By programming our subconscious mind to move towards the things we choose in our lives, we are using self-hypnosis.

The untrained weak mind risks being influenced by what it is exposed to. Not only should we learn how to meditate, but we should understand how and why the process works. A well-trained, strong and informed mind actively utilizes its awareness as a filter to the world, a barrier to its deceptive and destructive potential.

The methods needed to achieve meditation and hypnosis are not time-consuming or expensive. They only require a small investment of our time and the willingness to experience their usefulness. We have to be willing to use a little energy to tap into this abundant energy supply. Our mind is like a muscle; the more we use it, the more strength we will discover within. The stronger our mind becomes, the more we’ll see the power to not react and filter the worlds influence of our subconscious minds.

Bruce James Francisco is a stage hypnotist and motivational speaker, certified in hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Connect at 800-715-1333. For more information, visit VisionaryMindPower.com or BruceJamesHypnotist.com.