Detail image for January 2023 The Weigh In story.


Yogi, writer and November Today’s Woman cover model Nancy Deville explains that the key to changing your life in 2023 is learning to control your mind.

Written by Nancy Deville

The term “mind control” conjures up images of sci-fi movies or suspicious tales of enemy governments. Actually, over 2,000 years ago, Siddhartha Gautama (who is known as the Buddha, and is the founder of Buddhism), introduced mind control when he said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”  Thanks to epigenetics—the study of how behaviors and environment affect genetic destiny—we now have a way to unpack the Buddha’s curious statements and to gain a full understanding of our own mind control abilities.

“It runs in my family,” has been a popular and accepted refrain for many. As epigenetics has exploded onto the scientific and spiritual scenes with research into the brave new frontier of mind control, it turns out that Buddha was right after all.

Behaviors like diet and exercise are well known to suppress gene expression. But epigenetics tells us that genetic predisposition is not determinate and we do have control over our genetic destiny simply by controlling the information our cells receive. To put it simply, our inner environment/minds can impact us in a healthy or unhealthy way.

The human brain thinks approximately 70,000 thoughts every day and 90% of those thoughts are the same thoughts we thought the day before. Because our brains are hardwired to protect us from danger, we tend to think mostly worrying thoughts.

Our brains are composed of trillions of nerve cells called neurons. Every thought — good or bad — is communicated neuron to neuron through an electrical charge called a synapse. When a synapse fires, the body releases corresponding chemicals. If a thought is poisonous, toxic chemicals flooding the system make you feel exactly how you’ve been thinking. A prolonged release of these toxic chemicals increases the potential for our genetic predispositions to “code red.”

We all know how crummy downer emotions feel. Thanks to science, it’s proven that we’re literally making ourselves emotionally and physically sick! Gloomsville, self-critical and/or anxious thinking is simply an addiction that can be broken like any other addiction. You may be thinking, “Wow, addiction is a strong word to apply to my thoughts.” But if you consider that an addiction is something that you can’t stop doing, then if you’re stuck in a loop of bad thoughts that you can’t stop thinking, well, that’s an addiction to me.

To break the addiction to injurious thoughts, begin by identifying harmful thoughts, then rehearse new, healthy thoughts that inspire elevated emotions such as gratitude, joy, love, self-compassion. When you catch yourself in a bad train of thought as a result of an emotional reaction to an event or situation, engage your powerful inner voice. Refrain from getting on the phone, emailing, firing texts, or engaging in rag fests about whatever or whomever bugged you. Reigning in your emotional reactions is life changing and freeing.

If your mind is a cyclone of noise that feels like it cannot be tamed, or you desire to go all in, the next step is to work on your subconscious mind. There are numerous ways to access your subconscious including hypnosis, or even psychoactive plant therapies like Ayahuasca. But the most assessable, accessible and life-altering vehicle is meditation. Meditation can result in supernatural experiences, but even more compelling, it can rid you of self-destructive beliefs hidden deep within your subconscious.

Knowing what happens with brain waves during meditation can help you understand and navigate the process. The brain produces waves of energy—delta, alpha, theta, beta, and gamma—that correspond with various states of being. When you meditate, your brainwaves drop from awake beta into the alpha brain wave state of physical and mental relaxation. You step beyond your analytical mind into the unconscious operating system where you are in the present moment allowing for natural self-healing processes to activate.

If you progress into deeper meditation, better yet as you enter theta, the barely conscious state we achieve upon awakening and right before falling asleep; the theta brainwave is a highly suggestable, hypnotic state. You can disassociate from your known world and enter a spiritual dimension of reality. By entering into the subconscious mind, it’s where you can change undesirable personality traits to happier traits. Negative, subconscious beliefs can slowly but surely be deleted from your operating system, therefore, allowing for positive, conscious thinking.

Although you may have heard that it’s okay to meditate for five minutes, it’s actually not going to produce a big result in the long run. The Dalai Lama sums it up, “It is unrealistic to expect results from meditation within a short period of time. What is required is sustained effort.” That said, every meditation changes you.

We have power over our inner environment/genetic destiny. Dedicating yourself to meditation and mind control by rejecting negative thoughts in favor of elevated positive thoughts of joy, love, compassion and gratitude; suppresses the expression of genes predestined to create many forms of disease or dis-ease. At the same time, blissful thoughts produce happy chemical reactions that will make you feel marvelous and in love with life.

This New Year, you don’t need another gym membership or app to be healthy or happy. Try exploring your mind. It’s free and it’s freeing.