“Most people, because the body doesn’t know the difference between stimulation from the external environment and fabricated emotions, live in the past, basing their reactions on past experiences.” – Joe Dispenza

About a year ago, I interviewed Dr. Joe Dispenza and Professor Ian Robertson on the subject of neuroplasticity, for Positive Life Magazine. The insights they offered during those interviews changed my entire reality.

Over the next week I’ll be posting the most important elements of each interview, while offering a few of my own comments, explaining how each insight can help us in our lives, whether we follow the path of the warrior, the healer, the teacher or the parent, etc.


To understand the process of change, Joe Dispenza describes the mind-body relationship as follows: “Every time you have a thought, you make a chemical. Specific emotions turn on certain circuits in your brain that fire in various combinations to produce a level of mind. That level of mind stimulates another part of your brain to release a chemical so you can begin to feel exactly the way you think. The moment you begin to feel the way you think, because the brain is in constant communication with the body, you begin to think the way you feel, and the cycle continues. This cycle, for some people, can go on for 20 years. The repetition of the cycle conditions the body to memorise an emotional reaction better than the conscious mind, and whenever the body knows better than the mind, it’s called a habit.

“The repetition of this cycle creates a state of being. A state of being is when our mind and body are working together and our thoughts and emotions are aligned to a concept. So a person says I am insecure or sad… etc.

“Most people, because the body doesn’t know the difference between stimulation from the external environment and fabricated emotions, live in the past, basing their reactions on past experiences.”

My comments: What this means is that a single thought, repeated regularly, creates a state of being. So, if I repeatedly think, “I’m a negative person,” I’ll become negative, or if I think, “I’m happy”, happiness will become my state of being. If the warrior, about to engage in combat, regularly thinks he/she is not good enough and is going to lose the fight, he/she will lose every time. This is something that should be remembered when we’re facing any task in life. A positive state of mind is essential if we want to create a state of being that’s conducive to success.

Breaking your emotional conditioning

One of the most interesting facts I learned while speaking with Joe was that the hormones we produce from an emotional reaction only last in the body for one to three minutes, unless we keep them going by our own volition. In which case, they can last for many years, as in the previous example.

We can benefit ourselves and escape this trap by learning how to shorten our emotional reactions to things. Joe tells us, “If you don’t know how to control your emotional reactions and there’s a refractory period, and you let that emotional reaction linger for hours or days, it turns into a mood.

“So you say to someone, ‘what’s wrong with you?’ The person says, ‘I’m in a mood.’ Then you say, ‘why are you in a mood?’ They say, ‘well, this thing happened to me five days ago and I memorised my initial reaction.’ If you keep that refractory period going for weeks and months, you’ve developed a temperament. If you keep that same refractory period going on for years, it’s called a personality trait,” says Joe.

“When we begin to develop personality traits based on our emotions, we’re living in the past and that’s where we get stuck. Teaching ourselves and our children to shorten the refractory period frees us to move through life without obstruction.”

My Comments: It always amazes me at how my two-year-old daughter deals with her emotions. If she falls and hurts her knee, she reacts to the pain by screaming and crying for a minute or two, then forgets about it and goes back to what she was doing before her accident. Young children don’t linger on their emotional reactions and for that reason, they don’t get emotionally stuck in a specific state of being.

As toddlers grow and pick up bad emotional habits from their surroundings, they learn to hold onto their emotional state of being. This conditioning process carries on for most of us in to adult-hood, haunting us until our dying breath.

How can we break this cycle of conditioning? There are a few techniques we can use. Following on from my previous post on breathing, I’ll offer a simple breathing technique that can quickly change your state of being which gives you time and space to create a new thought and state of body and mind.


  1. Sit comfortably and loosen any tight clothing.
  2. Take three deep breaths.
  3. Now, contract your abdominal muscles to rapidly force the air out of your lungs.
  4. Relax your abdomen to allow your lungs to draw in air.
  5. Steps 3 and 4 should follow each other in quick succession.
  6. Continue breathing in this way for 20 breaths.
  7. Take three deep breaths.
  8. Begin a new cycle of rapid breathing.
  9. Do a maximum of 5 cycles.

This type of breathing originates in the yogic traditions of India, and is used to clear the mind before meditation. In terms of our state of being, using this breathing technique allows us to quickly let go of negative states of being. Incidentally, it also promotes the generation of a positive, uplifted state of being because of the rush of endorphins (feel-good hormones) released from the lungs and the respiratory muscles.

Have a try of this technique and let me know how it works for you.