"The mind is everything. What we think we become." [Buddha]
Paraphrasing the above within the context of belief-systems,
"Your belief-system is everything. What you think and believe, you become."
Your belief-system is what causes you to think and feel the way you do. Your belief-system will determine whether you're depressed, happy, sad, excited, or bored.
Your belief-system determines your courage, fears and behaviours.
As Jane Roberts (Seth) wrote:
Your sense of joy, sorrow, health or illness — all of these are also caused by your beliefs.
And, contrary to what many, or the great majority believe, it is out belief-system that controls our autonomous bodily processes. As Roberts (Seth) put it,
The conscious mind directs the so-called involuntary systems of the body, and not the other way around. No idea slips insidiously past your awareness to affect your involuntary system unless it fits in with your own conscious beliefs. Once more, you will not be sick if you think you are well — but there may be other ideas that make you believe in the necessity for poor health.
A man believing he has heart trouble will finally, through his own anxiety, affect the functioning of his “involuntary” system until his heart is definitely harmed if the belief goes unchecked.
You only need to examine your life to see your belief-system at work, as reflected in your level of success, your health, wellbeing and the quality of your relationships.
Your belief-system is your "auto-pilot" — the beliefs you hold and the "facts" you automatically take for granted. Your auto-pilot makes you do what you do, and is the root source of all the wonderful things in your life: the loves, the fun, the money and the pleasant surprises, as well as all the drama, conflict, frustration, stress and other negative situations.
An unknown author wrote (the following is, I believe, incorrectly attributed to Viktor Frankl):
"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response."
In other words, between something happening to us, and our reaction to that event, comment or action, we pass, albeit often quickly and without much awareness, through our belief-system.,,
Understanding and learning to "catch ourselves" when responding in habitual ways is a key to change. We learn that we are not victims to emotions, and that we cannot justifiably blame drugs, alcohol or other factors such as culture or peer groups, for our behaviours. Most importantly we learn we are not "victims" to some difficult-to-reach subconscious — it's all available to us consciously if we remember to catch ourselves responding habitually, particularly those responses and emotions that we fear, or wish to avoid.,,
How can a belief-system affect my health?
For around 30 years research has consistently shown that your beliefs are the primary determinant of health, more so than diet, exercise, genes etc. As Dr Herbert Benson affirms "We now have scientific proof that the mind (beliefs) can heal the body. This means that you have the innate ability to self-heal diseases, prevent life-threatening conditions, and supplement established drug and surgical procedures with mind body techniques that can improve your physiology, biochemistry, brain functioning, and genetic activity."
Our belief-systems are central to how we approach food, diet, nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, rest and play. Even the idea itself, that beliefs can improve one's health can be immensely reassuring to, and beneficial for those afflicted with illness. Conversely, "a study of more than 7,000 people over 12 years found that those with health anxiety at the start of the study were about 70% more likely to develop heart disease than those without that state of mind. Additionally, the researchers found that the higher the reported anxiety, the higher the risk of heart disease."
Of the 9 factors found to be common to those who recovered from "terminal" (untreatable) cancer, 7 of those 9 factors are belief-system based.