The cluster of negative emotions can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. Throughout religion, we are taught, “Do not worry.”
We are often taught not to worry, for it does not add a single hour to our lives. Little do we know that it takes them away too. Let’s dive into how worrying can lead to a nocebo effect.
The Nocebo Effect
We’re all aware of the placebo effect to be a phenomenon that allows the body to heal itself through the power of the mind. However, every coin has a flip side, and nature is no different…hence the nocebo effect. The adverse effects of worry can convince the body to deteriorate. A presumption that we indeed have caught a disease can lead to the disease itself. Yes, thoughts are not tangible, but if we allow them to take hold of us, we allow them access to dictate our lives and, as a result, our health. But how does this phenomenon operate? Let’s think it through.
A study conducted required individuals to administer a placebo drug that supposedly had “side effects” when it actually did not. Once patients consumed the drug, 10% experienced signs of nausea and dizziness (the side effects they had been warned about) and dropped out of the study. However, the same is the case for natural drugs as well. If doctors tell patients the side effects of a particular medicine, they will likely experience those side effects in the future. The director of Harvard University’s Program in Placebo Studies and The Therapeutic Encounter, Ted Kaptchuk, delivered his hypothesis on the nocebo effect. He concludes that it is not the belief in the medicine that tells the patient but their trust in their caregiver—the doctor who prescribed them the drug in the first place. Hence, one may say the nocebo effects are determined by the ritual of medical care and our trust in our doctors.But is there a way we can practice this from a patient’s point of view?
From nocebo to placebo
To reduce the effects of the nocebo effect, you have to ensure that your mind is free from negative emotions and anxiety, especially towards the medicine itself. Here are some of the ways you can do so:
• Trusted physician:
As we mentioned earlier, it’s all about the ritual of medical care. Having a trusted doctor cater to your health exponentially increases your chances of healing and reduces anxiety. Consult a family doctor, review their certifications and experience with your illness, and decide
Performing exercises and developing habits that relieve stress is key to your healing process. Meditation is an ideal way to relieve stress and get thoughts centered, not wander into negativity. Take 10 minutes out of your day or night after you consume your daily dose of the drugs and exhale the thoughts away.
When all other factors fall into place, all that’s left is belief in yourself and your healing process. Accept that you can heal and be proud of the minor improvements in your health that will lead to bigger ones. Author Gohar Yasin Chaudhary delivers a comprehensive outlook on approaching negative thinking and developing habits that will improve your life. Pick up, Program Your Mind and do precisely that. Click on the link below to learn more.
Thoughts and The Placebo Effect-Is It Real?
We often underestimate the power of the mind. How is it that we have delved deep into space, described the chemistry of