I am a big believer in the idea that your thoughts can create your reality, and I’m sure many of you reading this aren’t hearing it for the first time either. Several self-help books discuss the importance of having a positive mindset and believing in yourself to change your life. As much as I love discussing spirituality, I think being able to back all these spiritual practices I learn about with science and psychology can further strengthen our belief in all things spiritual.
The placebo effect is a phenomenon in which people experience the benefits of a treatment or medication without actually taking them. This occurs when a placebo or “fake treatment” is given to patients in place of the real one while still resulting in positive or real responses. Usually, a group of people takes the actual medicines, and another group of people takes the placebo pills. Often, the placebo group still experiences real results. Additionally, placebo pills have been proven to help with pain management and people who suffer from depression, insomnia, etc.
In the book “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind”, Dr. Joseph Murphy shares a story of a Swiss physician, Franz Anton Mesmer. This physician, back in 1776, claimed to heal many diseased bodies through the use of artificial magnets. However, due to suspicions rising, authorities got involved and later found out that there was no evidence to prove that the cure worked. Decades later, Dr. Braid of Manchester discovered and shared that the magnets had nothing to do with the healing, but the “active imagination and suggestion of health” to the patients’ subconscious minds are what brought about the healing.
Placebos are frequently used by scientists and psychologists to test the effectiveness of medicines, however, in this article, I will discuss how we may be able to use the placebo effect to live with a more optimistic outlook on life.
Placebo pills are said to work simply because our brains are wired to believe that medicines help us heal. Our minds can be tricked into believing that they are changing or healing, which in turn can result in physical changes. Similarly, if we begin to trick our mind, or choose to feed it with different thoughts, we may be able to see more and more positive changes in our daily lives. For example, to trick our brain into feeling more productive throughout the day, we can wake up 30 minutes earlier than we usually do so that we have more time to get ahead of schedule. What I do is I set two alarms so that I can trick my subconscious into thinking that there’s more time to sleep, therefore feeling like I managed to get in some extra z’s. Some other exercises that you can include in your daily life are “magic” drinks or mints. You can label your water bottle with whatever you need, whether that is destressing, confidence, relaxation, or positivity. Every time you drink from that bottle, tell yourself that this drink works and improves your situation, and eventually, your subconscious mind will start to rewire itself to the new, positive beliefs you expose yourself to.
At first, this may seem very silly and unbelievable, but it is necessary to take things a little more lightly and open our hearts to all of the possibilities of things going well for us. With everything seemingly going wrong in the world, adding some optimism, no matter how stupid the methods may seem, will go a long way.
Alexandra, Leeor. “Manifesting Using the Placebo Effect: Leeor Alexandra.” Living Lovelee, 23 Jan. 2018, livinglovelee.com/2018/01/23/placebo-effect/.
Cherry, Kendra. “The Placebo Effect Causes, Examples, and Research.” Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 13 Jan. 2020, www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-placebo-effect-2795466.
F., Eve. “Placebo Effect: Law of Attraction at Its Best.” Best Law of Attraction, 15 Dec. 2019, bestlawofattraction.com/placebo-effect-law-of-attraction-at-its-best/.
Harvard Health Publishing. “The Power of the Placebo Effect.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/mental-health/the-power-of-the-placebo-effect.
Murphy, Joseph. POWER OF YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND. Golden Minds, 2017.