There are many people who may speak out against the power of positive thinking. While their arguments may have some merit, it stands to reason that working to incorporate positive thinking into your day-to-day existence won’t harm you in any way but it can definitely help you. However, those same people who question positive thinking can’t refute the harm that negative thinking can cause.
There is, in fact, a medical determination that supports the ill effects that negative thinking can cause. It’s called the nocebo effect. Many people who aren’t a part of the medical community aren’t aware of the profound nature of suggestion in the field of medicine. Its most often discussed when referring to the placebo effect which is what happens when someone is given a sugar pill but told that it’s a form of medication being used to treat a condition that the person has. The placebo effect is a real thing and can work anywhere from 18-80 percent of the time. It’s been medically proven that when someone is given a placebo but told that it’s an actual treatment, that person can experience actual physical changes in relation to what they’ve been told about the placebo.
On the flip side, there’s also the nocebo effect which is when the most negative outcome can come to pass if the suggestion is made and taken by the person receiving the suggestion. When a doctor tells a patient that they have an incurable condition or disease and they will die or experience some negative effects as a result of the condition, studies have shown that the chances that the person will truly experience those negative effects or die increase. For example, in a study where people were given pills, placebo or not, and told that the pills could cause serious side effects 25 percent of those people actually experienced the side effects. In other cases where someone was told that he/she had an incurable disease and would die within a specified time frame, some people actually died even when there was nothing physically wrong with them which is shown after an autopsy is performed.
The nocebo effect is an extreme example of how negative thinking can have a negative effect on people. So when someone speaks against the power of positive thinking, it’s important to realize the potentially harmful effects of negative thinking. Even if you have a hard time believing that thinking positive will have a positive effect on your life, it’s never a bad idea to practice something that is positive.
When you have a goal and are working towards successfully reaching that goal, don’t you want to employ as many strategies and tactics possible to ensure that you are successful? Positive thinking is a wonderful strategy to utilize: affirmations, positive speech, vision boards and gratitude go a long way towards supporting that strategy.
You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations
~ Zig Ziglar