Have you accepted some negative view of your health, your character, or your prospects for success and happiness? We all journey to the dark side of thought once in a while. The medical profession calls this effect on health the “nocebo” effect–what you fear will make you sick, actually will, whether that effect has been proved by medical science or not. My colleague, Anna Bowness-Park, writing for the August 3, 2015 edition of The Vancouver Sun, provides us with some inspiration: an account of Arthur, a veteran who was told he’d never walk again. Then his thinking and expectations changed and the result is heart-warming and encouraging. Here’s Anna:
What if you woke up one day and discovered that those negative things you had always believed about yourself simply weren’t true? In fact, they were absolutely false. How would you feel?
One man has documented his inspiring journey from negative beliefs about his health to total mental and physical freedom. Arthur was a disabled US war veteran. For 15 years he was constantly told that he would never walk again, and that his health would inevitably worsen each year. He accepted this diagnosis of his disability as true. He said: “I allowed others to tell me what I couldn’t do.” Like so many others, he came close to giving up on life. Then he made an inspiring discovery – he did not have to accept that hopeless diagnosis!
When we are told that we have a high likelihood of no recovery, or that we have a 50% chance of getting some disease, we may unwittingly buy into these beliefs.
Lissa Rankin, a popular physician, health author and speaker, writes about this problem of accepting dire prognosis about our health in an article in Psychology Today. Referring to studies that have verified this phenomenon, she points out, for example, that patients who believed they might die after surgery, usually did; but those who were just generally apprehensive, recovered….