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Have you ever wondered if your mind is powerful enough to believe what you think to be true, even if it isn’t?

Can you actually think yourself sick?

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, researchers analyzed six studies to see how thinking you are stressed affects your heart. Participants were asked to self-report intense, frequent feelings of stress and then they were followed for 14 years to see if they were diagnosed with, hospitalized, or died from coronary heart disease. What they found: Participants who reported high levels of stress had a 27 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. So were they really stressed or just thinking they were stressed?

And on the flip side, if you can think yourself sick, does that mean you can think yourself well?

Being well  isn’t just about working out and eating right– the way you think and feel can have a big impact on your health as well. Studies have shown that Buddhist and Hindu monks tend to live longer and happier lives and the reason has to do more with how they think than how they eat or keep healthy. You don’t have to be a monk to enjoy these kind of benefits of putting mind over matter, however, as research is showing a powerful connection between mind and body that can be accomplished by anyone determined enough. Here are some ways that you can use your brain power to make you happier, healthier and more fulfilled every day.

Concentrate on getting better. This may sound like something your mom might say to you to keep you from jumping back into work or taking care of yourself but it can actually be true. Those who focus their thoughts and energy on getting better more quickly are actually more likely to do so.

Believe in your treatments. If you go into a treatment, whether it’s for something serious like cancer or something more innocuous, thinking that it won’t work you’re actually lowering the chances that it will work. Patients who go into treatment with a positive outlook have a better chance of a positive outcome so try changing your thinking. After all, it can’t hurt.

Imagine you have a strong immune system. Some studies have shown that you may be able to stimulate your immune system simply by thinking about it. If you feel a cold coming on, try picturing your immune system putting up roadblocks to stop the infection. It may sound silly, but it just might work. 

Picture your body fighting off infections. Along those same lines, whether you have a sinus infection or a serious illness, you may be able to take a shot at helping clear it up by concentrating on eradicating it with your mind. Imagine your body fighting off the infection bit by bit and it might do just that.

And my most favorite one…
Think as though you are already what you hope to become. Phrase every thought, sentence, action in the future tense. If you have some kind of serious illness or cold, talking to yourself in a way that communicates to your brain that you are already better will make your brain work toward that state of being. Say things like, “I am headache-free and feel fabulous!”. What you think, you become.

The thinking yourself well concept may still be on the fringe and yet to be completely proven with scientific studies, but what if it is true? Wouldn’t you rather err on the side of thinking yourself well instead of thinking yourself sick? I know I would.

April 18, 2019

Can You Think Yourself Sick?