The power of the mind is absolutely amazing and beyond most people’s imagination. As Nelson Mandela once said “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” From the outside looking in, this might be a little hard to comprehend. I mean, how are we “powerful beyond measure.” “What does that mean?”
Let me take you back many years ago. Dr. Henry Beecher performed a groundbreaking study asking 100 medical students to participate in the testing of two new drugs. One of them, a red pill, was stated as being a strong stimulant while the other pill, blue in color, was stated as being a strong tranquilizer. Without the students knowing, the pills were actually switched. The red pill was a tranquilizer while the blue pill was actually a stimulant. Interestingly enough, half of the students developed physical reactions that went along with their actual expectations. You read that right; they experienced the opposite of drug they took. Those who thought they took a tranquilizer, felt the effects of the tranquilizer although the drug they actually took was a STRONG Stimulant and vice versa. There was no placebo used here, both were real drugs. The power of belief is staggering! This study proved the minds ability to override the true chemical impact of the consumed drugs. Beecher then stated that a drugs usefulness “is a direct result of not only the chemical properties of the drug, but also the patients belief in the usefulness and effectiveness of the drug.”
In another study, Ted Kaptchuk performed a randomized clinical drug trial of 270 subjects. In this trial, almost a third of the patients complained of awful side effects. They were hoping to have alleviated things like severe arm pain, carpal tunnel, tendinitis, chronic elbow pain as well shoulder and wrist pain. Half the subjects received pain-reducing pills. The other half of the subjects received acupuncture. Calls started to come in. Subjects complained that the pain-reducing pills were making them sluggish and that acupuncture was causing swelling and redness. Some patients even spoke of nightmares. “The Side effects were simply amazing,” Kaptchuk said. They were reporting EXACTLY what they were warned the side effects could be.
Better than that? Most of the other patients actually reported relief! Want to know the REAL SURPRISE? The pills were actually corn starch and the acupuncture were “retractable shams that never pierced the skin.” This study wasn’t trying to compare two forms of real treatment. Instead, it was designed to compare two FAKE treatments.
Kaptchuck can’t argue with this study. You can actually “think yourself better!” Research has found that the placebo effect (mind manipulation of sorts) “can stimulate real psychological response.” In fact, placebo effects can cause “changes in heart rate and blood pressure to chemical activity in the brain, in cases involving pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and even some symptoms of Parkinson’s.”
In other tests, subjects knew they were taking a placebo yet they still noted real improvements, “reporting twice as much symptom relief as the no-treatment group.”
What does this mean? Our minds really are powerful beyond measure. This doesn’t mean to get rid of your depression or anxiety medication. I have personally experienced bouts of anxiety and OCD where physicians were quick to prescribe medicine when I really didn’t need it. What I needed was to get my head right. I needed to understand that I am in control of my life and in the position I am in because of my decisions (good or bad). That the past is the past and there is no better moment to live than in the NOW. I am certainly not credentialed to discuss or even debate medicine usage however I would like to point the ever increasing number of studies validating that the mind is powerful enough, if used properly, to potentially reduce the amount of medication one is taking for depression (The Past) and or Anxiety (The Future). There is even the potential, as in my care, to eliminate it….COMPLETELY! Medication has long been a short term fix for a long term problem.
So…Your beliefs will absolutely overpower everything! These studies prove it. What limiting belief do you continue to tell yourself? Your free will is absolutely limited by your beliefs and assumptions…
You are POWERFUL beyond MEASURE! My question to you is….What are you going to do with it? Break down barriers and create personal growth on a level you have never experienced or are you going fall back in the shadows of your belief wishing life would get better?