It may sound silly, thinking about a heart attack and then actually having one. But, think about this…
Do you have anxiety that might raise your blood pressure?
Have you ever heard someone say they had a headache and you find yourself with one a little bit later?
Has someone talked about being nauseous and suddenly you felt that way?
You've most likely heard about the placebo effect. It works the other way, too.
You can think your way into a heart attack, and we're going to talk about how to reverse that today.
How The Placebo/Nocebo Effect Works
For a long time, medicine did not believe people could believe themselves healthy. It's the base of the faith healing, after all, hardly scientific.
But, time and time again, research proved that simply because people believed they were taking a medicine that provided a specific effect, they received that effect. This is the placebo effect.
Then, something strange happened. Doctors began noticing the opposite as well. They called it the nocebo effect, where even with proper medication and treatment, people did not respond and continued getting sick as if there was no treatment at all. It was most noticeable in severe cases where the people did not believe they could get better.
People believed they could get better or couldn't get better – and it came true.
Overall, the body has a fantastic ability to heal itself. We can choose to produce the right type of hormones and neurochemicals to create all sorts of effects on our bodies. We can change how our body behaves. Scientists aren't quite sure how it works, but they definitely know it does work.
And that leads to thinking your way into a heart attack. If this health concern is on your mind often, that you believe your heart will be strangled at some point, your body can find a way to make that happen. It may raise your blood pressure, block your arteries, or even just stop your heart in a moment of stress.
It may not happen right away, it may take years, but it is possible.
And it's just as possible to think your way out of it.
How To Change Your Thoughts And Avoid Thinking Your Way Sick
Now we can talk about how to invoke the placebo effect and take control of our thoughts. We can think our way healthy and we can think our way sick.
We can't promise this will be easy, it does take a lot of work.
Let me tell you a story. A few years ago, we met this gentleman whose doctors told him one artery was nearly blocked. This man didn't believe the doctors, he felt fine and refused treatment.
He kept telling himself he was fine and his heart flowed free and clear.
A year later, he went back to the doctor and they ran the same test – there was zero blockage.
Baffled, the doctors sent him for more tests. They found that his body created a whole new artery to bypass the blocked section and this new one was completely clear.
It seems like a miracle or wholly made up, we know, we thought the same thing. But, it's a perfect example of the body changing itself to meet belief.
That gentleman did it through stubbornness. Let's look at how to do it purposefully.
1. Recognize your thoughts
Take the time to figure out what you're thinking about. Are you letting thoughts of a heart attack or any other health problem circulate in your mind? Does any particular thoughts draw you in to worry and fear more than others?
Most people ignore what they think most of the time. Simply recognizing your thoughts is a huge step towards focusing your energies into healing.
When you recognize a thought, accept it and move to the next step. But, don't beat yourself up if you miss a thought.
2. Change to positivity
Once you recognize your thoughts circling around fear or concern over a particular health problem, you can begin changing what you think.
After you recognize a negative thought, insert a positive one. Then, tell yourself three different things you're doing that negate the risk.
For example, "I eat lots of fruits and vegetables to help me to be healthy. I exercise to strengthen my heart. I choose to sleep enough because sleep helps lower my blood pressure."
Always frame this in a positive light.
3. Actively work towards your goal
If you want to avoid a heart attack, you need to eat well, exercise, drink plenty of water, and stay positive. These are huge steps towards negating the health risks that put you in danger of a heart attack. It's not a guarantee, but it's a huge step.
Fortunately, these steps can be applied to any health problem you encounter. That includes depression, cancer, injury, and sickness. What's this is not is burying your head in the sand and ignoring a problem. Instead, it's taking steps to change the way you think to be positive and taking the physical action steps to mitigate risk.
It's not perfect, and it's not foolproof against these problems, but in the long run, it helps, and you will live a healthier and happier life choosing to be positive and being in control.