The relationship between our minds and our bodies is exceedingly complex, and often functions in ways that we simply haven’t yet found a way to understand or explain in purely scientific terms. For decades, studies on the placebo effect have shown that patients who believed they were getting a treatment responded in ways that were similar or the same to those who were actually getting a treatment, showcasing an unexpected level of power of the brain over the body.
While the placebo effect itself is a fascinating topic of study, there are a lot of very practical and perhaps even inspirational lessons that can be taken away from this phenomenon and applied to everyday life. Here are just a few that we think are especially powerful that offer insights into motivation, mindfulness, and even happiness that we can all stand to benefit from.
Belief is often more powerful than reality.When researchers study the placebo effect, they often find that those who aren’t given a particular treatment improve in many of the same ways as those that are, simply because they believe that they are being treated, not because they’re getting any real medical help. While believing things, even very strongly, doesn’t always cause them to be true, it can have a marked impact on how we see and experience the world, often much more so than things that are regarded as fact. Belief can, in many ways, be a much more powerful force than reality, coloring our perceptions, pushing us forward, and changing what we feel is possible to accomplish.
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