“If thought is the ultimate origin or source, it follows that if we don’t do anything about thought, we won’t get anywhere” David Bohm, Physicist, Nobel Prize Winner
There are countless stories about the surprising impact of placebos: people recovering from illness after receiving a fake treatment because they believe in the power of the treatment.
And nocebos: People falling ill because they believe so strongly in a negative outcome.
Here’s a story I recently heard . . .
It’s about Dr. Philip West and his patient, Mr. Wright who had an advanced case of cancer. His body was filled with tumors the size of oranges and he was given only days to live.
He pleaded with his doc for a new “miracle” drug he had heard about and believed to be the cure. But this was an experimental drug exclusively used in clinical trials.
Dr. West, figuring he could do no harm to a man who had little time left, lied to Wright, telling him he was able to get the drug but instead administered a placebo, hoping it would at least calm Wright’s mind.
It did more than that. Within days, Wright’s tumors miraculously shrunk and within ten days he was cancer free . . . (The story doesn’t have a happy ending but point made)
Expectations Change You
What is it about the way we think that can make us sick, bring about healing, or even make us prematurely old?
Research indicates it has much to do with our expectations which trigger the very same healing chemicals and hormones in the body that a treatment would.
In her book, Cure, Jo MarChant cites studies done on patients with Parkinson’s Disease by neurologist Jon Stoessl. The studies showed that after taking a placebo, the participants’ brains were flooded with dopamine, just as when they took the real drug. And it wasn’t a small level. Dopamine levels tripled – all from simply believing they had taken the actual medication.
Thus, the expectations you hold – either positive or negative – set in motion real biological reactions that impact your health – and your longevity.
Stop Manifesting Worries
My practice is focused on longevity. Healthy longevity that is. Not just living longer but living well and strong throughout your life.
Yet the “expectations” that most of us hold for our older years are dismal and centered on worry and fear.
We worry about whether we’ll be well, able to fend for ourselves, function independently, have a mind that still works, have friends and family around us and continue to do many of the things we do today.
And here’s the problem with that: worry and stress are emotions which when turned on too often play havoc with your body and prematurely age you! Let’s not go there!
Harnessing the Power of Your Expectations
“Man is the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” Mahatma Gandhi
Let’s change it up and create a new set of expectations for your life ahead – expections that support your health and your happiness.
Visualizing Your Future Self
“Your beliefs are merely the stories you’ve told yourself long enough that they have become truths . . . by telling yourself new stories . . . you will create new beliefs” (and new outcomes.) Greg Kuhn
Close your eyes and imagine you’re now 10, 20, or even 30 years older. What do you look like? What are you doing? Where do you live? What does a day in your life look like? Who are you with?
Next, write down everything you want to be doing in those years in as much detail as possible. And write it in the first person, starting with “I am . . . “
Here are some of mine to get you started:
I am . . .
- Living in my home by the water and taking my daily morning swim
- Hiking the mountains with my daughter
- Taking daily walks with Mosley my lab
- Pumping a little iron and maintaining muscles that show
- Gardening, digging, planting, pulling weeds, and hauling dirt and compost
Expections Become You
Don’t lose this list! Visit it often. See yourself in your “future” life doing the things you’ve listed.
When you change your vision, you may notice subtle shifts in your behavior – shifts that support the vision you hold for your future self.
And if you have any doubts about what “older” people can do, check out the story of Ernestine Shepherd who started her fitness training at 56, won her first bodybuilding competition at 71, and at 85 is still doing marathons and bench pressing 115 pounds.
Then get ready for my next post where I’ll share with you the first (and most important) thing you must do to live long and strong throughout your life!
Share your plans with us in the comments below! Can’t wait to hear from you!
With love, ♥
And as aways if you have questions or just want to connect, reach out to me email@example.com.