You may have come across the words ‘Placebo and Nocebo’ from Internet, Books or someone who is interested in psychology and related research. In this blog I will try to explain these terms in simple words and also give you some ways which can help you make or break habits or change your perception towards something you have always wanted to do.
The Placebo & Nocebo effects are very much the opposite of each other and they govern your life indirectly because they are always affecting you subconsciously because of things you may have experienced, read or seen in your life.
Let’s take a look at the scientific meaning of these words :
A placebo is anything that seems to be a “real” medical treatment — but isn’t. It could be a pill, a shot, or some other type of “fake” treatment. What all placebos have in common is that they do not contain an active substance meant to affect health.
— src: webMD
Nocebo: A negative placebo effect as, for example, when patients taking medications experience adverse side effects unrelated to the specific pharmacological action of the drug. The nocebo effect is associated with the person’s prior expectations of adverse effects from treatment as well as with conditioning in which the person learns from prior experiences to associate a medication with certain somatic symptoms.
–src: Medicine Net
Science community has been carrying more and more experiments and trying to come up with an exact explanation as to why Placebo or Nocebo effect take place, and how do they make our bodies change physically within a short period of time.
When we talk about placebo, we always have to talk about the power of suggestion and power of our subconscious . It is the same effect which a hypnotist, psychiatrist or social media have on you. But it differs in the intensity and the impact it has on your life.
Nocebo also does the same thing which Placebo does but on a negative scale, it can make you feel pain which doesn’t exist. It can have long term effects like depression. It has been experimentally proven that a person can induce these feelings and can make you mentally and physically weak if you do not realize it soon enough. You may have experienced it in your lives before visiting a dentist or going through a small surgery where your mind starts forming images of your body going through extreme physical pain but in reality it turn out to be nothing more than a pinch of sting.
This is just a small example of Nocebo effect.
Both these effects make you wonder about the immense power which your mind possess, a power which makes you believe in something which is not even in existence and also react to it physically or emotionally.
Always keep one thing in mind, “YOU are always in charge of what effect something will have on your life” It means that if a certain thing is going to happen and you already know about it , it can either have a placebo effect or Nocebo effect on you but you are still in charge on what you will let your mind decide. This applies to everything in your life including the diet you are on, the job you are doing, the meal you are about to cook, the date you are going on etc,. all these small things can either meet your expectations or not but it is always in your hand how you want to treat the thing you are doing right now.
How can you take advantage of these effects ?
The very knowledge you have possessed about these effects can be advantageous to you because now you can take control of things which you were initially putting on autopilot. If you were initially skeptical about these effects you can take a look at some of the research papers which have been carried on in various different fields of study by just doing a simple google search.
You can now be more optimistic about any task you are handling and can treat it with positivity and feeling good about the outcome.
What is the power of suggestion, how can I use that?
The power of suggestion is a simple process which a person can take advantage of with a small amount of effort everyday, Basically you will be providing your mind with suggestions about what you really want to achieve, say for e.g.: You want to wake up everyday at 6.00am but no alarm is helping you till today, a small exercise like before sleeping when your body is in a complete relaxed state you can mentally tell yourself that I will be able to wake up at 6.00am tomorrow no matter what. It also requires a small will power and a reason which you can associate to your suggestion because without it no suggestion holds power on you. You must try to reason your mind why you want to wake up at 6.00am may be because you are talking up running which will in turn improve your health.
Always know that the power of your mind is more than anything in this world and anyone who realizes this everyday can literally change his perception towards everything and be more productive and creative in anything you want to achieve.
An Easter egg for everyone ENJOY: