The Mind’s Power Over Health :)

I usually dread having to do reports and analyses for school, but I actually found my Psychology homework to be interesting. (Say WHAT?! I know, I know… haha) I had a choice of reading and writing a report about one of the several articles that my professor provided. The one I chose was called “Mind Set Matters: Exercise and the Placebo Effect” (Crum & Langer, 2007).

Basically, Crum and Langer did an experiment on female room attendees (those who cleaned rooms). They split them into two groups; one was told that their daily labor of cleaning excceeded the CDC’s recomendations for an active lifestyle (meaning that all the vaccuming and moving around was good exercise for them). They posted posters to remind the women everyday of how their work benefited their health (Exercise-wise). The other group (control) was NOT told of any of this. They surveyed both groups in the beginning, asking them about their perceived and actual work out hours. They also took their weight, BMI, etc. A month passed, and Crum and Langer returned to redo the tests on all the participants. The experimental group who recieved the placebo (given information) actually lost weight and had lower blood pressure, than what they started with. The control group didn’t have any significant changes.

So what’s my point??

My point is that People have psychological control over their health. Giving those women that extra information transformed their bodies, thanks to their brains! Those who didn’t receive the placebo weren’t THINKING of their job as a benefit to their exercise. Therefore, they didn’t change. We can trick our whole being by controlling our thoughts.

Also, I just love the PLACEBO EFFECT. There have been many experiments that showed the mind’s power. People who have taken fake pills (thinking it’s the real drug) felt the same effect as those who took the actual drug. Others were told that doing a certain activity (which isn’t truly proven) would cure them… and it worked!

Health perceptions have been related to actual health
There was another study, this time by Idler and Kasl, that concluded perceptions are related to actual health. What does that mean? Well, they concluded that elderly people who PERCIEVED their health as poor are actually SIX TIME MORE LIKELY to die than those who thought their health was excellent, regardless of their current state of health (1991).
Woah. I think that’s pretty cool. Their brains controlled their overall health being!!!

So, what should you learn from this blog article thing then? It’s not just me blabbing (ok, maybe it is… I just want to feel smart haha).
But seriously, shift your perspective. Next time you feel like you’re dying, say to yourself: Girl!! (or boy) you are going to be JUST fine

You have a brain. Learn to control it. You’ll find yourself not only happier, but healthier. 😀

Categories: Psychology | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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