When pharmaceutical companies are developing a new medication they often rely on double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials. The trial consists of two separate groups: one given the actual medication and the other given a “placebo” pill that contains no medicinal properties in it. Neither the patients or doctors know which pill is real and which is placebo. Later the doctors follow up with the patients to see if their symptoms have improved.
In many cases, doctors will see symptoms improve in both groups of patients; we call this the placebo effect. It is an unexplainable phenomenon where patients’ symptoms improve simply due to their belief that they are taking a medication that could heal their ailments.
I have experienced this phenomenon personally on my way to a pharmacy, with a prescription in my hand. I haven’t even begun treatment for an infection, but I begin to feel better knowing that help is on the way. In doing research, I found that the placebo effect routinely works about 30% of the time, and sometimes up to 90% of the time.
You may be wondering what the placebo effect has to do with your well-being, and that brings me to my next piece of advice to live a more fulfilling life: Fake it until you make it.
If you are looking to change your life, rather than focusing your energy on all the things going wrong in your life, why not envision what you would like for your future and begin acting it out today. Make some lofty goals, envision your perfect relationship, picture your dream body, or whatever else you want to change and then think of how you would act if those transformations would come true. How would your energy change? Would you dress or act differently? Visualize it in great detail, and then begin to act out the life you have envisioned. Consider this a test drive for the life of your dreams, get as creative as you can and have fun with it.
If the placebo effect can transform people’s physical experiences, then why couldn’t it transform your external life experiences too?
For me, I made a list of my major life goals, and how I would act when I had accomplished them. I stopped stressing about finances, and instead felt appreciative for having the money to afford my bills and expenses. I adopted a more peaceful manner, and spoke with positivity rather than complaining. I began to wear scarves every day, because it made me feel like a “real” author. Do whatever it takes to shift your mind to believe that your dreams can become a reality.
All dreams will require hard work to make them a reality, but feeling that new reality (if only in your imagination at first) is what will drive you to work towards achieving those dreams. Visualizing is good, but really submerging yourself into that lifestyle will give you something tangible that you can really believe in. In the wise words of Buddha: What we think, we become. Think great things, and you yourself will become great.
Sending you love & light on your journey,