“First we make our attitudes.  Then our attitudes make us.” – Denis Waitley

I am a big fan of CBS Sunday Morning.  I have watched the show regularly since it first aired in 1979, then hosted by the “On The Road” journalist, Charles Kuralt. I love the consistently interesting, positive and informative features, objective news updates and beautiful images it presents. After watching, I feel more hopeful about the state of the world as I begin a new week.

Last Sunday’s show included a feature story on “The Placebo Effect” that shed important light on exactly how “positive thinking” works and why it is such a powerful tool for solving our problems and reaching our dreams.  Since teaching them how to create a positive mindset is key to helping my clients reach their Big Goals, I was fascinated by the scientific findings it presented.

First, the reporter talked to a woman who had struggled with excruciating pain from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for two decades. Hoping for help, Linda signed up to participate in a very unusual study sponsored by a Boston medical center.  The study gave her three weeks’ worth of pills. But instead of testing a new medication, every participant in the study was taking placebos – pills that contain no active ingredients whatsoever.  Furthermore, everyone in the study KNEW that they were taking a placebo.

At first, Linda said she thought it was going to be a “waste of time” to take an inactive “sugar pill.”  But after her IBS symptoms began to improve within a week, she thought that “Maybe they just TOLD me it was a placebo, and it’s [really] a new medication they are trying out, and they just didn’t want me to know.” In the end, Linda and 60% of all the study participants reported noticeable relief from their physical symptoms without medication.

Of course, The Placebo Effect, as it is known, of people feeling better without a medical cause, only works in certain cases. You can’t expect to cure cancer or lower cholesterol with a placebo. Psychiatrists explain that where it has an impact is on “any symptom which the brain can modulate by itself.” About 35% of the time, people experience some relief from taking a substance that is not biologically active. Some even feel negative side effects from placebos!

We are such “highly-suggestible creatures,” says one psychiatrist, that his patients have experienced asthma attacks from just looking at pollen in a sealed jar, and showed allergic dermatitis symptoms from viewing a cat on television. Clearly, what you think about, your body can bring about.

What really caught my attention was a doctor stating that The Placebo Effect doesn’t work because we are simply imagining it. MRIs have shown that part of the brain’s “pain matrix” is activated by taking a placebo. In fact, there is a measurable rise in the production of dopamine, which dampens the body’s sensation of pain. Thus, taking a fake pill can prod the human brain to produce its own, very real, healing chemicals.

As further amazing proof that our expectations can help create our reality, one group of patients with Parkinson’s Disease in a study were given a placebo that they were told was a cheap, generic drug, while another group was given a placebo that was supposedly an expensive new medication being tested.

In both groups, a significant percentage saw measurable improvement in their tremors, but the group that was told they were taking the “expensive medicine” improved TWICE as much as the group that thought they were taking a “cheap” drug. Furthermore, the “expensive” placebo did just as well at alleviating Parkinson’s tremors as the current REAL Parkinson’s medication that chemically prods the body to produce more dopamine. One doctor involved in the study concluded, “People believed that if it was expensive, it had to be good.”

Aside from the possible medical (and skyrocketing drug price-related) benefits such studies may lead to, they also provide objective, scientific explanations for what Master Manifesters like the late Dr. Wayne Dyer have been asserting for a long, long time: Our own beliefs and expectations really DO affect what happens to us.

In my 12 years as a professional coach, more than 600 of my clients and I have demonstrated time and again that if you are willing to put the past in the past and release ALL negative expectations for your present situation, you can create a better outcome than you may have ever experienced before in similar circumstances. Positive change can also occur with someone you have habitually clashed with — IF you are willing to let go of expecting more of the same, and instead choose to believe that it is possible for them to change. If YOU can change your thoughts and expectations about them, they can change theirs and behave differently towards you.

I have developed a great tool to help the subconscious mind to accomplish this. It’s a self-coaching affirmation that I teach to all my clients (and regularly use myself) that starts with the words, “I claim, accept and expect The Best…” As The Placebo Effect proves, the essential foundation for creating a good outcome is expecting a good outcome

So it appears that the old saying, What you think about, you bring out is now a proven scientific fact. In  order to create GOOD results, you must stay laser focused on what you WANT to manifest, and not squander your brain’s enormous creative power on visualizing a Worst Case Scenario you fear. You can use the awesome power of your own brain to help you manifest the Life of Your Dreams. So, what are you waiting for?

PLEASE NOTE: It requires approximately four hours each Saturday to write, edit and post A Cup of Caroll. While it is absolutely a labor of love, I feel the need right now to focus on serving my many wonderful clients, organizing my office, and enjoying more time for relaxation and self-care.  Therefore the blog will be taking the next two weeks off and will return on Sunday November 6.  I hope my newer readers will check out the blog archives at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com  and enjoy some past editions you may have missed!

P.S. If you would like your own free subscription to receive future editions of A Cup of Caroll three Sundays a month, just go to the same website and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

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To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.