New phrase for me. The Nocebo Effect. Meaning?
When adverse health can be produced or influenced by negative expectations.
When I was running long distances I was enlightened.
When I ran, to pass the miles, I would play out different scenarios in my head, sometimes involving past or anticipated future events and conversations.
As I was doing this, I noticed the following.
When I would recall a negative event, or play out in my mind a conversation that might happen at some point in the future, my pace, while running, would slow, my stride would become uneven, my breathing would become labored and a decrease of energy would immediately take place.
However, when I would move away from the negative thoughts and influences and think about positive events, or encouraging words I might offer someone else, I would regain my pace, my stride would be smoother, my breathing would even out and my energy level, even on an hill or incline would increase.
Not knowing what caused this, I decided to experiment for the rest of my run.
For example, here are a couple of conversations I used as influencers, one negative and one positive.
(Said in my thoughts with much sarcasm) “Buddy, the only thing you have going for you…is her. Which is more than enough, but it’s still all you got.”
Result of the negative thought?
My body was affected negatively immediately.
Another example, this time more positive.
“Buddy, a few weeks ago I was getting to know some of the guys better. And my only regret remains that you left early, and were not there.”
Positive effect on my body and my run.
So, I began to research why this happens.
It is in fact called, the Nocebo Effect.
Dr. Julie Chen, M.D., Integrative Medical Doctor, in her blog, carried by the site, www.huffingtonpost.com, wrote, “When we think negative thoughts it causes the Nocebo Affect.”
In her blog, Dr. Chen also cited the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), with the following excerpt.
“How information is exchanged between couples, friends or colleagues — whether with warmth or with negativity — clearly affects outcomes of how you feel when you walk away from the experience. If our interactions with ourselves and loved ones are always pessimistic, this potentially leads to more negative outcomes for us and our relationships. So this “nocebo effect” occurs in daily life as well as in the clinical setting.
When we keep that in mind, it helps us to realize that how we deliver any given information is just as important, if not more so, than the content of the information. By keeping this in mind, we may all create more positive outcomes, both in clinical situations and in day to day life. Furthermore, the positive outcome is not just limited to the person receiving the information but also to the person delivering the information. In various studies, it is seen that people who are more positive tend to be healthier and live longer.” Nocebo Effects, Patient-Clinician Communication, and Therapeutic Outcomes.” JAMA. 2012
All this to say, what you think and say, does it affect the effect you have on others?
What you think and say, does it affect the effect you have on yourself?
Negative and positive thoughts and words are the brain generated linguistic boomerangs in life.
Once you release them, you can rest assured, the boomerang will come back around and will have a direct impact upon you.