I just have to think positively and to make my Arthritis or my flu? For this question, neuroscientist Manfred Schedlowski has to laugh: “it’s not that simple! We can’t answer from a scientific point of view.” To the contrary, however, the negative Thinking – it’s a different matter. Negative thoughts or attitudes to illness can affect gradients, is now regarded as scientifically proven.
“We have learned in the past 20 years, such as thoughts, feelings, and our behavior, body processes such as hormone system, the cardiovascular system and the immune system can influence,” says Schedlowski, who works at the University hospital Essen.
Nevertheless, the science-and-white gradients, yet little is known about the direct influence of positive thinking on disease. Problem is that positive emotions are very individual and difficult to measure. Negative emotions show clearly in the body. “We can measure the Stress of the people,” explains Schedlowski, “so the psycho-social stress in the broadest sense: How much fear a Person has? How big is the Depression that a Person suffers is?”
“Just think positive” – dangerous advice
At the tip of the “positive Only” interferes with thinking Imad Maatouk, Director of the psycho-oncological outpatient clinic at the National center for tumor diseases in Heidelberg, Germany. Books with this statement, often in the Heal-You-Even-corners of book stores and libraries. But the supposedly harmless piece of advice is fraught with risks: “This is fuelling in patients who suffer from a serious disease such as cancer, false hopes, you can’t meet.”
In fact, there is no evidence that positive Thinking can help with cancer. Also, you put the patient under a lot of pressure. “You have the feeling to make everything right, if you feel bad,” said Maatouk. “You forbid even often, difficult thoughts and feelings to address.” This can cause additional mental Stress. At best, then, to speak with a person you trust or a specialist about it, which is the way for one of the best.
Because Stress is unhealthy, that’s for sure. “We avoid Stress in the broadest sense, has quite a positive influence on the physiology, on hormonal secretion, and thus on the functioning of the immune system,” says Schedlowski. The evidence of the placebo effect: “Here we see that the expectation can influence the effect and thus also the course of the disease.”
The Placebo effect: This will help you!
The Placebo effect is easy to use. A doctor, his patients are assured that a certain drug will help him very well and relieve symptoms, the Patient, usually in line with positive expectations. “It changes the neurochemistry in the brain,” explains Schedlowski. And that in turn influences the effect of pain medication.
But there is also a reverse version of the effect, the so-called Nocebo effect: In this case, patients fear that a drug works – or even believe to be due to a treatment or a drug even sicker. “This often happens when we read the label,” explains Schedlowski. “It follows that you can imagine diseases actually.”
It is so good to think only positive or Negative vibrations may? Here Schedlowski refers to the experience of life: “In the rarest of cases, everything is only positive. You should develop realistic expectations.” He was speaking not of positive or negative thoughts, but realistic expectations.