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Whether you're trying physical therapy for a bad knee, or you're seeing a chiropractor for pain in your back, your belief that those treatments will work may be more effective than the treatment themselves. So before you undergo any kind of treatment, think about all the reasons the treatment is likely to help. If you're struggling with insomnia, a gratitude journal might be the best cure. Several studies have linked gratitude to better quality and longer lasting sleep.

Identify three things you're grateful for and write them in a gratitude journal before you go to bed. Conjuring up feelings of thankfulness right before you fall asleep will increase the chances you'll get a good night's rest. Feeling like you have a sense of purpose could actually increase the length of your life.

1. Make Your Treatments More Effective By Expecting Them to Work

Studies consistently show people who believe their lives are meaningful are more likely to live healthier, longer lives. Whether your work gives you a purpose, or you find meaning as a volunteer, make sure whatever you're doing matters.


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Feeling like you have a reason to get out of bed every day might be the secret to longevity. Several studies have shown that optimistic people are less likely to get sick. For decades, many researchers thought the boost in immunity stemmed from the fact that optimistic people were more likely to take care of their health. If you have found any comfort, support or guidance in our work, please consider donating:. We would love to hear from you:. To customize your avatar, you can upload an image to gravatar.

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Receive our latest posts in your inbox! I got sadness, which, I guess, makes sense, seeing as I was kind of sad when I took the test, and I often find myself falling into a pit of emotional despair. I hope, to any others who got sadness too, that you find relief from your grief and joy in the things you do. As for myself… Grief? I guess a part of my mother too. I should have gotten over this, especially seeing how long it has been and how often I used to cry. Who would have thought it.

Hope… Sonetimes giving up on hope could be a positive thing.. Mine is love. I really love to receive and express love..

My answer was hope. And I always hope… for something to get better, for an answer, for my life to have a purpose. I never know how to interpret the present, just that the past is not what it was supposed to be. It is difficult to look forward to tomorrow.

Fear with a big fat shiny smiley face painted on it to hide what it really is underneath. It either keeps you as a prisoner of the past or makes you a worrier about the future. Your mind can be a powerful healing tool when given the chance.

Mind over matter: Can you think your way to strength? -- ScienceDaily

The idea that your brain can convince your body a fake treatment is the real thing — the so-called placebo effect — and thus stimulate healing has been around for millennia. Now science has found that under the right circumstances, a placebo can be just as effective as traditional treatments. It's about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together," says Professor Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose research focuses on the placebo effect.

Placebos won't lower your cholesterol or shrink a tumor. Instead, placebos work on symptoms modulated by the brain, like the perception of pain. For years, a placebo effect was considered a sign of failure.

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A placebo is used in clinical trials to test the effectiveness of treatments and is most often used in drug studies. For instance, people in one group get the tested drug, while the others receive a fake drug, or placebo, that they think is the real thing. This way, the researchers can measure if the drug works by comparing how both groups react. If they both have the same reaction — improvement or not — the drug is deemed not to work. More recently, however, experts have concluded that reacting to a placebo is not proof that a certain treatment doesn't work, but rather that another, non-pharmacological mechanism may be present.

How placebos work is still not quite understood, but it involves a complex neurobiological reaction that includes everything from increases in feel-good neurotransmitters, like endorphins and dopamine, to greater activity in certain brain regions linked to moods, emotional reactions, and self-awareness.