Careful what you BELIEVE, you may just get it.
Did you know that a negative mindset about your illness can have a deep effect on how you recover? In some cases, it even has a bigger impact on you than the disease itself!
In their literature review, Keith Petrie and John Weinman examined patients’ perceptions of illnesses and found that if a patient is following the doctor’s recommended course of treatment for their illness and believe it’s not working, they’re more likely to stop treatment. This can obviously have detrimental effects on their health, making the illness last longer or increase in severity.
So what we think shapes our decisions, and our decisions in turn shape our behaviors. And although this has pretty enormous implications within the realm of healthcare, if you think about this on a broader scope, this is huge.
When you approach a project at work that’s been assigned by your boss, and you think the approach dictated by him is silly, you’re going to tackle the project with less gusto and enthusiasm than you would if you loved the idea. This leads to subpar work, which leads to your boss thinking you’re not a strong employee, which leads to…you see where this is going.
All of this ties into the power and importance of positive thinking. When you approach something with a positive attitude and mindset—whether it be a bout of flu, an assignment at the office, or a hiccup in your romantic relationship—envisioning a best-case scenario, rather than a doomsday picture, can actually make that positive outcome a reality in the future because it will affect the way you approach the situation and the decisions that you make. And this can all happen without your even realizing it. So stay positive, and stay healthy and well!
Amanda Rhode and Stella Grizont
Wanna Learn More? Resources:
Petrie, Keith J. & John Weinman. “Patients’ Perceptions of Their Illness: The Dynamo of Volition in Health Care” Current Directions in Psychological Science. February 2012 21: 60-65.