Building on our expectations of health
Expectations are largely built without our being aware we’re building them so Steven Salt’s June 14 article in Cleveland.com offers thought-provoking considerations about building on our expectations – especially as they relate to health. The beginning of Salt’s article is below but please click the link to read the entire article.
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” Mark Twain made that observation years ago when jokingly offering his philosophy on what it takes to stay healthy. Obviously, his expectations for lasting health were not too high.
Today we are treated to a similar message through various sources that a disease-free life is practically impossible to maintain without the intervention of diets, drugs, exercise routines, therapies, and more. With the constant barrage in media to “do this to stay healthy,” we are accepting a subtle, but relentless sub-message that illness is inevitable.
What are your health prospects? It is an important question. If living by a “Murphy’s Law” mentality you are essentially portending anything that can go wrong will happen to you at some point in time adding to a life full of doubt and anxiety.
On the other hand, giving your consent to living a life grounded by spiritual, guiding principles that supersede health uncertainties empowers you to be the expression of wellness. There is Biblical authority behind having this kind of outlook. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
There cannot be any doubt as to the influence our expectations have in daily living. For example: are you a coffee drinker? A report released by the University of East London suggests that a significant part of the kick we get from caffeinated coffee comes not from the caffeine, but from the expectation of the buzz. The research states, “Both caffeine and expectation of having consumed caffeine improved attention and psychomotor speed.” The report points to the mental influence of expectation on the body.
Another example of the influence of our expectations is the placebo. Scientists have long pondered why placebos do what they do, when to the researchers’ sensibilities the placebo should have no power to prompt the observed healthful influence. Placebos are just inert substance. They appear to break the rules.
Mary Baker Eddy studied the phenomena of placebos during her lifetime. She documented the healthful effects of “unmedicated pellets” while she researched the origins of health and wellness. She concluded that what she was observing was the powerful impact of one’s thought on bodily health. There is a direct relationship between thought and experience. She went on to discover “the healing influence of Spirit [God]” on the human mind and body which others continue to replicate today.