Dr Alicia Crum, a psychologist from Stanford University, believes our mindset has a dramatic impact on our health and can even play a part in determining our wellbeing.

Research shows that what you think is going to happen or what you believe will happen has an impact on what actually happens.

One experiment that Alicia describes is the treatment of pain post surgery. When the patient received pain medication delivered by a doctor at their bedside – telling them that it will work well – there was a better response in the same group then when the drug was delivered by an automated machine at the bedside.

As Nurses we are well aware of the placebo response – Alicia describes this response as an altering of our mindset – that because we believe that the intervention will work in a large group of people it actually does work.

Mindset is the way we view the world and is part of being human. It plays a dramatic role in our health and wellbeing.

How does this play out in our everyday lives? Well if we think we are stressed then we will be stressed. There is a direct physiological response to what we believe is happening. Again Alicia identified a study where participants were given a shake drink one that was minimal sugar and low fat, and their ghrelin levels were measured – low response. The next week they were given a super shake with an enormous amount of fat and sugar- the ghrelin response was huge. The interesting thing was that the participants were given the exact same shake – they only thought that they had been given a different one.

Similar experiments have been done with exercise, stress, and emotional happiness – all show a mindset response.

So what’s the message? If you can shift your mindset then you can dramatically change your life experience.

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