If visualization can work for our behaviors and our plans for the future, why can’t it work for health?
Over the weekend I learned that it is a myth that chemical imbalances cause mental illness. (Thanks to AJA Cortes for the tipoff. Sign up for his mailing list–worth it.) A myth propagated by big pharma to sell prozac, no less.
What is more, these psychic ailments are linked directly to our willingness to take responsibility for our actions:
The chemical imbalance theory offers something else, however, and that is the opportunity for the psychiatric patient to limit responsibility for his condition. It has long been noted, particularly by psychoanalysts, that many of the problems labeled psychiatric symptoms are attempts by the person, consciously or unconsciously, to evade responsibility for his conduct. The depressed patient withdraws and removes himself from his stressful environment. The dissociative patient switches “alters” at times when it is most convenient. The psychotic patient creates his reality when he is no longer able to handle his affairs. It is no secret that human beings have a love-hate relationship with responsibility. They love the freedom that responsibility affords, but they fear the thought of being responsible for everything they do.
If things as hugely life impacting as dissociative identity disorder can be explained through something as simple as refusing to take responsibility for one’s actions, what about every other disorder in the body?
Maybe cancer doesn’t split your personality, but ding dang dong can you conveniently die from it without having to clean up multi-million dollar messes that you made.
Or, in cases like mine, a chronic autoimmune digestive monster gives me some really great reasons to be lazy or to ditch out on plans. When I was younger, I operated as normally as possible through sheer force of will. I’ve lost that mindset as I’ve grown older.
But I’ve gotten to the point where I’m tired of letting my guts run my life. If simple chemical imbalances don’t exist, that means that things like attitude, mindset, and will have a lot more to do with our state of health and wellbeing than we think.
Which brings us back to visualization. It is known that positive visualization of the future (be it a state of being, winning a race, or even moving your pinky finger a bunch of times to build up strength) drastically increases the chance of that future coming true.
Starting last night, I have Decided (yes, capital D) to visualize my guts working in perfect harmony and producing the perfect poop each day.
Is that weird? I don’t care.
Today, my normal 4:00 pm bathroom run still hasn’t happened yet–and it’s five hours later.
That is enough confirmation bias for me to continue.
I WILL be healthy, even if that requires brainwashing myself.