How to Harness the Power of The Placebo Effect

There’s so much about the brain that we don’t know – and we don’t know we don’t know, and it really freaks me out. Yesterday, a video on placebos reminded of another way the brain seems to have a ‘mind’ of its own.

As you may or may not know, all drugs that are tested must also run placebo trials before they are approved by the FDA. The actual drug must be more effective than the placebo in two trials before being considered a valuable treatment or remedy (Wired Magazine).

Now before you start thinking this is a waste of time and money or even unethical that we deprive some trial participants of the ‘actual’ medication, here is the fact that shook my world: Placebos work 50% as effectively as aspirin but also 50% as effectively as morphine in treating pain!

Seriously, brain, what’s going on?!

Though it may be frustrating to not be able to completely understand what’s happening in our own heads, beyond our control, there’s some great news for us once we see that there is a possibility for harnessing this insensible power.

I actually think it might be a blessing that we don’t fully understand what’s going on here. That way, our job is kept pretty simple.

Believe you’re healed and you will be. Believe you can do something and you can.

If that doesn’t sound simple enough, let me say that the next sugar cube you eat will give you all the power you need to make your dreams come true.winkey

Now, those of us in tune with the power of visualization and positive thinking might also notice that this is all very similar to how The Law of Attraction works. We truly bring what we’re thinking and dreaming about into our lives by way of positive thinking and keeping ourselves connected to a feeling of love and excitement. If you’re excited by life and you love what’s around you, you’ll continue to feel that and see more evidence of it in your life. And even when things are not ideal, you’ll be able to stand strong in your happiness and love of life and all its ups and downs and miracles.

On a more practical level, you can use The Placebo Effect and the Power of Suggestion to shift a negative feeling from taking hold by buying into a more positive perspective. For example, maybe you’ve been actually feeling pretty good lately and then all of a sudden, “WHAM!” Big traffic jam. Your high is over…or so you think…headphones girl

Instead of freaking out about getting fired, give your boss a call, tell her what’s honestly happening and that you’ll be there as soon as you can. Then, turn up the tunes, knowing your ass is covered for the foreseeable, ‘can’t-do-anything-about-it’ future and rock out. Notice that this extra time was a gift. The universe is not screwing you over – she’s rewarding you for feeling good all this time.  And the more you keep your perspective in this positive placebo, the more gifts will appear. It really is all in your head – in a good way!

One more example from a very successful man:

If you say you can or you can’t, you’re right either way. – Henry Ford

Here’s to staying in a good space and reaping the rewards of the Universe all this week!


When ‘Sorry’ Isn’t Good Enough

We’ve all experienced a time when we thought that we deserved an apology. We may have even felt at times that we’ve gotten an apology that didn’t suffice.

“Say it like you mean it,” we say.

Or, “Well, sorry isn’t good enough this time.”

But we’ve also all been on the other end of it too. We know very well that when we do something wrong, we struggle to get the words out. We feel bad but sometimes it’s hard to swallow our pride and let humility lead the way. It’s so uncomfortable and embarrassing to admit we’re wrong, and what if the person doesn’t say it back? Awkward!

Knowing that we put ourselves through this thought tennis, it’s hard to imagine that we continue to give the cold shoulder to our partner, friend, colleague or neighbour when they offer their apologies.

But we do it.

We hold grudges, throw things, give the silent treatment and even post hateful things on social media.

When we just aren’t having it from someone who apologizes, it’s most likely that we aren’t in a forgiving space…yet. This is why it’s usually a good idea for both sides to retreat and cool down after a big blowout argument over a mistake. You’ve noticed that a ‘sorry’ in the middle of an argument will probably be shot down immediately with a ‘Whatever!‘. But a sit down talk a couple days later is more well-received.

This isn’t always the case, of course. Actually, it’s more common that one side gets to the apology phase way before the other gets to the forgiveness phase and trying to talk fails as well. Maybe still more time is needed.

But if right now you’re involved in an awkward stand off that’s making you tense and lose sleep, try and remember how hard it might be for the other party to apologize or forgive. Sometimes good

old-fashioned time is needed. Sometimes it’s something else that has to get taken care of. Flowers and gifts might not hurt. But whatever it is, ‘sorry’ is the best first step.

Here are three of the biggest tips on forgiving and apologizing that might help your sticky situation and get your relationship back on track and maybe even stronger.

Say it.

In all the kerfuffle of arguing and miscommunication, you may have forgotten to even try, “I’m sorry”. Sometimes the simplest thing can make a difference. Just look at the power of a haiku!

Mean it.

Saying sorry in a heated argument just to shut someone up probably won’t have the effect you’re hoping for. Everyone can detect a BS apology.

Also, forgo adding to the phrase.

‘I’m sorry, god!’ or ‘I’m sorry, ok?” cheapen the message. Especially stay away from, “I’m sorry but you…”

Remember, short and simple.

Believe it.

Remember that it’s not always the easiest thing to say. Give him or her a break and let it go. Or at the very least, allow the person to feel like you’re beginning to forgive. Is there really a pay off for staying angry?

The ‘Sorry’ Haiku:

Saying you’re sorry

Is so very important

The same as friends are

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think in the comments!

Have a great week,


Check out my life coaching services for thirtysomethings at