We all know what the placebo effect is: if you’re told you’re getting a good medicine, you’re getting better, even if in the medicine is just some inactive compound mixed with sugar.
What is less known, though, is that there is a counterpart of this, called the “nocebo” effect. If you’re told you’re going to get ill, eventually, you will start to feel bad.
I’m seeing the nocebo effect in full swing these days. Everything that comes on the mainstream media channels is about getting ill. Literally everything. Every piece of news talks about the possibility to get Covid, about what happens if you get it, how many people are in the ATI, how many people are dying, and how bad the situation is. If all you see is that, your mind will eventually subside and it will send the signals to your body to comply. You will start to feel bad.
There was this joke a few months ago: “Why people in remote place don’t get Covid? Because they don’t watch TV”. I agree this is a bit of a stretch, because some people do get Covid even in remote places, even if they don’t watch TV, this is not an imaginary illness. But it’s still true that exposure to negative information creates a compliance loop, in which your body tries to align, and, eventually, your immune system is getting weaker.
The main reason of this continuous negative stream of bad news is not necessarily information – as in the situation is not always that bad. It’s more about gathering attention, and transforming that attention into money. It’s the result of the competition in media. It’s what happens when attention is commoditized.
Every little thing that you put your attention on, will grow, eventually. Everything that you let into your system will become part of the system.
The choice is simple.
Would you rather get a non-existent medicine, but get better, because of the placebo effect?
Or would you continue your exposure to fear-instilling stories, weakening your body because of the nocebo effect?