How Do Thoughts Influence Our Mental Health? (by Elle Ceccanti)

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. To understand the true nature of the universe, one must think it terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” – Nikola Tesla

drip-921067_960_720About 1 in 5 adults in The United States are diagnosed with a mental illness. Compared to other countries of Earth, The United States has the highest mental illness rate. This is not even covering the people who are not diagnosed, but live their day to day lives in utter dread of the future. Within the category of health and wellness, there are many factors that are not positively contributing to the whole health of society. This includes our diets, our workloads, and many other contributors. The most important, in my opinion, is that of our state of minds.

In my life I have had many instances where I have realized I needed to go to therapy or counseling. Every one of these times, my over the phone interview consists of the interviewer asking me what’s wrong, and asking me if I’ve ever heard of a technique called “mindfulness”. The first couple times I had a professional ask me this question, I was honestly so annoyed. I would think, how can breathing techniques help me right now? If I think a good thought my problems aren’t going to just vanish! It seemed like an easy way out.

But through the last 6 or so years I have had what some might call an awakening. Things and events and information have been thrown at me by chance, and have completely changed my views on health and wellness, and in turn, the universe. Science experiments involving microscopic ice crystals, DNA, and the placebo effect have helped me come to my conclusions about mindfulness. These examples might change your views, too.

A new study that was published in Cancer, by a Canadian group has findings that thoughts directly influence our physical bodies. Specifically, thoughts influence our DNA.

Dr. Linda E. Carlson, the lead scientist, found that in breast cancer patients, support group involvement and mindfulness can actually help our DNA from deteriorating by preserving telomere length. Telomeres are what keep our DNA together, and when you have a form of cancer, telomeres are more easily destroyed.

In the study, breast cancer survivors were put into three groups. One group went through group therapy sessions. The second group was a control group that received a six hour stress management class. The third group participated in an eight week cancer recovery class that included mindfulness, yoga, and meditation.

After these classes and therapy sessions, the groups had their blood taken and scientists tested it to see if the telomere length and strength was improved.

Telomeres were preserved and lengthened in both the therapy group and the cancer recovery class, but the control group’s telomeres were actually shortened. This is a clear scientific study that shows that being present and aware of your thoughts consistently can be just as powerful as traditional therapy. It actually helps repair your body.

Another strong example of how thoughts change our reality is very obvious. The Placebo Effect. Over time many scientists have recorded the amazing outcomes of what humans believe to be true. Did you know that the first few years Prozac was on the market, it was just a placebo and nothing else? Many people reported great positive changes in their moods from this placebo Prozac. The placebo effect says that humans can treat many issues just by using the power of their mind and positive thoughts.

In an article from The Guardian the author states that, “According to the new research, what it (Prozac) can do can also be done by placebo. Would this herald a new era of placebo-based medicine? The answer is complicated since all medicine involves placebo. Placebo means that our belief systems are mobilized and these have an effect on how we feel. The popular view here is that we only think we feel better, yet more than 100 years of research shows that beliefs can have very real effects in our bodies. A doctor’s words, a diagnosis, a white gown, the size of a pill – all of these can have effects on our physical health. What matters will be our unconscious beliefs and expectations about the medical encounter.” (The Guardian)

This brings attention to the fact that the Anti-depressant industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, that may or may not be completely placebo-based. How much money could it really cost the pharmaceutical industry to produce pills that are basically all sugar? Not very much. People may or may not be buying these medicines just to convince their subconscious that they are going to get better. Think of the power humans will have when they realize that their minds are all they really need.

One of the most interesting and amazing things I have learned in my twenty two years relates to the power of emotion and water.

In 1994 a scientist named Dr. Emoto studied and conducted experiments on the differences of the formation of crystals in frozen lake water, river water, and tap water.

Interestingly, the most pristine water (like from amazingly beautiful glacier water and abnormally clean lakes) formed the most beautiful water crystals of all. I mean these microscopic water crystals were amazing. Like the intricate lace doilies your great grandma would have served underneath your bone china teacup.

On the other end of the spectrum, though, polluted water formed crystals that had no shape at all. These shapes were incredibly non-geometric, not even fitting in with the fibonacci sequence, which is kind of hard not to do. The human eye sees no unity or beauty in them.

Dr. Emoto realized that “positive and negative vibes” effect the structure of water crystals.

This lead him to try more experiments on water crystals, focusing on the effects of language and thought. He used thought, prayer, words, music, and environment to try to effect these water crystals. For example, in one experiment he used the words “You make me sick, I will kill you”. This is how the microscopic water crystal looked after the meditation.

Not very pretty, huh? Nothing like a snowflake.

Then, with another container of water, the words “Thank you” were used. This is the result.

What a difference! This leads to the conclusion that there is a HUGE and amazingly mysterious, yet simple effect positivity and negativity have on water. Some would say that these science experiments were somehow botched. This quote by Emoto convinces me that they most certainly were not.

“This is one of the more difficult areas to clarify. However, from continuing these experiments we have come to the conclusion that the water is reacting to the actual words. For example, for our trip to Europe we tried using the words “thank you” and “you fool” in German. The people on our team who took the actual photographs of the water crystals did not understand the German for “you fool”, and yet we were able to obtain exactly the same kind of results in the different crystal formations based on the words used.” (Emoto)

It is amazing that the human body is about 60% water. How interesting! Because of this most convincing evidence, my conclusion is that thoughts  completely influence our reality. I am excited to see the day that it is completely realized by the scientific realm, and in turn by the average human.

“Emoto’s Water Experiment: The Power of Thoughts.” High Existence. 14 July 2009. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.

“Mental Health By the Numbers.” NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.

“The Creation of the Prozac Myth.” The Guardian. 26 Feb. 2008. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.

Stetka, Brett. “Changing Our DNA through Mind Control?” Scientific American Global RSS. Scientific American, 14 Dec. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.



  1. james

    Thank you for sharing such a fascinating and important subject! The power of thoughts on the healing process puts me in mind of shamanic and faith healing. How interesting that our “doctor’s words, a diagnosis, a white gown, the size of a pill” have replaced the shaman’s bear-cloak and magic chant or the priest’s robes and prayerful invocation! It would seem that if a person believes in anything enough, then it has the potential for magical or miraculous healing!

    I had some trouble with the connection made between the power of thoughts and the water experiment, as the quote indicates that the experimenters didn’t understand the words they were saying. If they didn’t know what the words meant, how then are their thoughts influencing the water? It seems rather to indicate a kind of polyglot sentience for water, in that it is recorded as reacting to the meaning of words in a foreign tongue.

    I appreciate that you opened with how personal this issue is to you, and how you came to change your mind, and I found your summaries of the evidence succinct and easily comprehended. well done!

  2. Stephanie

    This is an interesting take on mental health, I do believe our thoughts do control how we feel during the day… And would not be surprised our thoughts had an effect on our mental health.
    I am slightly confused on the crystals and water but that could be me not computing what I am reading.
    It is interesting to me that in today’s world our doctors go straight to a pill to fix everything. That is an experience I have had… especially with the migraines I experience. That is the first thing the doctor wanted to do… When the migraines where from other things. Lack of water, sleep and hormone levels.
    Over all there is a lot of information in the blog, with good links. Lots to think about.

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