As you know, I love Einstein. There are many reasons….but among my favorite things Einstein showed us is the usefulness of the Gedankenexperiment, or thought experiment.
Using just his mind, Einstein would conceive of situations in the world and ask himself “If this were the case, how would the world work.” For instance, he imagined a person in an elevator on the surface of Earth and another person, in an elevator in the middle of space accelerating at 1G (the rate of acceleration associated with the Earth’s gravitational pull). Could this person tell the difference between the two places? He thought…… if he cannot see outside, then there is no way to tell the difference. Einstein concluded that gravity and acceleration are one and the same and should be treated as such. Many interesting results derived from this equating the two.
Now, you and I participate in such thought experiments of our own, and often these are related to our health. We wonder….if this symptom is bothering me then something must be causing it, and what could that ‘thing be’ ? We might think of a strained muscle, or something more sinister like cancer. And from these thoughts we will perceive other possible connections to other symptoms of issues we have, and before long we have gone far astray from the initial issue and have convinced ourselves that this simple symptom is caused by something very very serious and dangerous to our health. Such psychological energy can have an enormous impact on how we feel and how we perceive things going forward. This type of thinking, as error filled as it is, can be the cause of anxiety, or it can be caused by anxiety. To see this demonstrated, look at the latest Direct TV commercials and their focus on the consequences of what happens to someone who does not have Direct TV (See this in the DIRECT TV COMMERCIAL) This is pure anxiety thinking…plain and simple.
It is just this sort of thought experiment that can get out of hand and cause us great worry about our health. To deal with this, you need to either learn how to control yourworry, or come in to the office and share that concern with me so that we can evaluate the your issues and do some testing to prove or disprove the basis for such concerns. Calming your mind of worry is one of the most effective ways to maintain good health. Sometimes you can do this on your own and sometimes you need my reassurance and sometimes we need testing to prove that we are healthy and can relax and not worry about symptoms we notice.