Aspartame Scare. Reasons to Avoid Sharing Unsolicited Beliefs
I want to share an experience which demonstrates how we can be influenced from other’s suggestions. A friend of mine, who started a war against aspartame, repeatedly told me not to drink sugar free beverages because sugar free drinks contain aspartame, and aspartame in his view, causes migraine headaches.
I drank sugar free drinks for years knowing sugar free drinks are really not good for me. On my friend's advice I reduced my consumption of sugar free drinks. Every time I craved a sugar free drink, I consumed it, and it appeared to give me a migraine headache. Did the drink contain aspartame? No! I found out that the drink contained “stevia”, a natural sweetener. Did the sugar free drink really give me a migraine headache? No! It did not give me a migraine headache. It was the belief of drinking sugar free drinks causes migraine headaches.
We have all heard about those miraculous cases when people survived surgeries without taking pain killers and did not experience any pain. We have also known about women who developed signs of pregnancy without being pregnant just because they thought that they were pregnant. There are people who suffocate after eating food they think they are allergic to. But some of them can eat the same food just fine if they don’t know what they eat.
Many of my friends are devoted to eating “healthy” food. They cite many types of food as unhealthy, even poisonous. Those friends don’t agree on which food is healthier: one thinks that low fat product is the best for you; the other argues that the low fat food is more processed and becomes less healthy as a result. One neighbor buys organic food, which spoils fast. This lady was very upset after she read the story about a monkey keeper who refused to take some second day organic bananas because his monkeys get sick from stale food. People get sick after eating stale fruit and vegetables and some non organic or genetically modified varieties stay fresh longer. There is a point when stale organic food becomes more dangerous than chemically treated food.
There are so many things that only exist in our heads and our beliefs make them true for us. For some years I used mayonnaise on my food and I have never had a problem with it, until several people told me that mayonnaise was not good for you. I read some articles about how unhealthy it was, and then I started getting sick from it. I wonder what would have happened if I were never told about how bad the mayonnaise was, I would probably continue to use it safely.
And now they are saying that drinking sugar free drinks can make you really ill, even kill you eventually. I wonder if they have ever heard about shamans that could kill people via letting them know that the death ritual was performed on them. The people believed that the death was inevitable for them and died.
All the facts suggest that our thought about the world have power to transform our personal reality. Therefore sharing our unsolicited negative beliefs with people even when we have the best of intentions may change their world for worse.
Our words are powerful. Once planted beliefs might spread from one person to another like viable plants. Let’s plant the good seeds, not poisonous ones. Instead of making people believe that they would get sick or die from something in their food we can offer them positive suggestions. For example, if you think that consuming sugar free drinks which contain aspartame sweetener might harm somebody’s health, you might want to consider sharing some of the benefits of natural drinks in your speech instead of predicting awful diseases to everyone who consumes aspartame. Negative predictions may be more harmful than consuming the wrong kind of food or drink.
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