Are Your Thoughts Making You Sick?

by Michael Hughes

Your mind is so powerful that your thoughts can make your sick.

Now, when I say sick I don’t mean they can make you so upset that you throw-up (although that can happen also).

But I mean that swimming around in your head you may have thoughts that make you sick enough to cause a real, physical illness.

In 1992 I got an invitation to attend a 5-day seminar at a holiday camp-site in Norfolk in the east of England with the meditation teacher, Roy Masters.

I’d been to his seminars before so I knew what to expect.

I signed up immediately as did my 2 brothers.

Roy didn’t come to the UK often so I didn’t want to miss it.

But not long after I signed up, a strange thing started happening to me.

About 2 weeks before the event, I got a sore throat.

Now, a weak point of mine was my throat and if I got sick it would usually affect my throat first.

The closer it got to the event, the worse my throat got.

And about 2 days before the event I said to myself, “I can’t go I’m too sick.”

But I had no other symptoms, no headache, no sneezing or coughing, no runny nose, no aches and pains – nothing but this sore throat.

On the day I was due to leave I was still saying to myself, “I can’t go, I’m too sick.”

Apart from the sore throat I felt completely fine.

In my mind it was if there were two sides of a conversation going on:

“I’d better go to this seminar.”

“I can’t go with this sore throat.”

“If I don’t go I’ll regret it.”

“If I do go I may get sicker.”

“I should go; I even persuaded one of my brothers to go.”

Around and around this went in my head.

Eventually I got in my car and started the 2.5 hour drive to Norfolk.

And all the way there the thoughts were still buzzing around my brain.

Of course these were all excuses. But they were more than simple excuses as I got real, physical symptoms.

So I went to the seminar. And, although not easy, I was glad I went.

This wasn’t simply a relaxing meditation retreat but, for me, it was a transformative experience.

A friend of mine attending the event also got physical symptoms.

He got boils in his ears – both ears! It was if his body was trying to stop him from hearing something.

In my case it was if my body was trying to stop me speaking – because there’s something very powerful about speaking up.

We all do things that are bad, irritating, annoying or stupid. But we don’t see them – other people do!

And there are things we see in other people that they don’t.

Now, if we’re prepared to confront someone about their faults, but not with aggression or anger or any negative emotion but just because it is the right thing to do, we may experience fear.

Because when you criticize someone, it’s as if you give them permission to criticize you back.

So they may pick-up on your faults that you’re unaware of.

In daily life if you criticize or correct someone for some minor thing you may get a torrent of abuse back.

But in a seminar, where most people go because they want to improve themselves you’ll probably get a more meaningful criticism back.

That’s not to say it won’t hurt – it probably will in some cases, but you may need to hear it from a stranger.

If your wife or husband, father or mother, sister or brother has moaned at you for years about some annoying thing you do, by now you probably ignore it.

But when you hear those same words from someone who doesn’t know you well, but still sees the same fault in you and isn’t using the energy of anger to say it – it can have an amazing effect – if you’re open enough to hear it without resentment.

After the seminar was over and everyone was preparing to go home, I said my goodbyes and got in my car to drive back to London.

As soon as I drove out of the camp, guess what happened?

Yes, the sore throat that I’d had for nearly 3 weeks completely vanished.

My thoughts had made me sick.

But what was in charge of my thoughts? It wasn’t me.

The answer will have to wait for another article.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }


Mind over matter

Wish it would stop my tinnitus !

Thank You




I have the tinnitus malady as well. At first I thought it was heavenly tones and I was getting a God message — haha! When it didn’t go away I was curious about the reason for it and googled it. It’s an age related malfunction so maybe affirming our youthfulness and good health will help diminish it.



my mind
make me sleep like a baby please
thank you Mike and have a good day



Mind is the most powerful gift to man. Longing for how to use it effectively. Thanks.



Thanks Mike
Enjoyed reading this



Thank you mike.
Reading your posts make me wise !


Lisa D

I understand completely. Stress causes me to sleep very poorly. The more I worry about not getting a good night’s sleep the harder it is for me to fall a sleep and stay a sleep. Yet, if I am sitting down the couch on a Friday or Saturday night, simply enjoying my family and not thinking about how extremely tiered I am, I will fall asleep in seconds without even trying. (Yes I often miss the end of a movie!!)



Good points 🙂



Thats right, Mike.


Amit Srivastav

Dear Mr. HUGHES,

As always, you have explained very nicely and shared a very rare but useful aspect of meditation that how negative thoughts of our being creates physical symptoms to stop our positive steps.

Thank you very much.


Gautam Sarkar

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the post.

It is surprising that many a time we are duped by our own dear minds which pretend to protect us from something unknown.



very interesting…the power of suggestion



Thanks Mike , for reminding me how powerful our minds can be , i didnt realize this until i read your story , makes a lot of sence!!


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