Mind Over Matter Proverb

Main piece:

“I sometimes just will myself to not be sick… it’s like mind over matter.”


Informant is a third year pre-med student at George Washington University who grew up in Mill Valley, California. Although she knows that there are definitely better methods for curing a cold, she shared that sometimes if she simply changes her mentality, her symptoms begin to improve.


I was just getting over a cold, so the informant shared with me some of her favorite ways to feel better.


This is a folk remedy that also can be categorized as a proverb. The informant believes that she can somehow cure her illness by telling herself that she is no longer sick, which is not actually supported in science yet many people still follow this practice. Additionally, it is summed up into a short, easy-to-remember phrase that allows it to be classified as a proverb. This saying is used for many illness beyond the common cold, and it is interesting in this case that the informant did not even internalize it as a proverb, but rather just an accepted method of curing her symptoms.