How Negativity Can Change Our Brain
Did you know that every thought in your brain pumps chemicals that influence the way you think? Negative thinking can change your brain. We have approximately 60 000 thoughts a day. What we think about greatly matters in terms of our health and quality of life.
How does Your Brain work?
Every time you have a hopeless or unkind thought your brain will pump a chemical that will make you feel a certain way meaning sad, angry, or anxious. On the other side, every time you have a happy or loving thought your brain will reward you with joyful and feel-good chemicals.
So it seems reasonable that we should fill our heads with happy thoughts. The trick is most of us don’t have control of what we are thinking all the time. Most of our thoughts are automatic and they are mostly negative. These negative automatic thoughts can overwhelm your brain and steal your happiness.
Negativity’s Impact on Our Brain
Studies have shown that positive and grateful thinking can enhance our brain functions. On the other side when we focus on negative and sad thoughts, our brain looks completely different. In that case, our brain can be affected, especially our ability to process complex information. When we think negatively, we are more likely to be clumsy in both our physical movement and cognitive thinking.
Negative thinking can lead to decreased activity in our brain that can be associated with memory problems, depression, violence, and dark thoughts.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Negative Thinking?
The connection between brain activity and thoughts has been studied closely for decades. Researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health studied the connection in 1995 through neuroimaging to find out how thought affects the brain.
They found out that the effects of our thoughts on our brain are not short-term ones. Negative thinking can seriously rewire our brain, strengthen pathways in our brain that make us more likely to look at the world from the negative side. Furthermore, negative thinking can affect the brain areas involved in judgment, planning, and self-control. This can additionally lead to bad decisions which can lead to more negative thinking. This seems to be a downward spiral that can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being.
What Can You Do About Negative Thinking?
The more you allow for negative thoughts to stick in your head the more likely you will feel depressed, anxious or even angry. Also, the more you will be facing troubles in relationships or at work.
The most important thing to remember here is that your negative thoughts are lying to you. Negative thoughts are disrupting your optimal brain function and create havoc in your life. If you never challenge your negative thoughts, you will end up simply believing them.
There is hope and you can learn how to replace negative thinking with a positive one that will give you a fair statement of the situation and hope in the future.
Defeat Negative Thoughts
Our negative thoughts lead to negative actions that in return lead to a negative outcome.
Don’t feel guilty about your negative thoughts and avoid should, must, and have to thoughts. Guilt is not helpful behavior, and it can in general backfire and become completely unproductive. Attaching negative thoughts to yourself or others will decrease your ability to see yourself, people, and situations for who they are.
It’s also crucial to avoid seeing the worst outcomes of the future as a form of negative thinking. This is a great example of how your thoughts can be a lie. You don’t know what your future brings and focusing on the negative outcomes won’t help.
With time and patience, you can learn how to eliminate negative thoughts. The first step is taking notice of negative thoughts and recognize them for what they are – negative thoughts. Whenever you feel mad, nervous, worried, and sad, write down your thoughts, identify them as negative and talk back to them in a more positive way.
Challenge your negative thoughts. This can be a powerful tool that will help you boost your mood and brain function and overall help you have a better life.