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How Negative Thoughts Affect Brain Health and How to Defeat Them

by | Self-Improvement

Jul 18, 2022

Far too many individuals allow themselves to harbor negative thoughts regularly. Did you know that these unhelpful thought patterns negatively impact your brain health? Luckily, though, there are various simple activities or exercises you can perform to identify the cause of your unhealthy thought patterns, taking back control of your mind. 

Let us think about this from a scientific perspective; whenever you think, your brain releases chemicals that affect the way you feel and react to that thought. This reaction is almost instant, as the nervous system is one of the fastest signal systems in the body. This means that when you think negative thoughts, your brain releases a dose of specific chemicals that make you feel worse about the situation. 

For some people, control over thoughts and emotions can be a bit difficult. Automatic negative thoughts overwhelm and take over their brains, increasing the risk of an attack on the brain. 

How Do Negative Thoughts Affect Your Brain Health?

Several studies indicate that negative thoughts affect the ability of your brain to perform properly. They significantly impact two regions of the human brain: the cerebellum and temporal lobes. [1, 2]

The cerebellum is generally one of the most active areas in the human brain. Studies show that when you focus on negativity, the cerebellum starts to shut down. Since it is vital when trying to process complex information, reduced activity in this region of the brain often results in people being clumsier regarding cognitive processes and physical movement.  

Secondly, when someone thinks negatively, the activity of the temporal lobes starts to plummet. This section usually plays an essential role in memory, mood, and temper control. Various forms of depression, dark thoughts, memory issues, and violence often result in decreased activity of the temporal lobes. 

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The Long-term Impacts of Negative Thinking? 

The link between brain health and thought patterns is evident. Sad thoughts result in signs and activities often associated with depression. 

Unfortunately, the effects of this are not short-term. Constant negative thoughts start to rewire your neural network, which strengthens the features in your brain that make you always view the glass as half-empty. This goes a step further as it starts to reduce the functions in your brain that deal with judgment, planning, and self-control. As a result, you are more likely to make bad decisions, which only leads to further negative thoughts. Do you notice the patterns here? 

It is a constant downwards spiral that seriously affects your overall health and well-being for the worse. The more you allow and invite these thoughts into your brain, the greater the chances of feeling angry, depressed, or anxious. Additionally, this has adverse effects on your professional and working relationships. 

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How You Can Defeat Negative Thoughts

With consistency and practice, you can learn how to overcome your negative thought patterns. One of the simplest ways to do this is to pay attention to your thought patterns and start identifying the negative ones. 

The next step is to write down what goes through your mind, identify the exact type of thought, and respond to it. When you feel angry, sad, anxious, or out of control, talk back to the feeling in a way that eliminates the power it has over your mind. 

Having the ability to challenge negative thoughts with honest, objective, and rational thinking is an extremely powerful tool that can boost your mood, improve the functionality of your brain, and enhance your quality of life. 

Do you have a musical instrument you enjoy playing? Then build this activity into your everyday life regularly to encourage positive thinking. Our regular to-do list mostly dominates our everyday life. Activities that make our hearts open are seldom on our lists. Everything else so often seems more urgent.

Joyful activities are good for us, such as cooking, watching your favorite movie, going for a walk, painting, or playing a musical instrument. When you enjoy doing something, it makes you think more positively, and you feel more optimistic.

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Bottom Line 

Experiencing negative thoughts is one thing but believing them is something else. Do not let negativity disrupt the optimal functionality of your brain. Feeding into these thoughts is only going to wreak havoc in your life. Individuals need to learn how to examine their thoughts and determine whether their feelings are true or not. 

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Do your thoughts help or hurt you? You need to challenge the way you think so you do not believe the negativity or let it ruin your brain and life. It is time to make changes to correct the negative patterns you have allowed your mind to develop.

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