How your negative thoughts affect your brain?
Your brain is your power. But like any power source, it can be harmful if misused. If you use your power in a right way, you’ll maximize its potential. Otherwise, there will be negative consequences.
Our brain acts as a central processing unit of our body. It interprets and decides our actions. However, it is sometimes affected by our very thoughts.
Yes, our thinking, the way we perceive things and events around us affect the structure of our brain. Negative thoughts, for example, have negative impacts on neural activity.
Negative thinking people will always be negative and depressed. Why? Because their thinking pattern affects their neurons.
How negative thoughts affect our brain?
The modern neuroscience is digging deep to understand the most complicated machine ever built. And most of the questions neuroscientists try to unravel is how exactly our brain works.
Neuroscience found that our brain behaves in a unique manner. When new thought (a new idea is formed) something extraordinary happens to the neurons. Deann Ware, in her article, suggests that neurons communicate each other during the thinking process.
“To oversimplify: Our brain cells communicate with one another via synaptic transmission–one brain cell releases a chemical (neurotransmitter) that the next brain cell absorbs. This communication process is known as “neuronal firing.” When brain cells communicate frequently, the connection between them strengthens. Messages that travel the same pathway in the brain over & over begin to transmit faster & faster. With enough repetition, they become automatic. That’s why we practice things like hitting a golf ball–with enough practice, we can go on automatic pilot.” – Deann Ware
This is the process we must be aware of. Our negative thoughts can drastically change the brain’s mechanism. Negative people missed this. They have no idea what makes them depressed all the time.
When we are negative about almost everything that happens to us, it creates a neural connection that is associated with negative thoughts. That neural connection will produce automatic responses when the same event or stimulus appear.
Because negative people are accustomed to perceiving negative thoughts, they will most likely depress all the time.
Fortunately, there are ways we can reshape our cognition. Because our thoughts are influential to neural activities, we can start mending our thinking pattern to establish the positive neural connection.
The Hearty Soul proposed four tricks to avoid negativity
1. Be grateful: Even for the smallest of things.
2. Catch yourself: Catch yourself in a complaint. Stop complaining. Congratulate yourself for being aware!
3. Make a new groove: We can create a brand new groove for pleasant feelings. The more often we allow our minds to remember the good stuff, the easier that kind of thinking becomes.
4. Practice wise effort: Wise effort is letting go of that which is not helpful and cultivating that which is skillful.
The brain is neuroplastic. What this means is that it can be restructured. This beauty of our powerful machine allows us to win in life. We can heal our emotional wounds if we choose to design new pattern of thinking.
Can we treat depression and remain positive in our life? Absolutely. Depressed people may not need medication or psychological intervention. What they need is the willingness to change their negative thoughts into positive.
Caveat: This article does not underestimate psychotherapy and psychopharmaceutical medication. In fact, I strongly recommend professional help for those who suffer depression.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.