When considering ways to improve the overall health of the brain and body, we tend to focus on continuous exercise, get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet (and high-quality nutritional supplements).
But what about thought?
It is estimated that 60,000 thoughts run through our minds every day. What effect do they have on our health, happiness and well-being?
Thinking is powerful
Our thoughts are powerful and can have a profound effect on our feelings. They can even trigger physiological reactions in the body.
“Whenever you have a sad thought, an unfriendly thought or a desperate thought, such as’I will never find the ideal job’, your brain will pump out some chemicals that make you feel sad. On the other hand, it is reminiscent of happy, loving or encouraging thoughts, and the brain will bring you a pleasant chemical sensation.-Dr. Daniel Amen
Habitual negative self-talk trains the brain to look at things pessimistically. Researchers believe that negative thinking effectively rewrites our neural network and strengthens the pathways in the brain, making us more likely to continue to see the glass half empty.
In addition, negative thoughts may reduce activity in areas of the brain involved in self-control, judgment, and planning, which may lead to wrong decisions.
These patterns of negative thinking can lead to a downward spiral. So, how do you reverse the negative self-talk?
Automatic negative thinking
The first step in seeking liberation from negative thoughts is to realize that our thoughts often tell us something incorrect. They told us to lie and depressed us. They can also randomly enter our minds without permission.
Dr. Amen refers to this as automatic negative thoughts (ANT). We all deal with them more or less. ANT usually falls into one of the following nine categories:
1. “All or nothing” thinking -All good or bad ideas.
2. Thinking “always” -Thinking in words, like forever, forever, no one, everyone, every time, everything.
3. Focus on the negative – Only see bad things under certain circumstances.
4. Fortune telling -Predict the worst possible outcome with little or no evidence.
5. Mind reading – I believe you know what others are thinking, even if they didn’t tell you.
6. Feel what you think -Believe in negative emotions without questioning them.
7. Guilt -Think in terms such as should, must, should or must.
8. Label -Put negative labels on yourself or others.
9. Blame -Blame others for your problems.
Do you know any of them in your own way?
For your health and happiness, it is important to do something with these types of thoughts. If you don’t check ANT, they will add color to your perception and cause serious damage to your life.
How to stop negative thoughts
Numerous studies have shown that fighting negative thinking can make us feel better. You can start destroying your ANT by challenging the following four questions:
- (Negative thoughts) Is it true?
- Can I absolutely know that this is true?
- When I think of this idea, how should I react?
- Who would I be without that idea? Or, if I didn’t have that idea, how would I feel?
Whenever ANT comes into your mind, please write it down. Then apply these questions, and you should begin to feel the freedom to clear negative thoughts.
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Posts on how to stop negative thoughts and self-talking first appeared on the BrainMD Health blog.