Do you have lots to be thankful for but still feel negative about life everyday? There is a surprising thing about negative thoughts. Some negative thoughts are ‘good’ and some, as you probably just guessed, are very “bad.” But understanding the differences between good and bad negative thoughts can open new opportunities to better trained mind.
What are the two types of negative thoughts?
Good negative thoughts protect us from danger.
Bad negative thoughts prevent us from believing in ourselves, taking risks in life and if ultimately can prevent us from reaching our most fulfilling goals.
But to understand negative thoughts, and some of their origins, lets start with our friend called “science.”
The Science of Negative Thoughts:
Science has proven that thoughts enter our minds thousands of times in a day. And many negative thoughts boil down to this:
a. Physiological and purely biological responses that are automatic and intended to protect you from real danger. i.e. See a bear - RUN!
b. Learned environmental behaviours that are seemingly automatic, but in fact are learned over time. i.e. Trauma, abuse, unhealthy upbringing from parents or family, including socio-economic causes.
Understanding the differences between a & b above are critical to the next element we discuss.
Which negative thoughts are real?
The problem is, of course, not all of those negative thoughts are real, important or even valid. But it’s difficult to understand or even ‘TRUST’ how well our judgement might be in a given situation since it’s easy to confuse good and bad negative thoughts or even WHERE they are originating from.
So, in Rule 1 below, we at The-Inspired.com want to arm our readers with a better understanding of where many of those negative thoughts come from so YOU have the POWER to:
a. Demystify Negative thoughts
b. Ignore Negative thoughts
c. Control Negative thoughts.
RULE 1: Physiological Negative thoughts can sometimes get their wires crossed.
By understanding how physiological negative thoughts work and what causes them to break, you’ll then be able to demystify, ignore and control them.
So lets look at the science behind physiological negative thoughts:
1. Our minds first line of self defence starts with negative thoughts. This may not seem to make much sense at first but our brains and bodies are physically hardwired to respond to danger in an instance. Flight or fight mode is real. Adrenaline pumps into our body in seconds from that first detection of danger.
2. The sympathetic nervous system originates in the spinal cord and its main function is to activate the physiological changes that occur during the fight-or-flight response. This component of the autonomic nervous system utilizes and activates the release of norepinephrine in the reaction helps your body respond to real or perceived danger.
3. 50,000-70,000 thoughts enter our mind per day. Those thoughts will range from things you forgot to do, things you should be doing, things you don’t want to do and so much more.
4. The Brain Stem is the most primitive area of the brain. It connects the brain to the spinal cord. This area controls functions basic to the survival of all animals, including us humans. Sleeping, breathing, digesting foods and the Heart rate are all controlled here.
5. The Limbic system controls emotions like fear and love. This system is made of a number of components in the brain with the amygdala playing a key role.
6. Memories Algorithms help define what you learn. Through experience, like putting your hand in fire and getting burnt, your brain creates memories or algorithms to help prevent you from making the same mistakes over and over again.
7. The orbito-frontal cortex and thalamus help us make new decisions when there is a change to our environment. Imagine you are in cereal isle at a grocery store and you see 20 brans of cereal. You are looking for the healthiest choice. This evolved skill requires not simply buying the cereal with best looking cover but analyzing nutrient values on the side.
8. Our brains need sugar. Its been proven that our brains need a regular supply of sugar to function optimally. Negative thoughts will grow if your brain is starved for sugar, and other important nutrients that keep our neurones firing normally. A poor diet leads to bad decisions and negative thoughts.
9. Sleep is crucial to a healthy brain. Not getting 7–8 hours of sleep per night for most people will mean a brain that is tired and a brain that is likely to increase it’s production of negative thoughts.
10. Alcohol reduces the amount of oxygen to the brain. And guess what, our brains like oxygen. Too much alcohol can impact our ability to have deem REM sleep as well. So negative thoughts, as well as a bad hangover might be soon to follow a night of bing drinking.
So now that we understand more on WHY human brain and body CREATES negative thoughts from a physiological standpoint we can start breaking down the solution.
In other words, what you've learned here is that your body is really just part of a system that you have some degree of power and influence over.
You can't control every aspect, but you can start understanding elements that are real vs elements that are not.
RULE 2 ON LEARNED ENVIRONMENTAL NEGATIVE THOUGHTS COMING SOON...
In the mean time, for more thought provoking ideas on positive thinking, self belief, motivation and much more, be sure to visit us at: