You know you don’t feel your best when you are imagining all that can go wrong, replaying past hurts, worrying, or ruminating on anything stressful. However, there are some side effects of negative thoughts that may surprise you.
Diminished Critical Thought
Studies show that prolonged negative thinking can diminish your brain’s ability to think critically. This includes critical thought regarding the situation, as well as everything you hear, see, and learn. Negativity also creates a lack of empathy, sympathetic joy, and overall connection. Instead, you’ll see the worst in everything and everyone.
Decreased Overall Health
You already know that negative thoughts are physically, mentally, and emotionally draining—but negative thoughts are bad for your whole-body health. It leaves your body in a constant state of fight or flight mode, which increases cortisol and can lead to:
- Emotional fatigue
- Trouble sleeping
- Digestive concerns
- Weight gain
- Decreased immunity
- Increased internal inflammation
- And more
Minimizing Negative Thoughts
It may feel impossible in the moment, but you can minimize your negative thoughts. There are a variety of techniques to choose from, including taking a 10 minute walk, working out, calling a friend who lifts you up, repeating an affirmation, and anything that brings you joy.
It will take practice and some days will be more difficult than others, but you can quiet your mind and refocus your attention.