Optimism and positive thinking have often been scientifically proven to lead to longer, healthier and more rewarding lives (see my posts on optimism for further details.) Now we also have scientific proof that negativity causes illness and damages the body’s cells.
Our brains have the capacity to turn our thoughts into reality. One very simple example is the following: when I was afraid of spiders I believed I would always spot them if there were any in the rooms I entered. And I did! My brain made sure I did by automatically and subconsciously leading me to scan every corner of the rooms I entered every time. As I result, I always spotted them before anybody else did (because nobody else was looking.) A simple brain trick that made me feel a lot of unwanted fear. Thus, what I thought became my reality.
When one thinks positive things, they happen more often. When one thinks negative things, they happen more often. It’s the placebo/nocebo effect. Truly believe something and it will often happen, both negative and positive.
Negative thoughts provoke fear, worry, sadness… which are translated into greater stress levels. When the body feels any stress, it releases cortisol to prepare to fight whatever is threatening it. The mind doesn’t distinguish between real and imagined threats, so the release of cortisol and other chemicals happens in both cases. The release of cortisol results in higher blood pressure, for example, damaging your health. Chronic stress caused by worry and fear can therefore lead to health issues in the longer run such as migraines, muscle problems, digestive problems, etc.
Plus, according to many scientists, negative thinking and emotions inhibit signals from being transmitted between the central nervous system and the brain. That can result in added health problems.
Fear and worry have also been proven to decrease activity in your cerebellum, preventing it from fully processing new information and hindering creative problem solving skills. Fear and worry can also affect the temporal lobe that controls moods, memory, and many other things.
And last but not least, the brain creates and stores paths and connections. The more negative paths you use, the stronger they will become. The more positive paths you use, the stronger you will become.
So, which will it be? As usual, it’s all up to you. Choose happiness.
Enjoy life… ALL of it,
Jessica J. Lockhart – humanology – www.jessicajlockhart.com
Jessica J. Lockhart is a humanologist, bestselling author and renowned international speaker. Follow her here: