Almost everyone may feel bad or bored from time to time and therefore tend to think negatively. “However, if these thoughts become more frequent, our health and social relationships may deteriorate,” said Prof. Dr. Uludüz gave tips to get rid of these thoughts.
To the experts Accordingly, constantly labeling ourselves negatively or internalizing pessimistic thoughts can lead to negative consequences at the psychological and behavioral level. Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Derya Uludüz explained the effects of negative thoughts on our health and ways to deal with them as follows:
What does it lead to?
If negative thoughts intensify, they affect our general health and life as follows:
Negative thinking, statements such as “I am inadequate,” “I am a failure,” or “I am worthless,” can seriously affect a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence. A person who constantly has negative thoughts may feel worthless and inadequate, which can reduce happiness and sense of success in life. A person may constantly seek the approval of others, which can make it difficult to form healthy relationships.
2-Increases the risk of anxiety and depression
Negative thought patterns sent to the subconscious cause the person to constantly make negative assumptions about himself and his environment. When we make a mistake, we may think ‘I’m ruining everything’ or when we encounter a difficult situation, ‘nothing will get better’. Negative affirmation messages sent to the subconscious can pave the way for mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
3-It creates problems in decision-making skills
A person who has negative thoughts has difficulty making the right decision because he cannot trust himself. He/she may constantly need the approval of others, which may lead to errors in judgment. Negative thought patterns can leave a person in a dilemma, especially in situations where difficult decisions must be made. Negative thoughts also cause problems in problem-solving skills. The person becomes more shy and passive in solving problems. It disrupts addressing the problem and seeking effective solutions. It also affects a person’s creativity and flexible thinking ability, making it difficult to find alternative solutions.
4-Weakens social relationships
Constant negative thoughts about oneself reduce self-confidence and cause hesitation and insecurity when communicating with others. A person who feels worthless and inadequate begins to avoid social communication. This situation pushes the person into isolation and loneliness.
5-It impairs physical health
In the long run, negative thoughts lead to physical as well as psychological problems. Stress caused by negative emotions triggers the body’s “fight or flight” response, and hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are secreted. These hormones are part of the body’s response to emergencies. However, in the long run, it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and a weakened immune system. Additionally, negative emotions can disrupt sleep patterns, cause fatigue, and exacerbate other health problems.
Here are the solution suggestions
If we are in a momentary negative environment, being alert supports the survival mechanism, but if this situation lasts for a long time, it will harm our body. Our negative perspective can cause us to overthink and worry about even the smallest problem we experience, and to overlook positive events and opportunities throughout the day. Here are some suggestions that will help you think positively:
■ Noticing small joys in daily life and being grateful for them increases positive emotions.
■ Sharing positive events: Sharing the good news you received or the good event you experienced with your loved ones is an effective method to spread happiness and reduce negative thoughts.
■ Regular exercise reduces stress by increasing endorphin secretion.
■ Every night when you go to bed, think about your plans for the next day positively, think that they will all go great (such as an exam you will take or a speech you will give). This thought will descend into your subconscious and motivate you.
■ Motivate yourself with positive sentences and send positive signals to your subconscious, no matter how tired or unhappy you wake up in the morning.
■ Recognizing negative automatic thoughts and replacing them with realistic and positive thoughts increases emotional flexibility.
■ Strong social relationships that will enable your loved ones to understand you provide support and comfort in difficult times. Sharing your fears and troubles with your friends and family will relieve you.
■ Showing empathy and understanding towards the people around you allows us to see and solve your own problems more easily.
■ Avoid using words such as ‘I wish’, ‘I wonder’, ‘Unless’. This way, you won’t blame or beat yourself up.
■ Writing down your thoughts and feelings, fears and concerns objectively helps you understand yourself better. Keeping a journal helps you regulate emotional processes and cope with stress.
■ Creative activities such as painting, engaging in music, and engaging in hobbies help express emotions and manage negative emotions.
■ Spending time in nature reduces stress. Walking and gardening will increase happiness and peace and will provide a more positive perspective.