What Negative Thinking Does to Your Brain

Thousands of years of early man chasing and fleeing from savage animals led our brains to fixate on threats to our well-being. What does such a deep-rooted fixation with threats do to us as modern people? Kathleen Toohill looks into the repercussions of negative mindsets in an article for ATTN:.

Interestingly, more neural activity occurs from negative occurrences than positive ones, and we can identify angry faces faster than happy ones. Again, this is all about survival—not dying right now is more important than admiring something pretty or uncovering a reward. Still, too much negativity can obstruct neural structures that regulate emotions and memory, and even worse, it does not matter if the stress felt is based on legitimate or trivial or imaginary circumstances.

Negativity can become a prison. Toohill explains, “Cortisol, a stress hormone, breaks down the hippocampus, the part of the brain that helps form new memories… The more cortisol that’s released in response to negative experiences and thoughts, the more difficult it can become, over time, to form new positive memories.” Basically, the more often our actions are compelled by negative feelings, the more negativity we will harbor in general.

The only cure for such self-destructive patterns is to practice more mindfulness—the ability to objectively observe our feelings from moment to moment and decide if they are justified. Often, things probably are not as bad as we make them out to be. And even if things are that bad, there still must be something we can do to improve the situation. We must not give up.

And aside from mindfulness, meditation has been shown to have legitimate benefits as well. Use meditation to help you develop mindfulness. You can view the original article here:

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