Overthinking is extremely common and can affect most people at one time or another in their lives. There are many types and severities of negative thought patterns. They can range from an occasional fleeting negative thought to constant and intrusive thoughts that prevent you from optimising the quality of your life.
The Psychological and Physical Impacts of Overthinking
Mental health conditions and negative thought patterns are inextricably interlinked. Often, when people suffer from mental health problems, even mildly, this can cause them to have negative thoughts. Similarly, negative thoughts can lead to mental health conditions too, such as anxiety and depression as well as other mental health conditions like eating disorders and OCD.
Often, negative thinking or overthinking can cause social isolation because you simply do not have the energy or drive to be around other people. This, in itself, can further exacerbate your negative thought cycles. By eliminating negative thoughts from your life, you can significantly reduce the risks of suffering from conditions like anxiety and depression.
You can also alleviate some of the symptoms of these mental health conditions if you already suffer from them by transforming your thought patterns from negative to positive. While negative thinking can be disastrous for mental wellbeing, it can also have a catastrophic effect on your physical health too. When you fall into patterns of negative thoughts, this can raise your stress levels and trigger the release of excessive levels of hormones such as cortisol.
How Does Negative Thinking Originate?
There can be many origins of negative thinking. Origins can range from childhood experiences to recent traumas. In many cases, negative thoughts are established through a pattern of bad or unhappy experiences periodically throughout our lives, either generally or in a specific area.
For example, if you have repeatedly experienced unsuccessful or unhappy relationships, you might likely feel a negative attitude toward relationships in general. Childhood experiences are an extremely common way that negative thought patterns form.
Our personality tends to be mostly formed before we turn five years old. Therefore, bad experiences at a very young age can impact detrimentally on our lives as adults. For example, the loss of a parent through death or divorce when young can programme your brain to fear abandonment and to assume that people will always leave you, no matter what.
Of course, trauma, stress or upset at any age can lead to negative thinking or a tendency to overanalyse situations. Significant life events can often lead to negative thoughts or overthinking a situation and prevent them from focusing on the positives that would allow them to find joy in their lives.
Humans often find the bad things easier to believe than the good things. For some people, one negative comment can erase all the joy that was brought by 100 positive comments in an instant. While chronic negative thinking may be caused by a specific significant event or set of events in the past or present, it is also possible to go through periods where your thoughts take a negative turn simply because you are not feeling your best.
For example, sleep deprivation, malnutrition, general life stress and even the common cold can cause your thoughts to take a turn for the worst. Hormones may also have an impact on your emotions and thinking patterns too. Consequently, it is possible to see that there can be a multitude of causes that lead to negativity in your life.
How Negative and Positive Thinking Can Impact Quality of Life
Negative thinking can impact every single area of your life. It can be detrimental to your family life and relationship, to your friendships, to your career, to your hobbies and even to your sense of self.
It can strip you of your confidence and self-esteem and make you feel worthless, excluded from society and completely helpless. Conversely, when you reframe your thoughts and transform your mindset to a more positive one, you can see improvements in all areas of your life.
Positive mindsets can lead to you feeling more motivated in your work and hobbies. Most importantly, you can reclaim your self-confidence and remember that you are a wonderful person with a lot to offer in the world.
Positive Thinking Can Transform Every Area of Your Life.
Positive and negative are two polar opposites and when one exists it will naturally eradicate the other. If you think of negative thoughts like ice cubes and positive thoughts like sunlight, you can see that positivity can help to melt away a negative mindset.
Essentially, changing your mindset by reframing your perspective and using specially designed techniques can help to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. This can replace your faulty thinking patterns and cognitive distortions with healthier ways of viewing your life and the world around you.
If you are single, it is much easier to find a partner when you radiate positive energy because positive people are enjoyable to be around. Your career can also enjoy success from a radical shift in your mindset. Your boss and co-workers are more likely to value someone who has a positive perspective on work and life because you are contributing something great to your team.
Similarly, you may find renewed energy and confidence to pursue the hobbies and pastimes that you have enjoyed in the past. When your thoughts are on a negative downturn, you may feel fatigued and lacking in the motivation to engage in your favourite interests.
On the other hand, an intrinsic sense of positivity can imbue you with the getup and go to participate in the things that you love doing. Overall, your negative mindset has simply pushed the pause button on your journey to life successes.
I am certified in addiction counseling, public health, health education, mental health and I am also an AIDS-certified registered nurse with more than 30 years of experience and founder of Hindi health point