How does negative thinking affect mental health? Steps to deal with negativity.
The current situation of COVID has compelled us to view ourselves and our environment with altered perspective. There have been many situations that have led us to think or discern in a way that might create a hindrance to optimally maintain our physical and mental health. The present situation of constant lockdowns and relaxations have conceived severe sense of uncertainty among us which has in turn directed us to cultivate a pattern of negative thoughts.
Perceiving a situation in an unfavourable light has become our primary response to any stimulus which might help us be prepared for any adversity that might strike us. Experiencing negative thoughts every now and then can be considered as normal because we as humans cannot think about positivity all the time. We tend to have taken the later part of the phrase ‘Hope for the best and prepare for the worst’ very seriously and it has become a template for all the thoughts that cross our mind. Having to prepare for the worst every single time tends to have a very exhaustive effect on our body as well as our mind.
Many environmental and social factors may be responsible for us to cultivate a negative thought pattern in the first place. We tend to ignore these factors which later on might turn into serious self-confidence concerns. Blaming oneself for the situation faced may rob us of the faith we have in our being. Negative thought pattern tends to prevent us from vocalising our concerns which leads to unhealthy expressions of emotions and displacement of anger on the people not associated with our situation which further leads to strained relationships.
Constantly thinking about the outcomes and assuming a negative consequence tends to put us in a spot where we constantly keep over analysing the thoughts leading to a pessimistic attitude which prohibits us from looking at the affirmative side of the situation. Some psychological and physiological studies have put light on the detrimental effects of the aforementioned conditions.
Physiological aftermath of having continuous negative thoughts include:
- Severe headache
- High blood pressure
- Hormonal imbalance
Psychological consequences with unimaginably debilitating effects include:
- Self-esteem concerns
- Behavioural problems
- Chronic worry
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Panic attacks
- Substance use
Now that we have seen the ramifications of unhealthy negative thinking process, it becomes imperative for us to be able to deal with it effectively in order to ensure overall aced well-being.
Rise above and beyond your bigotry
It is understandable that our brain naturally tends to go and think the most adverse outcome. Therefore, we have to start practising certain behaviours where we can divert our attention to something that we like and not keep brooding on our thoughts. Reinvent the freeze and run game wherein you freeze your negative thought, divert your attention and do something that makes you feel good.
Acknowledge and let it go!
Practise accepting the situation that has taken place be it negative or positive. Only after one accepts the condition, can one work on letting it go. Think about the circumstances, if they are or aren’t in your control. If they are, we can work on making the condition better and if they are not, we can learn to let it go by simply letting ourselves think that whatever we do, its regulation is not in our control.
Make peace with your inner critic
Blaming oneself for any kind of shortcomings comes naturally to us. Our inner critic tends to exercise self-blame as a coping mechanism but we need to understand that to err is human. We are bound to make mistakes and the sooner we accept that, the better our wellbeing will be. Accept that we will criticise ourselves from time to time but we also need to give ourselves a break from this, so that our mind can breathe!
Every problem has a silver lining
This might sound a bit unusual but every circumstance we face, or every situation we encounter does teach us something or the other. Be it learning self-control or be it practising gratitude. Instead of being self-criticising, try to look at what the problem is trying to each us because learning that would help you gain another essential skill that might prove useful in the long run.
Seek professional help
It is 101% acceptable to seek help for your concerns. Sometimes one might find it difficult to deal with their problems on their own and ignoring this might lead you further down the rabbit hole. In order to avoid this one must welcome the fact that it is okay to seek help as it might help you gain a new perspective and empower you to look at the solutions.
Mpower Centre in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune are one stop solutions if one is struggling with any mental health concern. These centres follow effective help seeking practices and offer services where one can get help and assist you to look at circumstances in a positive light.
Check out the centre locations nearest to you- https://mpowerminds.com/contact
Your thoughts are what make you. Take charge of it and encourage yourself to be happy in the moment!
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