Over centuries of development, our brains have evolved to respond to threat and ensure our safety and survival. Stress and worry can trick our brain into negative thinking, believing there’s some kind of danger. At this time, our fight or flight response steps in to deal with the often-imaginary threat.
Our brains are wired to respond to stress and negative thoughts more quickly. When we think positively, the brain assumes everything’s in order and that no control is needed at all. We all know that we’re the greatest enemy to ourselves and we alone can do the most harm to our body and mind.
Did you know?
That worrying, stress, and negative thoughts can be life-threatening? Experts say that stress can weaken our immune system and allow diseases to enter our body freely. This is probably more harm than all of us thought stress would bring, but they don’t call it ‘silent killer’ for nothing. If, however, you deal with the stress and negative thoughts, a positive attitude and thinking can heal the body and mind as well.
Medicine has been trying to prove that positive thinking can heal the body for a long time. The so-called ‘placebo effect’ is a trial in which patients are given fake drugs and saline injections such as sugar pills which resemble active medication, without the patient knowing if the treatment is active or inactive. This therapy has helped heal patients 18-80% of the time, which shows how powerful the mind is.
On the other hand, almost no one has heard about the ‘nocebo effect’. It’s the other side of the coin of the placebo effect – it doesn’t require anything more than using the mind to hurt or heal ourselves. The nocebo effect can be seen in shy people, who only get loose and talking to women when under the influence of alcohol.
If you manage to trick them into drinking, for example, non-alcoholic beer, they would have no problems talking to women until they realize they’re tricked. Remember Raj from the successful TV show Big Bang Theory? That’s exactly what the nocebo effect does. We all have the power to hurt or heal ourselves if we set our mind to it.
The Power of Positivity
Many studies have been done on this phenomenon and most of them have confirmed that positive thinking can lead to a better life. One interesting study was conducted by Dr. Masaru Emoto, who has studied crystals his whole life. Dr. Emoto studied how crystal forms structures in water when under the influence of different types of music.
He found out that positivity led to beautiful structures, while negativity and hate resulted in the creation of distorted crystal structures. Now, you may wonder what does this have to do with us? It’s only crystals. Well, remember how our bodies are made of up to 70% of water? The crystals structures were studied in water.
Such as Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas from UC Berkeley confirm Dr. Emoto’s findings. “In many cases, negative emotions such as hate, anger, and fear will become very problematic when they become permanent. In this case, they will influence a person’s outlook on the world and increase the risk of numerous diseases and conditions.”
The list of negative emotions includes cynicism. Contrary to popular belief, cynicism doesn’t make you look cool – in fact, it has been associated with a higher risk of dementia and other serious ailments.
A 2009 study conducted on more than 10,000 people showed that cynics are far more likely to suffer from heart disease and that pessimistic women have a higher risk of premature death. Luckily, all of this can be changed. As Dr. Simon-Thomas says, our brain creates new neural connections every minute of the day. The neurogenesis process isn’t only related to the creation of new memories – it’s been associated with mood stability as well,” she says.
So, instead of wallowing in negative thoughts which can clearly ruin your life, shift your mind into thinking more positive thoughts. After a while, you’ll see how things are becoming much better. Hey, you have nothing to lose, so why not give it a shot?