Friday, March 28, 2008

Poison thoughts

There's the old joke about the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. The pessimist knows that the optimist doesn't have all the information.

And so, I want to rant about how we manage to put ourselves into a funk for when we think about bad things happening to us.
Negative thoughts.
The brain works in mysterious ways but it is a fact that when we contemplate a stressful situation and dwell on the details, our brain experiences that situation as real and responds accordingly.
For example, you might do a trial run in your mind of a confrontation with your boss. You will go over what you want to say and probably rehearse the bosses response and consider your possible counter responses. Such a stressful situation that exists only in your mind at the moment will trigger real physical responses in your body that eventually cause your heart to palpitate, your adrenalin levels pumping and in fact your body reacting to stress as if it really was happening and not just a rehearsal in your mind.

Similarly, we might entertain negative (depressing) thoughts and lo and behold, the next thing you know you actually feel depressed. It is the feedback action between mind and thoughts. let's call them "poison thoughts" that will trigger reactions in your brain that sets off a series of chemical reactions that result in your body responding to fear,flight or depression.

Here is an interesting analysis of how negativity can be measured. Or what's your optimism ratio?

Coping mechanisms.
From meditation, exercise, hobbies, religion, medication,psychologists,psychiatrists.
Take your pick. Whatever works for you as long as it works.


Jeannie said...

Interesting. I never thought of myself as pessimistic (I always hope for the best and never dwell on what bad might happen). However, reading this makes me think perhaps I do use a lot of negative language. I'll have to be more aware.

Lexcen said...

Jeannie, of course I had you in mind as well as other when posting this blog. I hope it helps.