Stopping Negative Thoughts Can Help in Adrenal Fatigue
With numerous tasks to handle in today’s busy life, our brain processes thousands of thoughts every day. Based on the situation, our thoughts vary from being creative, happy, appreciative, and peaceful to angry, sad, judgemental, and fearful. While happy and positive thoughts can greatly help boost success and good health, negative thoughts can cause distress, anxiety, and health problems, holding you back. No matter how healthy you eat or how much you exercise, an agitated mind can interfere with your well-being. Stopping negative thoughts can be an effective way to regain peace mind and support great health.
Just as your stomach absorbs the food you eat, your brain also absorbs the thoughts you think. Hence, choosing good thoughts is imperative to ensuring a healthy life.
Several scientific studies have linked a peaceful mind with overall health. Each day we confront new problems and criticism. Often, we take on unpleasant tasks and situations which can create a ground to foster negative feelings.
These negative thoughts are not only a threat to your mood, self-esteem, and growth, but they also have implications for your physical health. Telling yourself continuously that you are not good can make you believe it. In fact, constantly berating yourself over time can lead to serious health issues such as anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Likewise, perceiving attacks from others can spike your fight or flight system, leading to increased stress which can become chronic.
This chronic stress can lead to fatigue which, along with other symptoms, can lead to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). Negative thoughts from stressful experiences such as work challenges, financial hardships, personal problems, and strained relationships can all contribute to the stress that causes AFS.
Detrimental Effects of Negative Thoughts
We can get into the habit of negative thinking unknowingly. However, with consistent negative thoughts, your mind unconsciously gets into a pattern that is hard to change. Negative thoughts are actually a stressor that can create havoc in your life.
The various harmful effects of negative thoughts include:
- Feeling fatigued
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling down
- Developing stress-related disorders
Negative thoughts can hamper positive thinking and the smooth functioning of your brain. Negative feelings and attitudes can lead to chronic stress which can disturb your hormone balance, damage your immune system, deplete the brain chemicals that create happiness, accelerate aging, and reduce your lifespan. Anger from negative emotions when poorly managed can lead to many health problems as well, including hypertension, poor memory, digestive disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
In today’s world, almost everyone faces the problem of negative perceptions. However, negative thought patterns can create even more problems for those who have adrenal fatigue. The stress of negative thoughts can tip the scales for those most vulnerable to stressors. Thus, people with AFS, or Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, should focus on positive thinking.
The state of your mind is known to have a direct impact on your health. Stopping negative thoughts is crucial for successful adrenal fatigue recovery.
The Relationship Between Negative Thoughts and Cortisol
The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response is comprised of six circuits and various organs that function together to deal with stress. When your body experiences stress, the adrenal glands start releasing cortisol to combat stress. However, consistent stress can overburden your adrenals, reducing the level of cortisol secretion. This reduces your body’s ability to cope with stress.
Negative thoughts can also trigger stress and activate your brain’s fight or flight response. The fight or flight response releases cortisol, which can deplete your adrenals. With consistent negative thoughts, this physical stress gets activated repeatedly leading to health problems including AFS. This stress and fatigue aggravates negative thinking, leading to anxiety and depression which accompanies more negative thinking, producing a vicious cycle which over time can lead serious conditions.
Having healthy cortisol levels helps positive thinking. Cortisol is at its peak in the morning and slowly reduces through the day. However, when you are under stress, your cortisol levels spike throughout the day. Stress from negative thoughts raises your cortisol levels. Stopping negative thoughts reduces cortisol levels and helps serotonin secretion which supports healthy brain functioning.
Stopping negative thoughts helps you take charge of your health and overall well-being. It helps turn around the cycle of cortisol, stress, and perceived problems that can cause so many health issues down the line, and it just makes you feel happier.
How To Determine If You Have Negative Thoughts?
Each one of us has our own set of beliefs and perceptions. While some can take criticism lightly, for example, others are extremely sensitive to it.
So where do these negative thoughts come from? Many negative thoughts are triggered by challenges in our environment. Media, strained relationships, financial issues, rejection, loss of loved ones, and criticism are some of the factors which can trigger negative thinking. For instance, being surrounded with egocentric colleagues in the workplace can trigger negative thoughts and emotions which can further lead to fatigue.
In most cases, you subconsciously start developing negative thoughts and your brain is plagued with them even before you realize it.
Being able to recognize when you are having negative thoughts can help you stop before they start to take a toll on your life. Here are some simple ways to know if a perception is negative.
Characteristics of Negative Thoughts:
Constant underestimation. What you think makes what you are. By constantly thinking that you are no good, you ultimately start believing it. As a result, you start to constantly underestimate yourself.
Mental unrest. In life, there are things that let you down and generate negative emotions. If you carry negative emotions with you and are unable to get rid of them, it can hurt your mental peace, disturbing the tranquility of your mind.
Being impatient with yourself. When you are working to achieve certain goals in life, it is important to be patient and give yourself time. Exerting excess pressure on yourself will not work. It takes time for things to work. Flowers gradually bloom with time. Excess water and sunlight will only make the plant wilt.
Self-criticism. Learning from one’s mistakes is essential for achieving success. But if you are blaming yourself for mistakes in the past, then the chances are high that you are feeding your brain with negative thoughts. This can only dampen your self-confidence.
Inability to ignore negative things. There are a lot of negative things going on around us. Having negative thoughts is not unusual. But it is vital to be able to let them go in order to free your mind from negative emotions. If there is nothing you can do about an issue, you need to move on.
Useful Methods for Stopping Negative Thoughts
Carrying negative thoughts with you is like carrying a bottle of poison that gradually sabotages your overall health. Your life will be much better if you let them go. The core requirements for well-being is noticing when your thinking starts to become negative and stopping negative thoughts to retain the tranquility of your mind. Your mental health plays a significant role in shaping your overall health, especially if you are undergoing the adrenal fatigue recovery process.
Here are some useful ways to help cease negative thoughts:
Write it down. Identify your negative thoughts and write them on paper. This will help you understand the things that trigger negativity so you can avoid them. It can also help you determine whether a thought is purely negative or a product of a problem or perception that you need to work through in order to let go. Then take some time to focus on the positive, things that bring you happiness or appreciation.
Don’t believe it. You cannot stop thinking negatively as long as you believe in it. The best way to stopping negative thoughts is to stop believing in them. Negative thoughts lose their hold on you when you no longer believe in them. This significantly helps you transition from being pessimistic to optimistic. Try meditation or yoga to help relax your body and focus on the calm center that is always there regardless of what you are thinking.
Practice gratitude. Practicing a sense of gratitude enables you to take a closer look at life and understand the reality beyond negative thoughts. Life becomes more clear and simple. It helps you shed negative mental cycles and restore tranquility. You start to enjoy life in the real sense. Make a list of things you are grateful for, or take the time to notice one thing each day you truly feel gratitude for.
Seek out positivity. Negative thoughts are a two-sided coin. Avoiding things that bring you down will help you switch to positive thinking. Read inspiring real-life stories and seek the company of people who are encouraging and bring out the best in you. By encouraging positivity in your life and practicing positive thinking every day, you will be astonished to find how they culminate into a positive attitude within you.
Practice mind relaxation exercises. Having a peaceful mind is an effective path to stopping negative thoughts. Practicing various mind relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga helps to achieve a relaxed and peaceful mind. Meditation shifts the negative thought patterns by helping you practice letting go of thoughts and returning your attention to the present moment. You are okay in the moment, regardless of whatever you may be thinking, and this practice helps return that sense of peace.
Practice your hobby. Often in life, we have to do things we don’t like. This can stir negative emotions and cause distress. Doing things you like helps to soothe and relax your mind, bringing in joy, happiness, positive attitude and peace in life. Hence it is important to take time to indulge in your favorite hobby. It could be anything from painting, gardening, swimming, running, reading, or just taking your dog out for a walk.
Believe in yourself. The mind is infused with positive thoughts when you believe in yourself. Notice how what and who you are right now is good. For instance, insanely thin bodies are always being promoted as “fashionable”. This can make you think negatively about your own body. Instead, believe in yourself and understand the fact that having an extremely thin body is actually unhealthy. This can help in stopping negative thoughts and heightening self-esteem.
Practicing these simple techniques can prove an effective way to develop positive thinking.
Possessing negative instincts is not unusual in today’s busy and ever demanding life. There is no harm when a negative impulse lasts for a few moments. But carrying negative thoughts for a longer duration can generate negative emotions and cause stress-related health issues. Further, negative thoughts can also create fear, low self-esteem, anger, distress, depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
All of us have negative thoughts at some point in our lives. However, when you have adrenal fatigue, the body is not strong enough to handle the stress from negative thoughts. For those who have AFS, stopping negative thoughts and practicing positive thinking, along with a nutritious diet and exercise, can prove effective for successful adrenal fatigue recovery. Identifying sources of negative thoughts and avoiding them, practicing a positive attitude, and doing yoga and meditation can help boost positive thoughts for better health and wellbeing.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
Why would you want to try stopping negative thoughts?
Stress is the root cause of several health issues including fatigue, cardiovascular illness, and cancer. Negative thoughts trigger stress, which can be bad especially for people with adrenal fatigue. Stopping negative thoughts can prevent negative emotions and numerous stress-related health problems.