- Our thoughts not only affect our mood but they also affect our body and soul. When you breathe in positivity, you automatically feel as if you’re on top of the world where the sun is shining brighter than usual. But when you let your negative thoughts overtake your mind, you don’t just end up in a bad mood but you also end up harming your brain. Yes, you read that right. In a new research published by the scientists at the University College, London has revealed that persistent negative thoughts is linked with cognitive decline which may lead to harmful protein deposition in your brain, ultimately resulting in greater chances of suffering from dementia in the future.
Natalie L. Merchant, DPhil, senior research scholar and lead author of the above mentioned research, revealed that certain thinking patterns seen in depression and anxiety could be an underlying reason why dementia is commonly seen in middle and older age individuals. During the course of their study, the researchers recruited about 115 people over the age of 55 years. Over a time period of 2 years, the participants were asked questions on how they felt about negative experiences. The questions mainly focused on how the past events may have affected an individual and also how much the future worries them. The participants were assessed on the basis of changes in their cognitive functions such as thinking, spatial cognition, language and attention span. In addition to this, 113 participants also underwent regular PET scans to monitor the deposition of harmful proteins such as Tau and amyloid in their brain. These proteins are usually seen in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The results of the research indicated that participants who showed signs of repetitive negative thinking, experienced decline in their memory and cognitive abilities. These participants also showed extra depositions of tau and amyloid proteins in their brains. Hence it was concluded that repetitive negative thoughts can definitely put you at a higher risk of developing dementia or other memory-related problems in the future.
5 Ways to Shut Your Inner Critic:
If you’re dealing with a difficult situation, then give yourself an advice you’d give to a friend who’s going through something similar. This is because we tend to be a lot harsher on ourselves than we are to the people we love. We tend to forgive people a lot easier than we tend to forgive ourselves. So next time a difficult situation comes up, write it down on a piece of paper, then look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself the same advice that you would’ve given to a friend. Wake up in the morning and fill your soul with some self-affirmation thoughts such as “I am the architect of my life and today I’m brimming with joy and self-motivation. My body is healthy, my mind is brilliant and my soul is at peace.”
2. Bye-Bye Negative Beliefs
Each one of us has deep seated negative beliefs about life and about ourselves. Due to these barriers that you’ve created for yourself, your inner critic always ends up telling you that you’re useless and good for nothing. To overcome these negative thoughts you might end up picking up some bad habits such as alcohol and drug abuse. These beliefs can really hold you back from moving ahead in your life. The first step towards debunking these beliefs is to realize that these thoughts just originate from your fear and they are not true. Once you establish the fact that these beliefs are just fictions of your imagination, you will be able to identify your areas of strength. You’ll be able to see through the fog and identify the proud moments in your life and you will start seeing yourself in a whole new light. You can also make a list of your strengths and keep it in your purse or your wallet and whenever you feel low, you can read the list.
3. Let it Out
It’s important to not let your negative thoughts build up inside of you. Talk about them to the people who love you or seek out medical help if needed. You can even write down your negative thoughts and feelings and burn or throw away that paper to instill the feeling of letting go inside of you. Acknowledging your feelings is important in the process of letting them go.
4. Don’t Expect to Feel Good All the Time
A lot of us make a mistake in thinking that the goal of life is to feel happy all the time. But we fail to realize that it’s not possible to do so. And that expectation kills us from the inside. The goal of life is not to feel good all the time but to be able to overcome the bad days. Life is not consistent and you will have to deal with the good and the bad by keeping in mind that the sun is going to shine again. Even the darkest nights end in a beautiful morning. Be kind to yourself and know that as long as you are challenging yourself to get out of bed even on your worst days, you’re already doing enough.
Humans are always under the assumption that the people who surround them and love them will always fully understand what they are going through. But that’s not true. If you keep expecting others to understand your situation then you’re going end up alone and disappointed. You need to remind yourself again and again that it is not possible for people to understand what you’re going through and that is okay. You’re enough for yourself and you can overcome any problem that you’re going through. You are all the support you need.
We all walk different paths and our journeys are different too. It’s important to understand that we all heal differently and in the end what’s important is to continue working to seek better mental health. Always be your own sunshine and learn to forgive yourself on bad days. Trust your process and remember that one day the story of how you overcame this stage in your life, will be someone else’s survival guide.