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Did you know that our minds and bodies are connected, and this connection can actually impact your anxiety? Today we are going talk about how negative thoughts affect our body and can cause anxiety. Can you relate to your thoughts affecting how your body feels? Could you use some help for ways to decrease anxiety? These points could help.

How are Our Thoughts & Bodies Connected?

The mind-body connection is a communication that occurs between our thoughts and how we feel. Our feelings don’t just reside in our mind. Our feelings can also alter how we feel physically. Each feeling that we have is actually linked to a physical sensation within our bodies. Have you ever been scared and begin to sweat? If so, this is one example of how a feeling, being scared, will physically affect our body, perspiration. The brain is connected to the rest of our bodies via nerve passageways. So, when our thoughts become overwhelmed with an emotion, so does our body. But what happens when we maintain a pretty constant flow of negative thoughts? Is the body also under constant negative impact? Let’s find out.

Do Thoughts Affect Our Body?

There is scientific evidence that proves our thoughts affect not only our mood but also our health. So, if we have a tendency to lean toward negative thoughts or negative outcomes, our chances of health issues increase with chronic anxiety. If we largely expect a bad outcome, we can prematurely create anxiety within ourselves anticipating those outcomes. This cycle is not only hard to break, overtime, it takes a toll on our bodies and our health. Oftentimes people with anxiety will voice something similar to “If I could stop the anxious thoughts, I would, but I can’t.”. Can you relate to having negative thoughts and those thoughts affecting your physical body or level of anxiety? You are not alone. Below are just a few ways that unmanaged thoughts can affect our health.

  • Prolonged feelings of helplessness or hopelessness affect our hormone balance
  • Our brain can be depleted of chemicals needed to feel happy
  • Our immune system can be damaged from constant “fight or flight”
  • Chronic stress can decrease our life expectancy
  • Future plans and goals can be hard to obtain under negative self-scrutiny
  • Continuing to allow mostly negative thoughts and outcomes alters our outlook

Overcoming the habit and patterns of negative thinking can be hard but it can be accomplished. Be patient with yourself. It’s possible that many unresolved events in your life have created this pattern. It may take time to heal it, and that is ok. You can keep your eyes on the hope of something different.

How to Change Negative Thoughts?

When considering our thoughts and how they impact our bodies, the first step in change is deciding that change is needed. Once you have made the decision that change is necessary, you are more likely to follow through with the steps to accomplish it. Are your thoughts mostly negative? Do you desire help with changing that? Below are suggestions that could help.

  • Recognize and identify that you are having negative thoughts
  • Do not beat yourself up over having them
  • Replace that thought with a more balanced realistic one
  • Practice taking 3-4 deep breaths, in your nose and out your mouth, to reset your brain
  • Reframe your expected outcome with a more positive one
  • Keep a record of your negative thoughts to help identify false beliefs you may have
  • Remain committed to helping yourself heal
  • Seek Anxiety Therapy

Next Steps

Negative self-talk and anxiety are normal for each of us but when those thoughts take over and anxiety is a large portion of our lives, we need to seek help. When anxiety is left untreated it can affect our ability to function and live life. Upstate Restorative Counseling can help you identify unhealthy thought patterns, recommend tools to take steps to heal and help you develop a plan to grow into a future you desire. Past trauma or mental illness within your environment can impact more than you realize, even your life today. If this sounds familiar to you and you are needing help to sort through it, contact URC today.