Positive Thinking and the Brain

You've heard often that it's important to think positively, right? Have you wondered why this is important? Has it ever occurred to you that the focus of modern popular psychology is concentrated on positive thoughts? The main reason lies in the discovery that positive thoughts act to stimulate the brain, soul, and body and contribute to progressive personal development and business success, maintaining the health of the whole organism, and especially the immune system. Additionally, it is fascinating to consider that scientific studies have found that people with positive thoughts have long lives. It seems to me that these are sufficient reasons to deal seriously with education about positive thoughts ... and let's start in order.

At the beginning, it is very important to understand that positive thinking is not just a smile or short-term happiness. Positive thinking is a lifestyle, in fact a constant emission of positivity. In fact, in order to stimulate positive physiological processes in the body, it is not enough to read funny tweets, watch a comedy, get praise at work, or buy yourself long-legged shoes, you need to emit positivity at a deeper brain level.

Logically, the question that follows is how to achieve this?

Every thought, whether positive or negative, stimulates certain electrochemical or neurochemical processes in the body. This happens every day for the simple reason that every single thought, each one the product of the mind, is actually energy. If you stop now for a moment and remember a negative event that has triggered feelings of fear, anger, nervousness, pain, or despair, did you feel some kind of dismay and anger in the body?

I’m sure you did. Now imagine something nice, something that brings a smile to your face, which gives you the feeling of freedom, peace, security, love, and gratitude.

I’m sure you have noticed the difference in how this makes you feel, and do you know what’s fascinating about it? What made you feel one way or the other began with your own thoughts, which means that you absolutely have control over your emotions, thoughts, and mind. Once you understand that you can direct your thoughts and take control of them, you will achieve complete freedom to choose for yourself only positive thoughts. When you do that, your brain begins to operate with a completely different program directing its function!

For a long time in the genetics field there has been an area called ​​epigenetics, which studies in depth external influences on the genes and the functioning of the human organism. The key discoveries of the epigeneticists have incuded the observation that the outer environment in most cases has a stronger effect on the expression of some genes than the genotype itself.

In practical terms, this means that when you experience unwanted situations (which are external factors), your brain triggers a series of reactions that have a totally different neuronal structure than the one that is created when you experience an exciting situation, full of joy and satisfaction. Namely, each cell has thousands of different receptors, which have the ability to receive different preferences by binding peptides (which are formed by the coupling of amino acids that are copied with DNA sequences).

These neuropeptides act as neurotransmitters and transmit nerve impulses (which actually reflect an emotional state) to an effector (gland, muscle), and this brings about a certain reaction (for example the secretion of adrenaline in fear or excitement).

Depending on the information being transmitted (the emotion), the pulse comes to the right prefrontal cortex of the brain (for negative emotions) or to the left prefrontal cortex of the brain (for positive emotions). This clearly shows that positive and negative emotions have a completely different path of transmission in the brain.

Bearing in mind that cells are interconnected through various neural linkages, they function in essentially the same way. Given negative thoughts, the entire set of cells becomes accustomed to negation and forms a neuronal structure corresponding to negativity (which means that the hormones of well-being, creativity, and happiness are not in effect).

If you are not sure whether your brain forms negative or positive neuronal structures, just consider if there is a habit that you adhere to, and whether it reflects a sense of negativity about yourself. For example, do you notice yourself saying that you are a person who is constantly late? Or do you say that you are a person who can never lose weight? Or are you convinced that you are a non-talented person?

If so, you can be certain that your nerve connections are accustomed to negative emotions, and each time you put yourself on a diet you say that you are sure not to succeed, just because it is difficult to make the brain change the neural structure!

If you have concluded from the paragraphs above that there is a certain amount of negativity in your, I need to encourage you to reprogram your organism, and keep in mind that any established neural network can change.

The basic way to do this is to change your mental habits! If you have said so far that you are a late person, change it! Say you are the person who always comes on time! Remember, every word and thought delivers the energy that drives neural connections, which affects your brain either as food or as a burden. If you are ready for various activities when you are happy and satisfied, imagine what you would achieve if you could transmit a positive attitude to your brain.

Dr. Fredrickson, at the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, through her long career of studying positive thinking has come to the conclusion that positive thinking creates many neural connections that give different emotional manifestations of joy, happiness, satisfaction, creativity, inspiration, the desire for work and promotion, to a constant good mood, love, and mental productivity.

It has also been established that positive thinking helps to extend the visual scope, openness to different experiences, and then develops a more tolerant, critical attitude toward reality. It is very interesting to note that it has been found that positive thoughts enable a sense of empathy, trust, understanding, and serenity in social, emotional, and business relations.

In practical terms, if you notice that a person excels in all fields of life, be certain that this person radiates positive energy and that many positive thoughts are at work. The most prominent findings state that positive thoughts greatly improve the individual’s general state of health and can help to cure the body of the most severe diseases.

It is interesting that various studies have shown that positive thoughts prolong life by stimulating a more stable immune system and a comprehensive regeneration of the organism.

Based on all of the above, if science has shown that positive thoughts act affirmatively on our brains, organisms, and emotional states, social relations, cognitive development and self-transformation of the mind, we only need to try and find a positive perspective in every moment of life.

Photos: Shutterstock

More about positive thinking you can read on our Magazine.


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