Flying from Sydney to the UK, I got to thinking about the impact of negativity on us emotionally. I encountered a lot of negative people on the journey. I had a toddler in tow, so I sort of expected it, but it was surprising just how many people assumed he was going to act out before he’d even had a chance to sit down.
But, if I’m honest, I’d kind of assumed the same thing. It’s interesting to stop and think how many of our thoughts automatically go towards the negative and allowing our minds to do so, can actually have a huge affect on our wellbeing and health.
So what is the real impact of negativity?
Studies show that every time you focus your attention on negative or threatening information, your brain triggers the release of stress hormones and neurotransmitters, like adrenalin and cortisol. These stress chemicals can help boost our strength and speed, but their effect on our mental functioning can be quite detrimental; disrupting our ability to think logically, communicate and process language, while at the same time causing feelings of anxiety, irritability and depression.
Recognising the signs:
Do you question your ability to do a task, or assume something is going to be difficult before it’s even begun? If your boss comes to talk to you, do you automatically think it’s something bad? Do you worry people are talking about you or thinking bad of you? Worrying about things that haven’t happened and assuming the worst isn’t going to do you any good. To quote Gandhi:
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
Let’s change that to “woman” and we’re set!
It’s easy to fall into this trap. As parents, we always tend to question each decision and worry about negative consequences. Even the most positive of people will attest that becoming a parent changed them in this way. Well, worrying is one thing, but if those thoughts are becoming too negative, it’s time to turn it around.
How can we become more positive?
So we know the impact of negativity isn’t great, how do we try to tackle this? An app could be the solution! Imagine that, an app that can make you a more positive person? It may sound silly, but CBM (cognitive bias modification) studies show that it can actually cure cases of anxiety and depression; so ridding us of our instinct to be a bit negative should be a piece of cake.
Just as focusing your attention on negative or threatening information can trigger the release of ‘stress’ hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, focusing your attention on positive information triggers the release of the ‘happy’ chemicals, like endorphin, serotonin and oxytocin. That’s how the apps work and it is therefore perhaps not surprising that bias modification applications have been showing such positive results in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mood disorders.
We asked a Sydney therapist for his recommendation on apps and Mood Mint was at the top of the list.
Here are some others we found:
Christmas is coming – ’tis the season of good will and cheer, so why not give it a go and download your way to some positive vibes?