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Can Negative Thinking Make You Sick?

Grey_1Grey_1 Member Posts: 1,139 Member Member Posts: 1,139 Member
Title from the article:
http://news.health.com/2015/06/26/can-negative-thinking-make-you-sick/

I've always thought that this is one of those things that everyone knows, or was aware of in some aspect or another. I'm generally a very upbeat and optimistic person, but I'm around people all day who are not. I'm also aware there are many here who deal with negative emotions in one form or another. I thought maybe revisiting the subject may call some more awareness to it?

We live in a time where bad vibes and hostility abound - I'd like to submit that it does not always have to be that way for most individuals. With some, it may simply take a reminder or kind word. Others may need medication and/or long term help, depending on the issues at hand.

Personally, I find that if I choose to not let myself sweat the small stuff, I do tend to feel less exhausted at the end of the day. One small quote from the article:
All this said, there is a big bright spot for every Negative Nancy out there: by simply changing your perspective, you may just improve your health. “We know that neural pathways are changing every minute of your entire life and that your brain is generating new cells throughout your life. And this neurogenesis is not only associated with the formation of new memories, but with mood stability, as well,” Simon-Thomas says.

So cynics take heart—you have control over your attitude (and your well-being). As Simon-Thomas put it: “We can be deliberate about shifting our habits of feeling and thinking in the world.”

I dunno - worth discussing good people of Myfitnesspal? :)
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Replies

  • susanmc31susanmc31 Member Posts: 287 Member Member Posts: 287 Member
    I do think our attitude does play a factor in our health for sure. I found when I was in school there was someone who was so negative that I spent a lot of time around (we carpooled) and I did find that my attitude towards everything seemed to take a negative turn. It's been hard for me to try to bring myself back to my happy old self. I was introduced to meditation in the last year and I find is having a huge effect on my attitude now and I am now not as anxious or negative as I previously was. It is very easy to find negativity in everything but being positive feels so much better :smile:
  • Grey_1Grey_1 Member Posts: 1,139 Member Member Posts: 1,139 Member
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    I think negative attracts negative and positive attracts positive..

    Glass half full or glass half empty...i learned this from a mentor I had a while go..it was pointed out that i was severely living "glass half empty".. took many years to correct that.
    I think you're absolutely right. I have no evidence to support that of course, but it does seem to happen. I also believe negative seeks to take positive down to it's own level.

    Great feedback folks. Based on your comments it does really look like the article and theories are correct.

    @besaro - I have been in a mismatched marriage before. I really hope you/yours finds it's "balance"
  • rugratz2015rugratz2015 Member Posts: 593 Member Member Posts: 593 Member
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    I think negative attracts negative and positive attracts positive..

    Glass half full or glass half empty...i learned this from a mentor I had a while go..it was pointed out that i was severely living "glass half empty".. took many years to correct that.

    Totally agree that a negative outlook will attract negative vibes. If anyone one reads the 'Law of Attraction' it's basically saying that whatever you feed out to the universe is what you will get back.

    If you go out and smile at people they will, more often than not, smile back, AND pass the smile onto someone else, if you scowl at them, they will pass on the scowl etc.

    Not many people have a 'perfect' life - but we need to learn how to make the best of the one we have :smiley:
  • chocolate_owlchocolate_owl Member Posts: 1,695 Member Member Posts: 1,695 Member
    I think this paragraph from the article is a more likely explanation for chronic health issues correlated with negative moods:
    It could also be that people who feel bad—be it depressed, stressed, cynical, or otherwise—may also be more likely to smoke or drink alcohol, or less likely to be physically active, all things that can affect your health, of course. Or it’s possible that negative emotions might be an early symptom of a health problem, rather than a cause.

    If you believe the world's a terrible place or everyone is out to get you, do you have as much motivation to take care of yourself?

    I do think battling mental illness like depression or anxiety for a long time can lead to other physical issues, but I don't like lumping that into the same category of negative emotions the way this article does. Is there anything to suggest being cynical or bitter can be categorized as a mental illness, or is it the result of experiences and upbringing?
  • Grey_1Grey_1 Member Posts: 1,139 Member Member Posts: 1,139 Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    There are people that have a problem for every solution ....

    That is SO true - thanks for a great post :)
  • Grey_1Grey_1 Member Posts: 1,139 Member Member Posts: 1,139 Member
    I think this paragraph from the article is a more likely explanation for chronic health issues correlated with negative moods:
    It could also be that people who feel bad—be it depressed, stressed, cynical, or otherwise—may also be more likely to smoke or drink alcohol, or less likely to be physically active, all things that can affect your health, of course. Or it’s possible that negative emotions might be an early symptom of a health problem, rather than a cause.

    If you believe the world's a terrible place or everyone is out to get you, do you have as much motivation to take care of yourself?

    I do think battling mental illness like depression or anxiety for a long time can lead to other physical issues, but I don't like lumping that into the same category of negative emotions the way this article does. Is there anything to suggest being cynical or bitter can be categorized as a mental illness, or is it the result of experiences and upbringing?

    I honestly don't know. I would go out on a limb and say it can be habitual though. Cynical and bitter were two very good friends of mine many years ago, sort of a protective shell.

    I know that's anecdotal at best :) but I'd like to hear other opinions as well. I have some family members who thrive on negative/cynical/bitter, and the insight may be helpful.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,663 Member Member Posts: 10,663 Member
    Is there anything to suggest being cynical or bitter can be categorized as a mental illness, or is it the result of experiences and upbringing?

    People who have hammers notice a lot of nails. People who are predisposed to being happy or miserable probably find a lot of confirmation in the world. We all know somebody who sneezes and thinks they have pneumonia, not because they're hypochondriacs but because "it's just my luck."
  • robininflrobininfl Member Posts: 1,137 Member Member Posts: 1,137 Member
    The only sinus infection i ever had was the day after reading a very vivid description of how a sinus infection is formed and progresses. I wasn't sick when I read it, at all and I think my brain must have taken the article as instructions and sent them on down to my body. Never before or since have I had a sinus infection. I had the green snot, everything. Had to go to the doctor and have it treated.

    Since that experience, I absolutely, 100% believe you can psych yourself into being sick. It's not much of a stretch to think that thoughts can affect your body. Stress is a known risk factor for heart problems, and there is a cancer "type", all correlation but it's certainly not an unreasonable theory.
  • zcb94zcb94 Member Posts: 4,188 Member Member Posts: 4,188 Member
    I wholeheartedly agree, and also think that the reverse could be true. I'm going through a very awkward, extremely personal physical health problem, and the toll it's taken on my mental and spiritual health is undeniable. A dear friend recently pointed out, however, that my emotional mess might be causing my physical issue not to improve as fast as it would if "my glass was half-full." Ironically, I was a very happy person before my situation happened.
  • Grey_1Grey_1 Member Posts: 1,139 Member Member Posts: 1,139 Member
    Isn't rather natural to be struggling a bit as a result of an illness? I certainly hope you get well fast zcb94.
  • Grey_1Grey_1 Member Posts: 1,139 Member Member Posts: 1,139 Member
    Yes it totally is. I have severe fistulizing crohn's disease and I went through the grieving process. Add in the fact that there is tons of shame and stigma with my disease it's quite easy to get depressed about it but I try to be as positive as poss
    A close friend of mine had that. I certainly wish you the best...he went through a lot of pain and grief. :(
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