Negative thinking can have more of an effect on your life and health symptoms than you think. A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research questioned symptoms from an experiment with “electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” a condition said to occur when people are exposed to low-energy electromagnetic fields (EMF). 147 participants, half of whom watched a documentary on this very questionable condition and its potential hazards, rated high on an anxiety scale compared to the half that watched an unrelated movie. This negative effect, dubbed the nocebo effect, is when negative expectations and fears can actually cause symptoms of illness.
Negative thinking was shown to play a much bigger part in the lives of Franco Beneduce’s patients. As a certified life coach, one of the more common statements he hears goes a little bit like this, “I might as well face it, I’ll always be fat.” Negative self-talk can change your life, and not in a good way. Beneduce explained that self-talk determines how you see and relate to yourself, and therefore, how you present yourself to others. If you keep telling yourself that you’re not smart, or can’t lose weight, or you have nothing interesting to say, chances are that’s how you’ll come off to everyone else.
Like the fear of EMFs, and the unfounded negative symptoms associated with the “condition,” believing over dramatized media reports can have a similar effect on the body and mind. The nocebo effect and overzealous negative thinking and worrying can cause serious anxiety that may lead to larger health problems. Berkeley Wellness suggests “knowing about your potential health risks” but recommends keeping your negative thoughts in check. Barker suggests distancing yourself from your negative thoughts, questioning them, saving them for later, or distracting yourself with a mentally engaging activity.
Conclusively, while transforming your negative thoughts and worries into positive thoughts and actions may take time and a lot of practice, it’s worth the confidence boost and healthy feelings. Turning negative self-talk into positive affirmations, and questioning sensationalist media reports, may certainly prevent over-thinking and the resulting anxiety. If you find that certain media outlets make you feel far more anxious than others, it is time to make a stand. Make a commitment to only visit that site 5 times a week, instead of every day. After that, you can gradually start lowering the amount of times you visit that site. Before you know it, a large source of your anxiety will be gone.
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