There is nothing as powerful as a changed mind! Part 1
The Chemical Side of Positive Thinking
Many addicts struggle with depression, anxiety, or an overall negative outlook on life. Many addicts have good reasons for these outlooks, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot change your mindset. In fact, if you want to fully recover, positive thinking is vital.
You may ask yourself, how is this possible? The answer is neuroplasicity. Loosely defined neuroplasicity is the brain’s ability to compensate for other parts of the brain. For example, if someone suffers a traumatic brain injury and part of the brain that controls speech is damaged, other parts of the brain will start to compensate and you will start using different parts of your brain for speech.
What does this mean for addicts? For those of you who are unaware of the many effects of drugs, drugs damage the limbic system. The limbic system is in charge of regulating your emotions. This means that as you take drugs you are interfering with your ability to regulate your emotions and feel happy without the drugs. However, due to neuroplasicity, and the amazing healing power of the brain, it does not have to be irreparably damaged. This is where positive thinking comes in.
What happens in the brain during positive thinking? There is a decrease in cortisol. Cortisol is the adrenal hormone that is essential to the maintenance of homeostasis. It increases as your stress increases. An increase of cortisol makes it difficult to sleep, makes you gain weight, increases your chances of getting sick, increases your pain, gives you an upset stomach, and increases depression. Therefore, positive thinking will help you sleep better and feel better physically and psychological.
Positive thinking also increases serotonin in the brain. Serotonin helps regulate mood. An increase in serotonin makes you feel content and happy.
Therefore, positive thinking literally changes the chemistry in your brain.
The next few posts this month will explain more effects of positive thinking.But for now, remember to be positive. Tell yourself that you are worth it! Tell yourself that nothing is impossible! Tell yourself that you will not give up on yourself! Tell yourself you will make it!
If you have any questions, please ask them, so that we can direct these posts to what will be most helpful to anyone who is reading this.
Have an awesome week! Stay strong!