10 thoughts on “Toxic Thinking Patterns – How Pseudo “Feel-Goods” Put Your Brain on Hold (1 of 2)

  • July 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I thought this was a great article till I got to the last line. Simple? It’s taken me 15 years to simplify my life.

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  • July 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Great article. Is there a follow-up on HOW to do this simple solution of changing toxic thinking?

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    • July 25, 2011 at 8:35 am

      Yes, there will be a follow up, Erica, and thank you for asking. While the principles of healing and changing the brain are “simple” – healing processes themselves are life long and involve the practice of conscious intention, awareness, love and compassion, deep breathing, meditation, lifestyle changes – a new way of being and relating to self and life. As we are wired with caring circuitry and the brain is a relationship organ, our recovery always follows a path from intense fear/rage/despair-inducing thoughts to developing a greater capacity for empathic connection and compassion for both ourselves and others. And, this is NOT simple or easy to do, and naturally more challenging in some cases than others. So appreciate your comment and support. Thanks again for stopping by.

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  • July 25, 2011 at 1:56 am

    What is the correlation between toxic thoughts and severe mental illnesses (brain disorders) like Depression and Bipolar Disorder I and II? Based on your article people with these disorders can just think differently about themselves in a better light, and in time their illnesses will fade away. I understand and agree that toxic thinking patterns does significantly affect people in various degrees. However, when a person is severely depressive, manic, or in the throes of psychosis, being able to think rationally or great about themselves is not possible.

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    • July 25, 2011 at 8:26 am

      Hi, Marilyn, thanks for the comment and excellent questions. Just 10 years ago, few scientists would have taken the position my article takes. Not so today. While still controversial, the latest neuroscience has toppled many old assumptions about the brain, and psychology is just now catching up. Neural scientists such as Michael Meaney toppled the idea of genetic determinism that is perhaps largely responsible for expanding the use of psychotropic in the last 4 decades (perhaps by no coincidence) to increasingly alarming rates of use today. Advances in brain imaging technology have led to a now indisputable conclusion that the brain retains its “plasticity” – its ability to be rewired – throughout life. It can forge new connections, repair damaged regions, grow new neurons, change the circuitry to allow us to forget or remember, or imagine new possibilities — and yes – it can quiet circuits that once crackled with disordered activity, such as that which occurs with depression, OCD, bipolar, even PTSD. Studies show that by willfully treating compulsive urges to indulge in “falsehoods” (i.e., “I can’t regulate my emotions, I’m bipolar)- rather than “truth” about ourselves (“i have the ability and can …”) – OCD patients have altered the region of their brain that generated these toxic thoughts. Recovery always involves change in thoughts and beliefs as they form the perception filters that our body automatically turns. You are correct in questioning the notion that it is a simple process. Yes, this is NOT simple or easy to do, and naturally more challenging in some cases than others. Yet, the truth is that something as minute as thought has the ability to alter the neurochemical connections of our brains and lead to recovery of mental illness. Thanks so much for commenting!

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  • August 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    It’s great advice but a caution on self-pity. It can be deadly.

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    • August 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks for commenting, mike59 – I totally agree that self-pity is a potentially “deadly” thinking pattern. It sure kills a lot of healthy cells in the body in the very least. Thanks again!

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  • April 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    All I can say is WOW! I’ve been sober for 28 years and have suspected that negative thinking and its cousins are as addictive as drugs and alcohol but never really had any mechanics as to how it works. Your article confirms my suspicions and explains how this happens. Thank you so much. I look forward to future articles.

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    • April 12, 2012 at 8:00 am

      My pleasure, msmerlin! Congratulations for being sober for 28 years, and thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights!

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  • November 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Hi, I want to ask you about processes to change the brain and thought patterns. For about 10 years now I have had the same blocks, fears and frustrations around intimacy, and it kills me. It effects all in my life, makes me hardened, closed, too focused on work, not taking risks.
    And now I am noticing how they just keep growing and I hardly reconise the lover in myself. I just tried to get back with my ex boyfriend and it felt amazing for the 1st 2 days then the fears creeped in. I am very sad now for I destroyed it between us, the thought patterns became strong and I couldn’t feel if I loved him or if I just wanted to feel love. This is a common thing. I often can’t feel, or make decisions. Then that thought went around until I believed it. The more it grew the sadder I got, and I started to get angry towards him. I hated every time he was nice or kissing me, I hated every time I expressed my anger. It controlled me and the thought of being alone in these loops sends me in deep depression. Could you recommend how to go about this whilst you have an unsure opportunity of love right in front of you. I dont think he can take anymore. Do I just wait out? Or go for it. I am exhausted in this and just feel like it will cause so much pain.

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