How does negative thinking affect my body?

Are you susceptible to an ANTs infestation? ANTs stands for automatic negative thoughts, the thoughts that come into your mind automatically and ruin your day. I think of these negative thoughts like ANTs at a picnic that infest your psyche and ruin your performance.

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain imaging studies shows that negative thinking reduces activity in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is involved with coordination, motor control, and speed of thought. So when you think negative thoughts, you actually become less coordinated and think more slowly.

This helps explain what's behind many of our slip-ups and unforced errors. You know how this works: All of a sudden, you can't get your first serve in or master a complicated step. Some people call it "psyching yourself out" of a good performance. You think, I know I'm going to blow it. And you do.

To regain your edge, you need to learn how to kill the ANTs. Did you know that happy, positive, hopeful, loving thoughts release chemicals that make you feel good? Scientific studies have found that changing your thinking can be as effective as antidepressant medications to treat anxiety and depression.

Take note, I am not recommending pie-in-the-sky happy, delusional thinking. What I want you to adopt is honest thinking. Honest thinking can help you feel happier, think more clearly, and boost athletic performance.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.