Mastering the habitual mind and escaping the Nocebo Effect
Negative thinking is not a sign of depression – it is a natural thought process indoctrinated into our habitual way of thinking.
External factors play on our thoughts and emotions which can often generate ill-feelings and unhealthy ideas.
The most powerful influences that infiltrate our perceptions on a daily basis are media stories designed to spread fear, together with politics and religion that evoke antagonism and anger.
The information we are fed through authoritative channel we are supposed to trust actually makes us delusional. Many of us do not realise this on the principle that it is ‘normal.’
That’s because much of our conditioning stems from childhood; our parents, social stigmas, peer pressure and an inept education system. We become so accustomed to “how things are” that we become ignorant and blind to what is really happening behind the veil.
As we mature and settle into adulthood, feelings of worry, anger, jealousy, hate, resentment, guilt and other negative thoughts are often part of our emotional make-up.
In almost every case, negative thinking leads to anxiety and depression.Because these feelings are natural, we barely notice they are there.
This destructive conditioning is a form of mental illness that can seriously take over your life to the point you can act irrationally. Eventually the body rebels against the abuse it receives and we suffer a nervous breakdown – or ‘mid-life crisis.’
In other scenarios, negative thinking effects the way you manage your life and can cause serious illness such as heart disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and so on.
More commonly, negative thinking will make you develop insomnia and give you potential digestive disturbances which can be very disruptive to your enjoyment of life. If left untreated, mental issues will eventually manifest as physical complaints.
The Nocebo Effect
Most people have heard of the Placebo Effect whereby patients that believe they have an illness are given a sugar pill as a medicinal cure. Because they think the medication is healing them, they feel better.
Research shows that it is actually the patient’s imagination that made them think they were ill and subsequently the imagination that “cures” them – the phantom of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The placebo effect is a prime example the power of the human mind can have on individuals. When we are unable to control our thoughts and emotions we are a danger to ourselves.
When we do not have mastery over our habitual thoughts and are unable to control our emotions, it is because the mind is delusional and we do not understand the true nature of ourselves.
The human brain is extremely self-damaging when left to run amok. Not only can you develop paranoia and other mental diseases that cause you to make poor choices, you can physically make yourself ill.
The Nocebo Effect is triggered by the brain releasing toxic chemicals that cause the body to go through dramatic changes.
Research has found that illness can be caused by worry, together with other negative thoughts that possess the habitual mind.
When the body is put under too much pressure from the secretion of toxic chemicals from the brain, illnesses develop.
Cliché terms like “scared to death” and “worried sick” are actual phenomena we can create psychosomatically without realising the damage we are causing to ourselves.
The brains fight-or-flight mechansim
When the human brain suffers from delusion – which is present in most people in today’s society whether we are aware of it or not – it puts us under unnecessary stress which causes the nervous system to activate the fight-or-flight mechanism.
When we are under stress and put in a situation in which we feel challenged, we will either rise to the challenge and fight – either verbally or physically – or we will run away from the danger.
If you become angry and choose to fight, your brain releases the chemical, epinephrine which causes high blood pressure.
This adrenaline rush is toxic to your body and will cause damage with frequent experiences of aggression, frustration or other forms of stress.
And the same is true when you feel the need to defend yourself in a casual discussion or when put under pressure at work, school or any other daily activity such as driving.
We experience the same physiological reaction in flight mode as well. Fear triggers the same chemical reaction as anger. And it is often the case that danger – or the need to defend yourself when you feel challenged – is not even a reality.
These feelings of paranoia and insecurity are generated by the ego which grows from delusional thinking of the conditioned habitual mind.
In ancient times when man was exposed to real life-threatening dangers more than we are today, they experienced more stressful situations.
Ancient Ayurveda doctors of India, Chinese doctors and shamanic healers of Native American tribes, knew of the Nocebo effect thousands of years ago. The English word we use today derives from Latin meaning, “I will harm.”
Alternative healing practitioners using ancient techniques and belief systems to treat patients, take into account the nature of a person before they diagnose a treatment.
Most of the time they discover the illness has been caused by negative thinking and ill-led lifestyles. Studies by western scientists are now beginning to reach the same conclusions.
Yet, doctors and psychiatrists are still plying patients with ineffective prescription drugs!
Killing you softly
Psychological studies show the anti-psychotic drugs cause more harm than good. Mental health professionals are under pressure after studies showed that neither anti-depressant drug therapy nor psychiatric counselling work.
The principle reason for this is because we do not really know how the human mind works. Therefore it is extremely easy for us to fall prey to indoctrinated social stigmas and react with emotions born from fear.
Our experiences in life generate egos that develop into bloated opinions. It can often be the case these ideas are delusional. And if you think you are not delusional, you are being delusional.
Psychiatrists have developed a list of symptoms that are fundamentally present in depressive thinkers.
Many of us can fall into these lines of thinking at some point, but if you do one or more on a regular basis, you are effectively pressing the self-destruct button.
- All of nothing
The all or nothing way of thinking typically generates feelings of failure – even when you succeed. Unless you get a perfect score, you feel you are a good for nothing hopeless case.
This way of thinking will turn you into a perfectionist and will always leave you with a feeling of dissatisfaction.
Furthermore, you are, or will become, overbearing and moody, thus bringing everybody down with you, essentially destroying your relationships.
- Diminishing the positive
Diminishing positive situations is when you find fault in something that you should celebrate. You passed your exam, but you could have gotten a better result, or you had a good night, but it would have been better if…
This is similar to all or nothing thinking, but to a lesser extent. But eventually your negativity will lead to the same results and is destructive to your soul and personal relationships.
- Jumping to negative conclusions
Jumping to negative conclusions involves convincing yourself something is wrong before the matter is even concluded. For example, you arrange a date with a member of the opposite sex, but expect them to call it off.
Because you are generating negative ideas, you cause yourself unnecessary suffering whilst at the same time dumping toxic chemicals into your body that could eventually manifest as a serious illness.
- Over generalisation
When something negative happens and you think every experience in the future will turn out the same, you suffer from over generalisation. This can make you defeatist to the point where you stop trying.
If you don’t set yourself goals in your life, simply because you have a fear of failure, you will never achieve anything, thus suffer from a lack of self-respect and generally have an unfulfilling and unsatisfactory life.
Furthermore, your lack of self-confidence, and perhaps even self-disgust, will negatively affect your relationships and probably manifest in anxiety which will ultimately be even more debilitating.
- Binocular thinking
Binocular, or microscopic thinking, is where you blow every little thing out of proportion and make a drama out of nothing.
Your overblown reactions induce stress and can make you unbearable to be around because there is never any peace.
At the other end of the spectrum, you ignore the positive aspects about yourself and others, yet over-magnify errors and weaknesses in everything.
- Should do and must do thinking
If you are constantly having thoughts that you should do this and must do that, you are likely to riddle yourself with guilt and self-hate.
Even worse, is when thinking along these lines is directed at other people, even though your theory may be unrealistic.
In such cases you are setting yourself up for disappointment and your frustration will most likely lead to an argument that could otherwise have been avoided.
This type of thinking involves taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong, even when things are out of your control.
Guilt-ridden feelings and sayings like, “I should have been there for him,” are typical in mothers and wives.
The counter-delusion to this way of thinking is when we refuse to accept any blame on behalf of ourselves and accuse other people for things going wrong.
In both circumstances, you stunt personal development and generate negative feelings of stress and frustration.
Solutions to prevent negative thinking
Negative thinking is not the result of depression, but the root. Therefore if you notice you fall foul of grand delusions on a daily basis, you need to address the cause of your depression.
The reason for your condition could stem back to childhood or adolescence without you realising it was there. If you are generally happy with work-life balance this is the most likely root.
It may be you are restless in a relationship or bored with your job, or you may have suffered a setback you have not recovered from yet.
Whatever the reason for being depressed, anxious, or suffering from other cognitive disorders that induce stress, there are plenty of ways to fix it. Taking up a new hobby, taking a break or changing your routine will help a little.
But the real work has to come from within. First of all, stop blaming and shaming yourself, try not to pass judgement over others and always look to find the positive in every situation rather than focusing on the negative.
You should also think about taking self-development lessons to help you identify weaknesses in your character and lines of thought so you can work on turning them into strengths whereby you will naturally feel better “in yourself.”