Why We Dwell On The Negative and How To Stop

emotional man listening his inner voice over grey background[su_dropcap style=”flat”]W[/su_dropcap]HY IS IT THAT we remember certain things more clearly than others? Some happy moments are recalled clearly yet it seems unhappy events stay with us no matter how hard we try to stop.

Research suggests that our emotions infuse our memories. Negative emotions tend to be felt more intensely than more happy thoughts.

Both Standford University and Harvard School of Business found that our brains handle unhappy moments differently. The depressing thought continues on hours after we go home. We carry work with us and dwell on negative thoughts. Learning how to stop is important as studies show our brain is hardwired to retain these negative experiences more than positive ones.

Understanding how we process our day can reduce the physical toll, this takes on our health. Our experiences affect our health many ways. Looking at a list, we can see links between patterns of our life and health.

  • Worry leads to sleeplessness
  • Anger causes ingestion
  • Depression slows the bowels
  • Sadness weakens the immune system

All emotions play a role in our lives. If someone dies, it’s healthy for the family to move through the stages of grief. On the other hand worrying about your college students getting to class on time is not healthy for you and promotes an unhealthy relationship.

Worrying temporarily can alert us to events we should pay closer attention to such as, “did I lock the door as I left?” Can be a reminder to slow down and give ourselves more time in the morning to complete home tasks before work.

Of course, all emotions can have an effect our sleep. New love can feel us with such wonder that sleeping seems irrelevant – until sleep demands it’s time. Anger also can keep us awake.

Resentment and irritation increase tension in the body and slows our ability to digest foods. This is why you should not take food or drink when upset.

Depression not actually an emotion is a state of being yet we say, “I feel depressed” or “I feel sad” when we express this behavior. Both men and women can have depression or sadness. They both tend to make us feel tired or exhausted. These feelings drain our energy and this affects your fluid movement in our bodies by slowing the lower digestive track down. Patients tend to sleep more and complain about weight gain.

How To Stop Dwelling On Negative Things

Since our brains are wired to focus on negative things, the tools to change where you put your attention are important. Developing different habits help. Taking more time in our day for ourselves is powerful.

For more on Why We Dwell On The Negative and How To Stop visit our website for a comprehensive article and how-to-worksheet.


Dr. Debra Arko Novotny
Dr. Debra Arko Novotny
OUR HEALTH is important to our success as entrepreneurs and business professionals. Dr. Debra Arko Novotny L.Ac, D.Hom. NMP, CHC specializes in helping women not let health, aging, and menopause get in the way of life. As a professional herself, she understands the need for easy ways to cook and stay fit as we age. She’s an expert in weight loss and menopause. She helps women navigate their busy work and family lives. Her simple approach to changing our behaviors and beliefs has helped women for over two decades regain control of their health and life. Dr. Deb is one of the leaders in Body-Mind-Lifestyle Design. She is a Natural Health Practitioner and coach. Debra is an author and speaker in health and business. Deb practices what she teaches. Natural health, Primal eating, and designing your life. In her office, she provides Functional Medicine, Easy Primal Eating, Acupuncture, and acupoint injections [rejuvenative medicine]. Work with her in-person or virtually by via her Websites: Enhanced Living Today, or Denver Acupuncture Health. OR reach out to her by EMAIL or Phone | Office (720) 515-4602. She resides in Colorado with her husband and family.

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  1. Dr. Debra, I enjoyed reading your thought provoking post. Certainly, and to a very large extent, we need to weed out negativity from our daily interaction with fellow human beings, nature, things etc.. BUT.. we should also ponder on whether “negativity’ is always ‘negative’; whether there is any positivity in negativity; whether we need negativity to be positive and many related suchlike questions.

    Perhaps this is also a cultural phenomenon, as it is an accepted form of expressing politeness. Negativism also provoke thought processes and attract attention. This becomes painfully obvious if you open any daily newspaper or magazine or browse through many an advertisement.

    I came across another interesting article

    In the kinds of humanitarian work I am engaged in, I found that accepting negativism (of any sort and kind) graciously and gleaning the positive “thought process” behind such negativism actually benefits both parties. We can “listen’ and ‘see’ the emotions that lie behind the negativism to create a positive outcome. Yes, we can re-train and