Posted by Sandman on October 08, 2010 at 15:39:45:
In Reply to: Great knowledge here! posted by optimistic on October 07, 2010 at 15:45:22:
I wouldn't say that I am a professional, I do my own research in the area of thoughts focusing on neuro-science, consciousness, self awareness and addiction. I have learned a lot and still have a lot to learn.
There are probably several reasons why we choose to focus on and repeat negative thoughts. One major reason is a form of addiction. I will try to discuss this in without making it to complicated but still in more detailed than my Recurring Thoughts Pt. 2 post.
When we have a thought it will produce an emotion, happiness-sadness-anger-anxiety-lust-etc. approx. 20 total, and with each emotion comes a different peptide. Peptides act just like chemicals, they will find a corresponding receptor to attach to in our cells. Here is where it gets interesting. While the peptide is attached to the cell it is making changes to the cell itself. To make a long story short, every time we experience a thought a corresponding peptide is released and we experience an emotion (emotional neuro-peptide "ENP"). The ENP finds receptors on our cells and attach themselves for a period of time and leave. When we have the same experiences or thoughts on a daily basis the cell changes to a point where it wants that ENP to attach itself to the receptor site. (Side note: when an addicted cell divides it will have more receptors for that particular ENP making the desire even stronger.) The cell doesn't care if the peptide is related to a positive or negative emotion, it will tell the brain to give it a fix if the ENP it missing for too long. When the brain gets this signal from the cell asking for a particular ENP, the brain will project the corresponding thought/image that creates that particular ENP and once the cell gets it's fix it tells the brain thank you and the cycle will continue to repeat itself. At this point it has become an addiction just as if you are taking a medication that the body has become dependent on and addictions are difficult to quit.
So here is an example. We go for a few nights not sleeping well. The following day we stress over the thought of another night of not getting the sleep we want. This emotion produces a specific ENP that attaches to the corresponding receptors in our cells. After several days of a particular stress ENP attaching to the cells, the cells will be modified enough to ask the brain for more if it hasn't received its daily fix. The brain accommodates and we wonder why we can't let go of certain thoughts that give us stress or make us angry, sad, or keep us from falling asleep etc.
So the ENP addictions are as strong as addictions to alcohol or any other chemical. One day we may have “Thoughts Anonymous” similar to AA, however, today we need to work out a way to deal with this addiction on our own. There are information in AA that may be relatable to dealing with the emotions/thought addictions. In AA one of the first things they do is behavior modification. They don’t frequent the places or hang out with the people where alcohol was regularly consumed. Most people wiith strong emotional addictions are hanging out in places that help produce the emotions/thoughts and with people who help the process of getting their fix. Even if it is someone you don’t like being around, the addiction will win.
So the first step is to avoid the people, places and things that support the emotions/thoughts you want to eliminate. This may not be an easy task and other steps will be necessary. In AA, alcohol has to be replaced with something. It is the same with our emotions and thoughts.
I will spend some time focusing on how to break our negative emotion/thought cycles and will start a new string on the subject. Awareness is key and just knowing how it all works can be helpful in itself.
DeadMan doesn’t point to any one person so my posts are changing back to being by the Sandman.
Disclaimer, I am not an MD and my opinions should not be taken as medical advice. If you feel that you need assistance with medications and/or diagnosis, you should seek medical advice from a qualified physician.
- Re: Great knowledge here! optimistic 16:00 10/08/10 (1)
- Re: Great knowledge here! Sandman 16:27 10/08/10 (0)
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