negative emotions

9 mind-blowing effects of chronic negative emotions + thoughts- and why happiness is more achievable than you think (Series part 3)

If you’re not feeling a little bit of negative energy right now, I have some bad news. You are a Westworld Host and need an update.

But seriously, we are living in a maelstrom of negative emotions. From the health anxiety many people have, to fearing for sick loved ones, to political tension… I keep saying, if you aren’t a little bit anxious, you aren’t paying attention.

I know I personally have been dealing with a lot of negative emotions in 2020. My soon-to-be kindergartener is not going to get the fun experience she deserves. I have 2 high risk parents that I worry about. Plus, other things that I choose to keep private. It has been a really hard year, and I know I’m not alone.

That’s what inspired me to do this series based on a popular post of mine from several months back: Positivity & Negativity: How to Challenge Negative Thought Patterns. I want to give you some tools to deal with the negative emotions we have been unexpectedly faced with.

You can read the first 2 posts in the series here:

What is negative thinking? Take a sneak peek inside your brain! (Series part 1)

Snowballing thoughts: What are they + how you can make them stop ASAP? (Series part 2) 

In this post, I am going to talk about what causes negative emotions, how to combat negative words from others, and 9 effects of negative emotions + thoughts on your body. Keep reading to find out more!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. See my Privacy and Affiliate Disclaimer pages for more info.

Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with depression and anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.

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What causes negative emotions?

Like I said, it is natural to feel some form of negative emotions and have negative thoughts right now. After all, I don’t think anyone living (in the US at least) has ever really been through something like this.

That being said, negative emotions are not normal, psychologically speaking, so it’s important to learn what causes them. And more importantly, how we can manage them. What are some examples of the emotions and thoughts that I am referring to?

Negative emotions you might be feeling

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Grief
  • Lack of control
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Lack of motivation

Negative thoughts you might be thinking

  • This is never going to end
  • I’m going to get sick and die
  • Someone I love is going to get sick
  • My kids are going to get so behind in school
  • I’ll never be able to manage working from home
purple background with white text that says "9 mind-blowing effects of chronic negative emotions + thoughts," with a black and white photo of a woman who looks stressed

What causes this?

I talked about this more in depth in the first post in this series, but here is a little snippet:

Do you daydream a lot? Find yourself lost in thought? I know I do. I’m an introvert and massively introspective. If you are like me, you can thank your DMN (default mode network) for that. The Psychology Today article says that your DMN is a network of brain regions that work together to allow you to reflect on past, present, or future events. Your PFC (prefrontal cortex) is a guide for your DMN to help it prioritize which thoughts and ideas are most important. So this is actually a very useful part of your brain!

But when a person has depression, their PFC is their worst enemy and tells their brain that the negative emotions and thoughts are more important than the positive ones!

I found this really interesting! It’s nice to know that there is a reason you feel this way.

How to combat negative words from others

Sadly, you might be in a situation where the things you are thinking and feeling might be caused by other people. Tensions are high right now, and social media keyboard warriors are spoiling for a fight. You might also find yourself clashing with friends and family that have different political beliefs with the impending election.

Does that sound like the situation you’re in? If so, there are ways to protect your heart and mind.

  • Correct the person. I don’t mean intentionally start a fight, but if a person says something that offends you, it is okay to correct them.
  • Unfollow, unfriend, or block on social media. Even if this is someone you are close with, it is perfectly alright to keep them off your posts and newsfeed. Your mental health matters!
  • Practice shielding meditations. This is a great tool for empaths like me that are easily affected by the emotions of others.
  • Tell them you need space. If they are always negative or unkind, tell them you need some time to distance yourself from them. This might be a difficult conversation, but again, it’s perfectly okay.

Keep reading to find out what can happen if you let your thoughts get out of control!

9 effects of negative thoughts

When you are chronically negative, this can have lasting effects on your body. That’s why it is so important to learn how to think more positively. According to the University of Minnesota, here are some consequences to a negative lifestyle.

Chronic stress

The more negatively you think, the more stress you put on your body. Stress is super bad for you, like I talked about in a previous post. While it can be hard to avoid, depending on your life circumstances, there are ways you can stress as it comes up. Here are some of my favorite methods that I use in my own life:

  • Break a sweat
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Write in a journal
  • Soak in a hot bath with epsom salts

Let me know some of your favorite ways to destress in the comments! And click the image to get started journaling.

Hormone disruption

This stress can affect your hormones too! So, people with female parts especially, listen up!

Managing our hormones is really important for the body’s general functioning. Not sure if your hormones are messed up? Check out these common signs in people with female parts, according to Healthline:

  • Mood swings
  • Hot flashes
  • Weight gain
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Brain fog
  • Memory loss
  • Night sweats
  • Leg cramps
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest in sex
purple background with white text that says "9 mind-blowing effects of chronic negative emotions + thoughts," with a black and white photo of a man who looks stressed

But I am not a medical professional. If you are experiencing one or more of these, definitely check with your doctor.

Makes you unhappy

This one’s pretty obvious. The more negative thoughts you think, the unhappier you are. Negativity affects every aspect of your life. Thoughts lead to feelings which lead to a host of related behaviors. These behaviors lead back to more thoughts, and so on and so forth.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that you want to be happy. Am I right? If so, one of the most important things you can do is focus on gratitude and choosing a positive outlook. That doesn’t mean pretending you aren’t mentally ill. It means adopting the following skill: Okay, X thing happened. I will deal with it in Y positive way. That’s all.

This takes a lot of practice, so make the commitment to start today. Each time you think a negative thought, or feel a negative emotion, tell yourself: I am going to respond to this in a positive way. And then immediately take action!

Damages our immune system

Being constantly filled with negative emotions can also damage your immune system. According to one article:

Negative mood—such as sadness and anger—is associated with higher levels of inflammation and may be a signal of poor health, according to researchers at Penn State. (…) Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response to such things as infections, wounds, and damage to tissues. Chronic inflammation can contribute to numerous diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Negative mood signals body’s immune response

It’s more important than ever to be doing this to support our immune system, as we’re living in the middle of a pandemic. So load up on Vitamin C, probiotics, and Vitamin D, and get plenty of rest! I love these gummies for daily immune support. Click the image below to order some ASAP.

vitamin c gummies, immune support, negative emotions

Shortens our lifespan

This is because chronic stress and negativity increase a hormone in your body called cortisol. Cortisol causes a lot of the effects we are talking about in this article, especially the ones below. The more physical health issues you have, the less likely you are to live to a ripe old age.

I know I would love to live a long time. That’s why I’ve been working so hard in my own life to try to control the negative emotions that are due to things 2020 hath wrought.

Causes hypertension

Also known as high blood pressure, this is something you want to avoid. How do you know if you have HBP, apart from asking a doctor?

Often it is hard to tell. This is why it is so important to go to your regular check-ups with your primary care physician so that they can check your blood pressure. It can lead to really serious problems if not monitored.

Increases chance for heart disease

Negative emotions can also lead to increased risk for heart issues. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that this is a big no-no. Heart issues can literally kill you.

Luckily, we live in a time where there are plenty of treatment options for heart disease. But for one thing, all that depends on a person’s insurance (If you live in the US of A like me.) If you don’t have insurance, or the coverage isn’t great, it might be harder to find ways to treat your heart disease.

Also, just try not to do things that lead to heart disease. Pinkie promise?

Worsens digestive health

You ever notice how when you’re super anxious or depressed, you get tons of stomach aches? Negative emotions can have an impact on your digestive health. This is one I personally experience on a regular basis.

There is emerging research about the link between the mind and the gut. It’s definitely worth looking into a probiotic to help manage your digestive health. You can click the image below to order some, and search for ones that suit you.

Make sure you also eat healthy foods that promote gut health. According to WebMD, “Prebiotic foods (whole grains, bananas, greens, onions, garlic, soybeans, and artichokes) act as food for healthy gut bacteria. Probiotic foods like yogurt are full of good bacteria already.”

Increases risk for infection

I already kind of talked about this earlier. Constant negative emotions can lead to an increase in inflammation in the body, which puts you at greater risk for infection.

With a pandemic going on, make sure you are keeping this in mind so you can avoid life-threatening respiratory infections. If you can do this, by trying to control your negative emotions, it is definitely worth a shot!

Don’t let negative thinking take away your quality of life!

Do you live with constant negativity? Let me know in the comments! (Plus, make sure to share this on social media or Pinterest. You never know who it might be helpful to.)

Negative emotions and thoughts are homewreckers. As Michael Scott would say, “Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time I try to do something fun or exciting, you make it not that way. I hate so much about the things that you choose to be.” (NBC’s “The Office” in case you live under a rock.)

That’s what I say to negative emotions! I, for one, am choosing to make the last few months of 2020 filled with joy.

Photo of a stressed out woman with black and pink text overlay that says "9 mind-blowing effects of chronic negative emotions + thoughts"

Remember: that does not mean I magically don’t have depression or anxiety anymore. It doesn’t mean I won’t have anything bad happen to me, or won’t have bad days. It doesn’t mean I am free of negative emotions for good.

But I’ll be damned if I let negative emotions get me down.


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Related posts for negative emotions:

What Self Care Really Is, and How it Can Totally Change Your Life

11 Stress Management Techniques That Will Save Your Sanity

Positivity & Negativity: How to Challenge Negative Thought Patterns

What’s an empath? (15 signs this post might be about you!)

57 thoughts on “9 mind-blowing effects of chronic negative emotions + thoughts- and why happiness is more achievable than you think (Series part 3)”

    1. Thank you!! Now that I’m publicly pregnant, I am going to be slowing down with content creation (maybe not promo, but publishing posts). It feels very needed. Especially since now my oldest won’t be gone full time 5 days a week at kindergarten. yay e-learning! lol. Thanks for reading!

  1. I have learned to take those thoughts captive and replace them with truth. Just because I think it doesn’t mean it is a true thought.

    1. Exactly!! I am going to go into that a bit in a post for next week. Our thoughts are often untrue. Thanks so much for reading!

  2. Negative energy is so exhausting to be around. Even on social media. I have had to unfollow people. It’s just too much!

    1. Yep! I unfollowed maybe a dozen people so far this week. I just can’t with some of these posts. Good for you for taking care of yourself. Thanks for reading!

  3. I love that there is so much wonderful information in here. I know a few who deal with some similar things. I definitely want t o share this with them. I think you did a wonderful job sharing.

  4. Rose Ann Sales

    I couldn’t agree more with you. I had unfriend some of my toxic social media friends to avoid stress before. 😉

  5. I do love learning every article you have because you are allowing your readers the bad effects of being a negative thinker and aside from that you are also giving us a solutions on how to avoid it.
    Thank you so much!

  6. I am a church girl and we are taught that a merry heart does good like a medicine. In other words, good thoughts make you feel good and uplift you. It stands to reason that negative thoughts hurt you.

  7. Yes, negative thoughts are the worst. I have found writing down what I am grateful for everyday to really help and put life in perspective.

  8. As of lately, I have been having anxiety about my blog and me not doing everything I can be to make It successful. This post put my mind at ease as I didn’t know where to start on dealing with my problem. I definitely think disconnecting and then reconnecting myself to my main purpose will make me feel better.

    1. I’m sorry you’re struggling but glad you found the post helpful! Hang in there. Maybe you just need a motivation reset. Thanks for reading!

  9. I couldn’t agree more! My stress started to affect my digestive system so much I was close to developing ulcers! Now I’m on a juice cleanse to clean out the body, and actively working to cleanse my mentality as well!

    1. I think in 2021 I want to try a juice cleanse! My diet has been so hot and cold this year. I could use a restart. Thanks for reading!

  10. This is so eye-opening because as you mention this year 2020 has given us reasons to have and feel negative emotions and is good to know how to distinguish the consequences and reactions of all this negativity

  11. I think we all need this now more than ever. It seems like this year has really brought out the negative in spades. We have to protect ourselves from it.

    1. Definitely! It’s been so hard for us in our family, even without Covid. Here’s to 2021! Thanks for reading 🙂

  12. I know it is so easy to think negative thoughts with all the illness from Covid 19 but I have been feeling pretty well. I am with my whole family and we are just waiting for the vaccine and treatments to get us back into normalcy.

    1. I’ve been trying not to worry, but I keep telling myself I’m taking all necessary precautions, and there’s not much more I could be doing. Take care, and thanks for reading!

  13. I actually thought you were a medical professional because this sounds pretty bang on. Negative thought loops are pretty hard to conquer sometimes. I think I had a lot of these at the start of the pandemic.

  14. A lot of great information here! I love getting outside and walking when I start getting too doom and gloom. It’s amazing how interconnected everything in our body is! I’m especially interested in the gut/brain connection. It’s all so fascinating.

    1. It’s very interesting! Going for a walk helps me too. Especially if I can do it alone to get my thoughts together. Thanks for reading!

  15. I have to admit – I was born HAPPY. I am a naturally HAPPY person all around and people have told me that my happiness is INFECTIOUS WHICH IS why I try to touch as many people as possible! 🙂

  16. Very informative post. Mental health has so much to do with a persons physical health and many do not realize how much. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Indeed you are right, you’re not alone on the fact that 2020 has been terrible do far. We all battle with one mental issue or another. Thank you for this very insightful article.

  17. Pam Wattenbarger

    I took a break from social media for a week, unfollowed some people who were always stressing me out, started a journal, and started walking for exercise. I feel much better now.

      1. Yeah, we all have them. It’s just about how you react. Glad you found it helpful. Thanks so much for reading!

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