"Going Nowhere Fast"
The idea that negative thoughts are exhausting is all good and well in theory. Many of us experience this phenomenon first hand but are unaware of its bio and physiological significance. The action of thought production represents an astounding 20% of the body’s total energy requirements. That means if my RMR (resting metabolic rate) is 2000kcal the communication of neurons IN THE BRAIN ALONE requires 400 of those calories. That’s the equivalent of a loaded baked potato.
The brain’s energy consumption goes down about 50% when at rest (during sleep); Meaning when we’re not thinking at all we expend half the amount of energy.
SEPARATING POSITIVE FROM NEGATIVE:
Every human thought sends signals throughout the body either increasing or decreasing/ speeding up or inhibiting specific processes such as blood pressure, digestion, respiratory rate, hormone production etc., each of these processes having their own individual energy demands. Assuming that a large amount of our negative thoughts signal to “increase, turn on, or fire” certain systems we can also conclude that there is ANOTHER increase in energy demands. Positive thoughts may require hormones such as Oxytocin (the love hormone) to produce the positive feelings that succeed the initial thought. These hormones DO require energy, however thinking and feeling in LOVE doesn’t increase heart rate, blood pressure or shut down the digestive system(ever wonder where your digestive issues come from?? *WINK WINK*). In fact, the physiological response to “LOVE” places the body in a calm, rational, relaxed and homeostatic state.
When we change the way we thing we change the way we live. We waste less, sleep better, and become more active. Our personal relationships become better and we experience more joy and fulfillment all as a simple byproduct of having more energy.
So every time you stalk your ex on social media, have a fight with your spouse in your head or calculate the failure rate of your next work project consider the idea that you’re expending the same kind of energy as you would on a spin bike without ANY benefit (in fact with detriment) to your physical and emotional being.
Do you hold down the gas without putting the car in gear? The WASTE is the same!