How to overcome your addiction to unhappiness when you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism

addicted to unhappiness

addicted to unhappinessNotice how easy it is to hang on to anger, shame, guilt, worry, and other negative emotions? Are these emotions so horribly delectable you just can’t let go?

You’re not alone. However, you could be worsening your Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism by giving in. Scientists have discovered negative emotions have an addictive quality that trigger the reward centers in the brain. In other words, you feel like you’re rewarding yourself when you succumb to negative emotions.

Worry activates areas of the brain that trick you into feeling soothed. Pride and its shadow twins of shame and guilt are the most powerful triggers of the brain’s reward centers. On some twisted level, these yucky emotions feel good.

As with many addictions, negative emotions are fine in moderation (and even beneficial , but toxic when indulged in regularly They raise stress and inflammation, our two biggest foes when battling Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.

Four scientific tips to boost happiness

Happiness is effortless for some people. Good for them. The rest of us have to work at positivity the same way we do at diet and exercise.

If you’re a pro at managing your Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism through diet and lifestyle, don’t overlook how influential feelings and attitude are on your health.

Here are some tips from a neuroscientist to wean yourself off an unhappiness addiction:

  1. Activate the reward center of the brain with gratitude instead of negativity. Shame, guilt, and worry trigger the same brain chemicals gratitude does. Except gratitude doesn’t worsen your Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism; it improves health.

Don’t have anything to be grateful for (c’mon…)? Doesn’t matter. It’s the searching for gratitude that elicits positive benefits.

  2. Label negative feelings. Labeling your negative feeling in a few words activates different areas of the brain that lighten the negativity load. Practicing mindfulness is healthier than suppressing emotions when you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.

  3. Make a decision when overcome with worry and anxiety. When you’re besieged by worry, create an intention, set a goal, take action — just do something. This boosts the reward center of the brain and takes it off that exhausting hamster wheel. Don’t trap yourself with making the best decision or the one you should make. Instead, shoot for a “good enough” decision that you make for you.

  4. Socialize and touch. Appropriately, of course. As far as the brain is concerned, social exclusion is an injury while healthy socialization is an elixir. Even little touches — handshakes, pat on the back, tap on the arm, a hug — amplify the health benefits of socialization. Got no one to touch? Get a massage. And don’t rely solely on texting or the Internet for your socialization. Research shows they don’t impart the same benefits “in-real-life” human company does.

Basically, working towards positivity exercises your brain and helps pull it out of destructive, self-perpetuating loops that raise stress hormones, drive inflammation, and worsen Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Brain exercises aren’t just about crossword puzzles and Sudoku — you also need to exercise the brain’s positivity centers. Contact Dr. Labbe for more information on brain health and Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.

Dr. Joni Labbe

About Dr. Joni Labbe

Dr. Joni Labbe is a board-certified clinical nutritionist specializing in science-based nutrition with a focus on women's health issues. She has successfully helped pre-menopausal and menopausal women regain and maintain their health since 1995. Dr. Labbe is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Thyroid & Menopause Madness and It’s Not Just Menopause: It’s Your Thyroid. She is also a professional speaker, radio personality, fitness expert, and former host of “Healthier Way With Dr. Labbe.” Dr. Labbe is one of the country’s leading authorities on thyroid disorders, including Hashimoto’s disease. Dr. Labbe has also authored numerous articles and blogs on health, nutrition, and thyroid health, as seen in Naturally Savvy, Thyroid Nation, and Fox News. She is a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionalist, Doctor of Chiropractic, and has post graduate training in Functional Neurology, Functional Endocrinology, Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis, and earned a Diplomate and Fellow in Nutrition from the American Association of Integrative Medicine.

Leave a Reply

*