Mental Health

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Dr. Paul Jenkins, a psychologist, shares that there are two processes in our brain, there’s evaluation and creation that our mind is constantly doing as we evaluate our current situation or what is good or bad, we generate either a positive or negative kind of emotion or feeling. That emotion or feeling is what sets us up for what we're going to do up here in creation mode where we move forward and create what's to be (Jenkins, 2021).

What is negative thinking doing to our brain?

Dr. Jenkins states that negative thinking triggers a little bump of cortisol into your central nervous system and your bloodstream. Cortisol is a stress chemical, cortisol is what is released to help prepare your body for the fight- or-flight response. Cortisol gets triggered by your thoughts. Cortisol has the effect of shutting down some of the higher cognitive parts of our brain. Like our prefrontal cortex which is in charge of thinking, logic, problem-solving, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, shuts it down. We are deactivating that part of our brain.

What is positive thinking doing to our brain?

Dr. Paul Jenkins states that when you think positive thoughts you get a little bump of dopamine. This chemical, dopamine gives you feelings of peace and contentment and good feelings. But it also has an effect on your brain and the effect is it redirects the blood flow from those lower primitive areas of your brain up to the prefrontal or higher cortical areas of your brain the dopamine that we are talking about now is a completely different chemical from cortisol, it has a completely different effect in addition to all those pleasant feelings that it gives you, it also activates the cortical of your brain allowing to do some of those really awesome things like problem solving and conflict resolution and compassion and empathy and all of that great stuff that you need the higher parts of your brain to accomplish. You can trigger and activate that by your thoughts.

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What factors
affect the way we think?

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  • Poverty

  • Lack of Love

  • Neglect

  • Abuse

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What our student leaders are doing to activate positive thoughts

Our student leaders write encouraging letters to bring positive thoughts to our recipients.The goal for our letters is to change our recipients' negative thoughts into positive thoughts. According to Achieve Medical Center (2020) positive thinking can lead to enhanced creativity, staying focused, problem-solving skills, and overall mental productivity. Negative thinking has the opposite effect, and can lead to slower response time, memory impairment, and decreased impulse control (Achieve Medical Center, 2020).

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Can words make a difference?

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Din Richie saved a minimum of 164 lives. For 50 years, Richie would sit at his home quietly, and look out his window. He and his wife lived at the top of Sydney, Australia suicide hotspot. His mission was to stop as many jumpers as possible with his encouraging words.

12 year old Noah Brocklebank was being bullied at school. He started cutting himself to ease the pain, although one day he posted a picture of his slashed-up wrist on Instagram with this message: “Day of scheduled suicide, February 8th, 2013, my birthday.” His parents tried to convince him that his life was worth living, and his mother set up a Facebook page for friends and family, encouraging them to write to Noah. He received hateful things online from people, although something amazing happened. By the time of Noah’s scheduled suicide day, he’d received 7,000 letters basically telling him he was awesome.

Reshma Qureshi was attacked with acid by her brother-in-law when she was 17. Her face was so badly injured that her family didn’t allow her to look in the mirror. All the mirrors in the hospitals were covered. When she came home for the first time, she went to wash her face in the kitchen. She looked at herself in the mirror and couldn’t recognise herself. That night, She tried to hang herself with the dupatta. Her brother woke up when he realised she was shuffling around at night. He turned on the lights and saw her standing on the bed with a dupatta, aiming to reach the fan. He screamed and everyone woke up and panicked. There were tears, consolation and love. Her family told her how much they loved her and comforted her back to sleep. They motivated her to see therapists and kept telling her that she had to live to see justice.