The Impact of Thoughts and Feelings on Mental Health

The majority of MoodSmith is dedicated to a particular type of thought: intrusive thoughts, but all types of thoughts have the potential to impact your mental health; as FamilyDoctor noted, good emotional health starts with understanding thoughts, feelings and behaviours. I want to spend some time talking about that today

When I talk about mental health, I’m referring to how your thoughts, feelings and things you do (behaviour) affect your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. That’s a bit of a mouthful, so to to it more simply, what you think and do can have a major impact on your mental health.

In this article, I’ll examine the connection between thoughts and feelings and mental health and how understanding this relationship can help improve overall well-being.

The Power of Our Thoughts and Feelings

Our thoughts and feelings are powerful forces that can greatly influence our mental health. They are interconnected and can significantly impact our emotions, behaviours, and overall outlook on life.

Thinking Thoughts and Feeling Feelings

Our thoughts are the conscious and unconscious ideas, beliefs, and attitudes that run through our minds. They can be positive or negative and can significantly influence our emotions and behaviours. Our past experiences, cultural influences, and personal beliefs often shape our thoughts.

I won’t go into too much detail on what thoughts are exactly, but if you want to read more on the topic, you can start with this article.

Similarly, our feelings are the emotional responses that arise from our thoughts. They can range from happiness and joy to sadness and anger and everything in between. Our feelings often reflect our thoughts, and can greatly impact our mental and emotional well-being.

The Connection Between Thoughts, Feelings, and Mental Health

Our thoughts and feelings can have a profound impact on our mental health. Here are some ways in which they are connected:

Negative Thoughts and Feelings Can Lead to Mental Health Issues

Negative thoughts and feelings, such as self-doubt, fear, and sadness, can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. When we constantly think negative thoughts and experience negative emotions, it can lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

These negative thoughts and feelings can also create a cycle, where our mental health issues cause us to have more negative thoughts and feelings, leading to a downward spiral.

Positive Thoughts and Feelings Can Improve Mental Health

On the other hand, positive thoughts and feelings can positively impact our mental health. When we think positively and experience positive emotions, such as happiness and gratitude, it can improve our overall well-being and help us cope with stress and challenges.

Positive thoughts and feelings can also create a cycle where our improved mental health leads to more positive thoughts and feelings, creating an upward spiral.

Our Thoughts and Feelings Can Influence Our Behaviours

Our thoughts and feelings can also greatly influence our behaviours, which can affect our mental health. For example, if we constantly have negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves, we may engage in self-destructive behaviours such as substance abuse or self-harm.

Conversely, if we have positive thoughts and feelings, we may engage in healthy behaviors such as exercise and self-care, which can improve our mental health.

How to Improve Our Thoughts and Feelings for Better Mental Health

Now that we understand the impact of our thoughts and feelings on our mental health, how can we improve them for better overall well-being? Here are some tips:

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being present and aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgment. By practicing mindfulness, we can become more aware of our thoughts and feelings and learn to manage them more effectively.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

When we have negative thoughts, it’s important to challenge them and question their validity. Often, our negative thoughts are based on false beliefs or assumptions, and by challenging them, we can change our thought patterns and improve our mental health.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy stands out as the type of talking therapy that helps most with it, and you can read more about CBT here.

Express Your Feelings

Bottling up our feelings can have a negative impact on our mental health. It’s important to express our feelings healthily, whether through talking to a trusted friend or therapist, journaling, or engaging in a creative outlet.

Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

The people we surround ourselves with can greatly influence our thoughts and feelings. It’s important to surround ourselves with positive influences, whether it’s friends, family, or mentors, who can support us and help us maintain a positive mindset.

Seeking Professional Help

If you are struggling with your thoughts and feelings and it’s affecting your mental health, it’s important to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you identify and manage your thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, and provide support and guidance on your journey to better mental health.


Our thoughts and feelings play a significant role in our mental health. By understanding the connection between the two, we can improve our thoughts and feelings for better overall well-being. By practising mindfulness, challenging negative thoughts, expressing our feelings, and surrounding ourselves with positive influences, we can improve our mental health and live a happier, more fulfilling life.

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