What is positive thinking?

Positive thinking plays an important role in positive psychology, a subfield devoted to the study of what makes people happy and fulfilled.

  • Positive thinking does not necessarily mean avoiding or ignoring the bad things.
  • instead, it involves making the most of the potentially bad situations, trying to see the best in other people, and viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light.

Positive thinkers are more apt to use an optimistic explanatory style, but how people attribute events can also vary depending upon the exact situation.

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What Is Behind the Psychology of Positive Thinking?

verywellmind.com

Health benefits of positive thinking

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, positive thinking is linked to a wide range of health benefits.

  • Better stress management and coping skills
  • Enhanced psychological health
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Increased physical well-being
  • Longer life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease-related death

One theory is that people who think positively tend to be less affected by stress. Another possibility is that people who think positively tend to live healthier lives in general; they may exercise more, follow a more nutritious diet, and avoid unhealthy behaviours.

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Positive psychology vs. positive thinking

While the terms "positive thinking" and "positive psychology" are sometimes used interchangeably, it is important to understand that they are not the same thing.

  • positive thinking: is about looking at things from a positive point of view.
  • Positive psychology: certainly tends to focus on optimism, but it also notes that while there are many benefits to thinking positively, there are actually times when more realistic thinking is more advantageous.

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