Negative thinking can narrow our thinking and prevent us from moving forward. Positive encouragement can open our minds to alternatives. It fosters creative thinking and opens us up to take on risks.
However, pursuing happiness for the sake of happiness has been shown to make us more unhappy. The more we try and force positive emotions, the less happy we become.
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Forcing positive thinking puts us under pressure and in an always-on-the-alert mode. We can never relax because a negative thought might pop into our heads when we least expect it.
It can make us feel more negative emotions and we may blame ourselves for not being happy enough.
Emotions like fear and anxiety can help us to act in certain situations, for instance, alerting us to danger. Anxiety should not be avoided. It can point to an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
Thinking negatively can also help us prepare for worst-case scenarios in advance. However, too much negative thinking is not good for us either.
Positive affirmations can actually be detrimental.
If you have low self-esteem, repeating feel-good phrases can make you feel worse. And for those with high self-esteem, although positive affirmations tend to improve your mood only slightly, there's no lasting effect.
Both positivity and negativity have a place. We should learn to find a balance between the two.
Instead of focussing on positive thinking, we should hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
Positive thinking is an emotional and mental attitude that focuses on the good and expects results that will benefit you. It’s about anticipating happiness, health and success – essentially, training yourself to adopt an abundance mindset and cultivate gratitude for your own successes and those of others.
Start making it a habit to spend more of your time in the present moment and you’ll, in my experience, naturally have less negative thoughts and be more open and constructive.
A couple of ways to bring yourself back to being mindful and this moment are:
Focus only on your breathing.
Take in the world around you.
Research suggests that happiness and optimism influence positive life outcomes as much as it is a byproduct.
In a study, enthusiastic, cheerful people experienced less memory decline with age. A positive outlook boosts immune responses while reducing the likelihood of heart attacks or other coronary problems.