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The Limitations of Positive Thinking

We need some negative emotions

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.

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The Limitations of Positive Thinking

The Limitations of Positive Thinking

https://lifehacker.com/the-limitations-of-positive-thinking-1780773724

lifehacker.com

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Key Ideas

Positivity Could be Good for Us

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.

Forcing positive thinking

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.

Avoid positive affirmations

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.

Finding Balance

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.

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Happy people are generous
Happy people are generous
  • They give freely.
  • They spend money on experiences.
  • They spend money to benefit others.
  • They forgive (themselves and others). 
The conscious attitude of happy people
  • They don’t compare themselves to others.
  • They practice gratitude.
  • They are hopeful and optimistic.
  • They practice mindfulness.
  • They comfort themselves in hard times.
  • They don’t overthink.
  • They remember the positive.
  • They try to be happy.
  • They act happy.
Having Things to Look Forward To

Happy people tend to live active and somewhat busy lives. They meet up with friends after work, go on a hiking trip with the family on the weekend, and play tennis every Wednesday morning with a friend. 

This busy lifestyle provides an unintended but powerful source of happiness: anticipation.

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Happiness
Happiness

Happiness is when a person feels satisfaction, contentment, and elation in their life. It is a fulfilling feeling to have despite it having varying definitions.

The term is...

The two fundamental components of 'happiness'
  1. Emotional balance - We all experience positive and negative feelings from time to time. How one handles their emotional state is crucial as to how they radiate this energy towards everything they have going on in their life;
  2. Life satisfaction - People experience emotions differently whenever an event occurs in their lives. How you feel about your own life - from your relationships to personal achievements - matter to your happiness.
Measuring your happiness

Here are questions you should ask yourself to know if you are happy:

  • Do you feel like you have the life you want? Are you working towards the life that you want?
  • Does your environment bring you peace of mind?
  • Have you accomplished the things you want in your life? Are these goals important to you?
  • Are you content as you are right now? What are the things you're doing that is contributing to your happiness?
  • Have you stopped and wondered if you feel more positively than you were before?

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We don't need positive thinking

Positive thinking tends to separate situations in terms of good and bad.

First, you think something is bad, then you have to actively think it is less bad, but you always know you are fool...

"Good" or "Bad"

We tend to view something as either good or bad. And most of us use the "bad" label more often than the "good" label.

But, not everything we label as bad, is bad. We can all recall instances of something we initially thought was a bad thing, only to realize later that it was a good thing.

Don't apply labels

When people are faced with extreme adversity, some persons positively flourish while others fall apart.

Those who rise successfully do not place a label on what they go through. They take every circumstance as a given. It is merely something they have to address.