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Why Positive Thinking Is Bad For You

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.

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Why Positive Thinking Is Bad For You

Why Positive Thinking Is Bad For You

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creativity-and-personal-mastery/201004/why-positive-thinking-is-bad-you

psychologytoday.com

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Key Ideas

"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.

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 fooling yourself. You don't have to go through life labeling what happens to you. Don't pick up that useless burden. You can de-condition yourself and experience less stress.

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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 risk...

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.

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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Reconsider the positive thinking mindset

"Looking on the bright side" is advise that is seldom helpful.

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  • Strategic optimists: They will perform better if they do something positive before they complete their tasks.
  • Defensive pessimists: They are more likely to perform positively if they visualize failure before they complete their tasks.

These two groups succeed best under different circumstances. 

Positive and Negative thinking

Thinking positively can hinder people from realizing their goals.

At the same time, pessimists can become paralyzed by stress and fail to take action while those who are overwhelmingly positive are unlikely to experience stress or anxiety. 

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Anchoring Bias

A common occurrence of heuristics in which we use an initial starting point as an anchor that is then adjusted to yield a final estimate or value.

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Being Too Optimistic

People who are told that the risk of something bad happening is lower than they expected, tend to adjust their predictions to match the new information. But they ignore the new information when the risk is higher.

Part of this overly optimistic outlook stems from our natural tendency to believe that bad things happen to other people, but not to us. 

You Often Make Poor Comparisons

Sometimes we make poor comparisons or the compared items are not representative or equal.

We often decide based on rapid comparisons without really thinking about our options. In order to avoid bad decisions, relying on logic and thoughtful examination of the options can sometimes be more important than relying on your immediate "gut reaction."

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