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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

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.

"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.

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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.

When people think negatively, they can turn their anxiety into action. They take more time to prepare for the worst-c...

2 types of people
  • 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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Mental attainment

There is a correlation between positive thinking and ineffective performance, because expectations of a successful outcome demonstrably relaxes a person so much that they lack the energy to achi...

Mental contrasting

It involves attaching positive thinking to realistic goals

This approach also connects positive thinking to a realistic assessment of one’s possibilities, an awareness of obstacles is inevitable, and that leads to a second aspect of successful mental contrasting.

Implementation intentions

It involves developing if-then strategies for things that may not go as well as hoped as you work to achieve your goals. 

With these in place, you’re ready to “improvise” — in quotes because you’ve actually planned out your response in advance — as need be and keep moving forward.

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