Is Positive Thinking a Negative?

Can positive thinking be bad for us?

A new study says it can.  

According to The New York Times, it in fact may have the opposite effect.  A survey it cited asked some women who wanted to lose weight to imagine themselves succeeding and looking good, while other women were asked to imagine cheating on the diet.  Guess which group succeeded?  The ones who imagined themselves cheating.

Experts say this happens because once we imagine something positive, we think the work is done.  I, for one, can dispute that.  I've imagined myself in a bikini for years and I've succeeded at losing 20 pounds.  However, that bikini?  Maybe too much positive thinking.

Anyway, while experts acknowledges that dreaming about the future does calm us down, and measurably reduces our blood pressure, it can also "drain you of the energy you need to take action in pursuit of your goals."

I'd have to say I'm somewhere in between optimist and pessimist.  Overall, I have a pretty good outlook on life.  I try to take it one day at a time and not look too far into the future.  But it only takes one setback to push me off course. Then I have to struggle to get over it, and usually, I do, until the next one.

Now, my husband, on the other hand, is a complete pessimist.  He doesn't buy stocks because he knows they're going to drop (although, after the last couple of weeks, maybe he's onto something), or want to get married because he was sure we'd get divorced (and look how that turned out!), or have a child.  And then we had Phillip.  His outlook on life is pretty much, things are going okay now?  Just wait.  It's coming.

And yet, when I was recently lamenting (and worrying over) the lack of feedback from an assignment, he said, "You wouldn't still have it if they didn't like what you did."  Hardly a rousing recommendation.  But still.

Positive thinking fools our minds into perceiving that we've already accomplished our goal, say experts.  It reduces our efforts to pursue it, they add.

But I'm not so sure about that.

Let's face it.  This kind of thinking feels good.  But that doesn't mean it's good for us, according to researchers.  You know what?  I think they should just start doing a little more of it.


Popular posts from this blog

Think You're Pretty Smart? You May Actually Stink at Visual Skills, Crucial in Today's Digital World

Leave Your Ego at the Door

End Your Texts With a Period? Don't