Ever since I started to make these videos I planned on talking about this awful thing we call positive thinking. Finally I managed to not just make one video on the topic, but two. Of all the responses and comments the chronically ill get, “Be positive” has to be the one that annoys me the most! You see, I used to be a fundamentalist positive thinker – I know the mind-set and even though at the time I believed every stupid word that came out of my mouth, I now know the damage I did to myself and to others. As far as I can tell, being a positive thinker didn’t really do anything for me and it certainly didn’t prevent me from getting ill.
In the first video I look at what positive thinking should be and what it has become in our modern society. I also take a general look at why it is so flawed and is really the worst possible way we can choose to govern our emotions.
In the second video I look at the results of several studies which not only show how bad positive thinking is for us, but also the benefits of negative thinking.
Included here are the studies I quoted in the second video.
- STUDY: Positive fantasies about idealized futures sap energy
- STUDY: Feeling bad about being sad: the role of social expectancies in amplifying negative mood.
- STUDY: Positive self-statements: power for some, peril for others.
- STUDY: Defensive pessimism: Harnessing anxiety as motivation.
- Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t (Always) Work
- The Positive Power of Negative Thinking