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I think I can, I think I can, I think I have a plan

And I can do ‘most anything if I only think I can’

The words above, an excerpt from a nursery rhyme-‘The Little Engine that Could’ is just one example of the different forms of positive thinking we see all around us.

From early morning status updates to hours-long motivational videos to the psychologist’s consultation room, positive thinking is propagated all over; with some doubting if it does any real good and others strongly believing in its good effects.

But are these benefits real? Do people who face adversity and challenges fare better when they think positively? Do they recover more quickly from illnesses than those who do not? Does positive thinking hold any real benefit to you?

To reach a conclusion, a good understanding of positive thinking is necessary.

Despite this concept being ambiguous to define, in the European Journal of Nursing, it is referred to as any belief, attitude, or behavior that may infer optimism but may not necessarily represent the realities of the individual or their situation.

This means that one need not be in an ideal situation to think positively, which is quite the opposite of negative thinking where a person may be in an ideal situation but imagines the worst things that may happen to him.

Different researchers have sought to learn the effects of positive thinking on human health, emotions, and wellness generally. This article discusses some of these effects backed by research.

 

POSITIVITY- SELF DECEIT?

While some researchers have dismissed positive thinking as self-deceit and ruled it as having no effect on the well-being of a person, several other researchers have hailed its efficacy and praised its effects.

One of these effects is emotional resilience. In his published study- The Power of Positive Thinking When Applied Correctly, Xiuyi Jia pointed out that positivity reinforces our resilience.

Resilience, which in psychology represents a capacity of whether one is competent to heal or recover from negative emotions more efficiently, was greatly observed in older individuals who had thought positively after they experienced trauma at a young age.

It was also observed that positive thinking had a great effect in pulling people back from negative emotions.

In a Certain study of people, a researcher Fredrickson sought to find the effect of positive emotions on the negative emotions experienced by different people. After inducing his subjects to experience negative emotions, he divided them into four groups with each group watching movies with these different themes; joy, fulfillment, sadness, and a blank movie.

The result showed the person who watched the first two films recovered considerably faster than the latter two, and the data proved that people who watched movies that provoked sad feelings recovered the slowest.

In addition, those who smiled when watching films recovered faster than those who did not smile or laugh at all.

Thirdly, Positive thinking has been observed to have a direct effect on the physical wellbeing of an individual. This includes preventing diseases and decreasing their risks. An easily observable example of this is the effect of optimism on blood pressure. Optimistic people with less emotional fluctuations have relatively lower and much stable blood pressure than those living in anxiety who are relatively pessimistic. Little wonder then why high blood pressure patients are advised to avoid negative news and thoughts.

 

Positive thinking also affects the way individuals see themselves. This was the conclusion the Saudi Journal of Life Sciences came to after a study that involved a total of 139 athletes on narcissism.

Having observed the selfish attitude of narcissistic sports players who never want to take the blame for any of the failures but are quick to pass the blame to the referee’s decisions, their teammates, or any other factors apart from themselves, the study sought to find out if their attitudes would change with the introduction of positivity.

The conclusion thereafter was that those athletes who had more positive thoughts such as “If you really want to achieve it then you can achieve it”, had a lower narcissism score, and those who did not were more narcissistic.

Despite the aforementioned benefits, positive thinking still has to be used correctly for its benefits to be enjoyed, if not negative consequences that are opposite to its intended use would be reaped.

 

POSITIVE THINKING- CAUTION?

While Positivity has very beautiful benefits, it must be applied correctly to serve its purpose.

All too often, it has been confused with self-deception, which is often advocated by well-meaning individuals who encourage individuals to “ignore the bad side” and focus on the good using the half-full glass as an example.

Self-deception happens when one knows the truth but ignores it and tells himself or herself otherwise.

In certain situations, “we need to embrace how we feel and accept who we are,” instead of avoiding them. Under those conditions, continuous delusion is harmful.

Therefore if the possibility of being jolted to reality is high and such events may happen frequently, one should not imply deception to protect himself or herself from further damages.

It would be best to be realistic and face the situation at hand.

 

CONCLUSION

Positive thinking is a double-edged sword, which could fight the enemy when employed wisely or injure oneself when used wrongly. It holds benefits such as improved resilience, better emotional and physical health, and quicker recovery from trauma. But when used wrongly, it could best be described as a shot in one’s foot.

 

REFERENCES

 

 

positive thinking
I think I can, I think I can, I think I have a plan And I can do 'most anything if I only think I can’ The words above, an excerpt from a nursery rhyme-‘The Little Engine that Could’ is just one example of the different forms of positive thinking we see all around us. From early morning status updates to hours-long motivational videos to the psychologist’s consultation room, positive thinking is propagated all over; with some doubting if it does any real good and others strongly believing in its good effects. But are these benefits real? Do people who face adversity and challenges fare better when they think positively? Do they recover more quickly from illnesses than those who do not? Does positive thinking hold any real benefit to you? To reach a conclusion, a good understanding of positive thinking is necessary. Despite this concept being ambiguous to define, in the European Journal of Nursing, it is referred to as any belief, attitude, or behavior that may infer optimism but may not necessarily represent the realities of the individual or their situation. This means that one need not be in an ideal situation to think positively, which is quite the opposite of negative thinking where a person may be in an ideal situation but imagines the worst things that may happen to him. Different researchers have sought to learn the effects of positive thinking on human health, emotions, and wellness generally. This article discusses some of these effects backed by research.   POSITIVITY- SELF DECEIT? While some researchers have dismissed positive thinking as self-deceit and ruled it as having no effect on the well-being of a person, several other researchers have hailed its efficacy and praised its effects. One of these effects is emotional resilience. In his published study- The Power of Positive Thinking When Applied Correctly, Xiuyi Jia pointed out that positivity reinforces our resilience. Resilience, which in psychology represents a capacity of whether one is competent to heal or recover from negative emotions more efficiently, was greatly observed in older individuals who had thought positively after they experienced trauma at a young age. It was also observed that positive thinking had a great effect in pulling people back from negative emotions. In a Certain study of people, a researcher Fredrickson sought to find the effect of positive emotions on the negative emotions experienced by different people. After inducing his subjects to experience negative emotions, he divided them into four groups with each group watching movies with these different themes; joy, fulfillment, sadness, and a blank movie. The result showed the person who watched the first two films recovered considerably faster than the latter two, and the data proved that people who watched movies that provoked sad feelings recovered the slowest. In addition, those who smiled when watching films recovered faster than those who did not smile or laugh at all. Thirdly, Positive thinking has been observed to have a direct effect on the physical wellbeing of an individual. This includes preventing diseases and decreasing their risks. An easily observable example of this is the effect of optimism on blood pressure. Optimistic people with less emotional fluctuations have relatively lower and much stable blood pressure than those living in anxiety who are relatively pessimistic. Little wonder then why high blood pressure patients are advised to avoid negative news and thoughts.   Positive thinking also affects the way individuals see themselves. This was the conclusion the Saudi Journal of Life Sciences came to after a study that involved a total of 139 athletes on narcissism. Having observed the selfish attitude of narcissistic sports players who never want to take the blame for any of the failures but are quick to pass the blame to the referee’s decisions, their teammates, or any other factors apart from themselves, the study sought to find out if their attitudes would change with the introduction of positivity. The conclusion thereafter was that those athletes who had more positive thoughts such as “If you really want to achieve it then you can achieve it", had a lower narcissism score, and those who did not were more narcissistic. Despite the aforementioned benefits, positive thinking still has to be used correctly for its benefits to be enjoyed, if not negative consequences that are opposite to its intended use would be reaped.   POSITIVE THINKING- CAUTION? While Positivity has very beautiful benefits, it must be applied correctly to serve its purpose. All too often, it has been confused with self-deception, which is often advocated by well-meaning individuals who encourage individuals to “ignore the bad side” and focus on the good using the half-full glass as an example. Self-deception happens when one knows the truth but ignores it and tells himself or herself otherwise. In certain situations, “we need to embrace how we feel and accept who we are,” instead of avoiding them. Under those conditions, continuous delusion is harmful. Therefore if the possibility of being jolted to reality is high and such events may happen frequently, one should not imply deception to protect himself or herself from further damages. It would be best to be realistic and face the situation at hand.   CONCLUSION Positive thinking is a double-edged sword, which could fight the enemy when employed wisely or injure oneself when used wrongly. It holds benefits such as improved resilience, better emotional and physical health, and quicker recovery from trauma. But when used wrongly, it could best be described as a shot in one’s foot.   REFERENCES The Determination of the Relationship Between Narcissism and Positive Thinking Levels of Physical Disabled Athletes   Great Power of Positive Thinking When Applied Correctly   Positive thinking on "Nursing standard: official newspaper of the Royal College of Nursing"

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