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- Psychology & Psychiatry
Positive thinking with negative impact
Positive thinking concepts are getting more and more popular among people all around the world. You can find available literature on the subjects of positive thinking everywhere. What this concept teaches us is that we must think positive in every situation, we must always focus on the bright side of the events and try not to think about bad things at all. No doubt this idea has changed many lives and influenced many life fields such as business , psychology, therapy, and mass culture. But like every other thing in our life positive thinking has it’s negative side. When this idea was first presented to me in a RSA Animate video called Smile or die I was shocked. I could not believe that positive thoughts can have sometimes negative impact on our lives. But the more I watched the video the more I understood this paradox.
On individual level positive thinking can block your potential. This happens because we become very active when a problem occurs. When we have a problem we automatically start to search a solution. The process of finding of a solution to a certain problem includes evaluation of all possible perspectives and choosing one among them. Then you take actions needed to eliminate the problem. The negative side of positive thinking is that by applying this ideology you can ignore some important aspects of the situation , or you can ignore the risks. Another possible scenario is the one in which the person don’t take action because he or she thinks that positive thinking is just enough . Many people think that if their thoughts are positive the problem will solve itself . That is just ignoring of the problem, if you close yourself in a big pink balloon you will lose touch with reality. Will you be happy? Maybe… but some of the people in the madhouse are very happy all the time for no apparent reason…
On a global scale positive thinking ideology can be dangerous too. It can be used as a tool to control masses . I ll give you a simple historical example.. it wasn’t so long ago when Russian people were very happy during the Stalinism , they were very happy and thousand even million people died in the Soviet forced labor camps. When you go to a positive thinking seminar or a couching you are told that you have to stay positive… “You lost your job… stay positive!”, “Your cat died…stay positive!”, “Your government just raised the taxes… Stay positive!”, “The government is starting a new war and many people will die stay positive !”I guess you got my point. This positive thinking ideology can strip you from all your defences and wash your brain. As everything in our lives positive thinking must be used with a measure. We can not ignore reality and we can not be blind about the objective factors in our lives. Yes we must always think about the positive outcome , but we must also take action to achieve it. Taking the positive thinking idea too literally can be dangerous.