Does Positive Thinking Work

Does Positive Thinking Work?

Does Positive Thinking Work?

How many times have you been told that you just have to be more positive? Maybe you’ve attempted to convince yourself that things will go well and there’s nothing you have to worry about even when you were filled with anxiety. Yet, your perspective hasn’t shifted and it’s not because you haven’t tried hard enough. In this blog, we’ll explain why positive thinking doesn’t work and what you can do to cope with your negative thoughts.

Here’s Why Looking on the ‘Bright Side’ Doesn’t Work

While being optimistic is a great quality to have, improving your inner self-talk by converting it into positive statements you don’t quite believe is like putting a plaster on a cut that needs stitches. This kind of approach encourages toxic positivity; you start pressuring yourself to think happy thoughts even when it’s not realistic under your circumstances and it doesn’t help you resolve subconscious beliefs you hold about yourself. If you’ve believed you’re worthless your whole life, suddenly telling yourself you’re good enough might boost your confidence but won’t necessarily help your self-esteem. Those kinds of beliefs are called core beliefs which are deeply ingrained in your subconsciousness and affect how you view the situation and yourself. For example, if your core belief is that you’re a failure, every setback might make you think that you never do anything right and puts you in a depressive mood.

Additionally, telling yourself that all you have to do is think positive invalidates your feelings. It’s impossible and unhealthy to be always optimistic no matter what situation you’re in.

Here’s What You Can Do to Deal with Negative Thought

1. Instead of being positive, be realistic

Telling yourself that you’ll get the highest mark when you left your assignment for the night before isn’t going to help. Similarly, if you tell yourself that you’ll win next time instead of acknowledging that you feel sad because you didn’t succeed in something that was important to you, you’ll invalidate your feelings. To deal with negative thoughts, convert them into something realistic, such as, ‘It’s impossible to win every time but I’ll be more prepared next time’.

2. Challenge the usefulness of negative thoughts

Whenever you experience a bad thought about yourself, consider if it serves you in any way. Does calling yourself names motivate you to work harder or does it make you feel bad about yourself and discourage you from trying?

3. Be self-compassionate

Instead of telling yourself that you’re amazing when you don’t really believe it, let yourself know that it’s okay to be imperfect and make mistakes. Reassure yourself whenever you fail or struggle with self-deprecating thoughts.

4. Explore your core belief from a different angle

First, try to identify your core beliefs by keeping a diary in which you talk about your feelings. Then try to challenge those beliefs and ask yourself what evidence you have to support them. For example, if your belief is that nobody likes you, think about your friends and the time someone enjoyed having a conversation with you.

If you struggle with low self-esteem and negative thoughts, it might be beneficial to seek therapy. Contact My Family Psychologist to see how we can help

If you are feeling pressured or need someone to speak to, contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat about how we may be able to help.

You can contact the My Family Psychologist Offices between 8 am and 8 pm to book an appointment.

Get in touch to see how we can help.

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