Can Thinking Positive Make You More Depressed?
Start thinking positive, wake up every morning and tell yourself how amazing you are. Fill your day with positive thoughts. When you have a negative thought consciously change that thought to a positive one. Have you heard this type of advice before?
There is a wealth of information out there about positive thinking and the drastic changes that could be made in your life if you just start thinking positive! These are the secret tools to wealth, health, and happiness have been around for years. “Think and Grow Rich” written by Napoleon Hill was written back in 1937. The concept of controlling your thoughts in a positive way will bring positive things into your life is simple, or is it?
Although positive thinking can produce amazing things for people in their lives, practically manifested out of thin air there is a down side. There are strong arguments that positive thinking done by people who are already depressed may not benefit from a daily mantra like people who are not depressed would.
In a recent article at everydayhealth.com brings to light the slippery slope of depression and positive thinking:
Psychologist Joanne Wood of the University of Waterloo in Canada led a study where a group of people were told to repeat to themselves a positive mantra —“I am a lovable person”— on cue, which was repeated 16 times. At the end of the exercise, the folks with normal to high self-esteem reported feeling slightly better while the ones with low self-esteem felt worse. Katie Goldsmith of University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center blogs about the study, explaining that people with low self-esteem might have been damaged by the mantra because the affirmation could remind them that they aren’t measuring up to standards set by themselves. Moreover, researchers found that people with low self-esteem were better off when they were allowed to have negative thoughts, versus focusing solely on positive ones. Read the entire article here