Brainwaves of negative and positive thinkers disclose crucial insights into positive thinking. In accordance to a research study, being asked to ‘think positive’ is extremely difficult. And might even be causing harm instead for some people.
The research study observed neural markers of negative and positive thinking.
71 females were told to look at upsetting images. And to put a positive spin on them in the research study. Females were recruited specifically as they are more prone to experience high levels of anxiety and depression.
The images consisted of a woman being held hostage by a masked man with a knife to her throat. As anticipated, the positive thinkers found this task was easy. However, the scientists noted something crucial among the natural worriers.
The natural worriers in fact revealed a complex backfiring result in their brains when they were asked to reduce their negative feelings. This theorizes that the natural worriers have a very difficult time putting a positive spin on tough situations. And actually worsens their negative feelings when they are told to think positively.
On the other hand, those positive thinkers were able to lower the electronic signatures of worry which the brain produces.
Conveying that positive thinking was working for them. This aligns with what the pessimistic personalities frequently state. That asking them to ‘be positive’ is no help but harmful instead.
That is why you cannot simply ask your friend “not to worry” or “think positively”. You should use different methods. And perhaps tell him to think of the situation in a different angle.
Techniques that are most likely to work are usually those used in cognitive-behavioral therapy. That include challenging or coming to terms with relentless anxieties. Many of us develop negative thinking because we are frustrated.
This negativity makes it even more difficult for us to handle challenges.
Practicing positive thinking enables us to focus on our achievements and strengths. Which increases motivation and happiness. This makes us to spend more time improving.
Remind yourself of the things you are grateful for. Bad situations do not seem that awful when you always appreciate the good things that are right in your life. Look for the proof instead of making assumptions.
Do not waste time worrying about something you might have done wrong.
Unless you have proof that there is something to worry about. Refrain from using absolutes. Thinking and speaking in absolutes like ‘always’ and ‘never’ makes situations seem worse than it really is.
And programs your brain into believing that certain problems cannot be resolved. Detach from negative thinking. Your thoughts cannot hold any power over you if you do not give weight to them.
If you realize you are having a negative thought, detach from it. Acknowledge it, but do not follow it. Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) are the reactionary bad thoughts like, “It must be bad!”
Squash the “ANTs”.
Just know that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them! Practice loving, touching, and squeezing (on family and friends, not strangers, please)! Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up.
Increase social activity. Increasing social activity will decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with happy people.
And their positivity will rub off on you. Volunteer. Everybody feels good helping.
You could offer your money or time.
The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return. Use pattern interrupts to combat rumination. Rumination is never productive.
Since it is irrational and not solution-oriented. It is just excessive worry. Try changing your physical environment.
Go for a walk, sit outside, pick up a book, call up a friend, or turn on some music. To get little things like stress under our skins will not solve our problems. Sometimes it takes more courage to admit that we have a problem than to convince ourselves that we have done our best.