Good Reasons to Resist “Positive” Thinking

  1. Because it feels like fairy-tale thinking
  2. Because it seems like it doesn’t do any good anyway
  3. Because we pride ourselves in being rational
  4. Because there is no use denying what the world is really like

But, what if there was a way to be realistic and still get the benefits touted by positive-thinking advocates?

When I replaced the word “positive” with “productive,” I was immediately reminded that negative-thinking had caused me all sorts of unproductive symptoms: phobias, debilitating anxiety, relationship sabotage, giving up too quickly, jumping to the wrong conclusions, and lethargy, just to name a few.

Thinking “productively” pulled out my mental stop signs and switched my fatalism to “why not?”

Rejecting “unproductive” thoughts improved my life. Chiding myself for not thinking positive never did.

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4 thoughts on “Good Reasons to Resist “Positive” Thinking

  1. Great post. The word swap is a really good idea.

    • I agree. The word “positive” doesn’t include any action items, to me. But productivity does. When I think “how can I make this productive?” … I start to brainstorm for solutions. When I think “positive” I just try to psych myself out.

  2. Thanks e! A productive, and happy day to you!

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