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Does Positive thinking really work?

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posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:39 PM
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Maybe this sounds a bit of a strange thing to ask, but does that so called great thing, 'positive thinking' actually work to improve circumstances/ health etc?

I often wonder if all is predetermined and we are in the hands of fate...

or...is trying to make your brain positive thinking a good thing or is it mildly self-hypnotising and / or self delusional?

how would you test this?

if anyone has any experiences they would like to share, I would be very interested to read about them.

Thanks ATSers.




posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:48 PM
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It depends on the situation. A positive affect will improve one's health. As for cognitive functioning it depends on the task one is undertaking. If you need to be detail oriented then it is actually better to be in a negative mood, but if you need to look at the big picture then a positive mood is the way to go. I suggest you look into the research of Barbara Fredrickson, Robert Levenson, and Sonja Lyubomirsky.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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I'm not so sure that positive thinking works, but I definitely believe that negative thinking has a negative impact on one's life or actions.

I'm quite a negative person, I don't know why, it's just me. I try not to be, but it's kind of who I am. I know, if I let it really take over it can be quite dangerous.

I have to remind myself to remain positive, but it's hard!!



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by Onet Wosix
 


absolutely. You control your mood and your interaction with others. If you ever get interested in doing an experiment, try to greet a group of co-workers with a very happy cheerful attitude. Compliment someone in the group and bring up some happy news that you have heard, now watch everyone else and see if they don't seem happier. When you are cranky and mad at the world, try to notice how others around you react. It is a great thing to find out you are a catalyst in happiness. It also works on you. Given the choice to be happy or cranky, go with happy and see if your day isn't way better because of it.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 04:00 PM
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I do believe positive thinking can have a real, material effect on one's health, etc. I think this can be proven through the placebo effect and medications.

My mother has a huge list of medications she takes for a variety of reasons, but after I talked to the doc, we were able to intoduce sugar pills instead of highly-potent medications. The effect was amazing! She thought she was taking one medication, but in reality is was a dud. Just the thought of taking the medication helped her ailments without the side-effects of the actual medicine. So, I think that positive thinking can have the same effect.

Even though I am not a religious person, I think prayer falls into the same catagory as positive thinking. This too can be just as benaficial.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 04:00 PM
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edit on 8-9-2010 by sheepslayer247 because: double post



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:36 PM
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Time and time again studies have shown that telling a group of people a task is difficult will result in poor results, doing the opposite produces good results. This works to even greater extremes with children.

People who suffer with depression die younger and suffer with more physical diseases than somebody with without depression.

Doctors can often predict patient recovery times by the patients attitude to the illness. The more positive the patient thinks the outcome will be, usually follows through.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:31 PM
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People who suffer with depression die younger and suffer with more physical diseases than somebody with without depression.

Interesting, but do the physical diseases cause the depression, or does the depression cause the diseases?


edit on 8-9-2010 by Onet Wosix because: misspellings



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:36 PM
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reply to post by Onet Wosix
 


It can work either way. People who are suffering from terminal illness certainly face depression, but at the same time depression can bring about such things as hypertension and other diseases often linked with stress, as well as just common illnesses.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:38 PM
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It's best to think positive, Why would you want to think negative? I mean that doesn't mean turn a blind eye,but I guess I'm thinking the glass is always half full or w/e that saying is...


Don't you know it takes less muscles to smile then it does for you to frown..



good day and start thinking positive, That's all some people have.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by Onet Wosix
 
Wow it's great to be here with all of you! Thank you for starting this thread Onet Wosix.


Somewhere I heard that it takes 10 "positives to make-up for 1 "negative"...I will see if I can locate that information, It's been years since I read that somewhere. Food for the wise.


Oh I love this kind of discussion! Yes I do think that being positive has a positive affect/effect on self and others.

Have a good day!

Toni



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:48 PM
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How does one think positively though when you're constantly surrounded by negatives, and then when those negatives think you're getting away from them, they bring you down hard and kick you while you're down. In my world, there are no ups. You fall. You try to get up, and you fall further. There is no bottom, unless you make it for yourself. And there is no way up and out it seems.


edit on 8-9-2010 by Oreyeon because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:52 PM
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reply to post by Antoniastar
 


A positive affect is actually quite powerful at overcoming the effects that negative affect can have on the body.While the undoing hypothesis is a fairly recent theory there is evidence to suggest that it works in the physical realm. In 2000 Fredrickson et al. released a paper that showed that while negative affect can raise heart rate, blood sugar, suppress certain immune functions, which can lead to long term problems, prolonged positive affect can easily bring a person back to their baseline. I did some research into how it works with cognitive deficits caused by negative affect, but had problems finding a proper cognitive task.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by Oreyeon
 


While I'm not one to support self-help books I would suggest reading Sonja Lyubomirksy's The How of Happiness It is based off of 18 years of empirical research that Lyubomirsky and her colleagues have done on positive psychology. It outlines different things people can do to increase their happiness in both the short-term and long-term.
Sonja Lyubomirsky - The How of Happiness



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 09:17 PM
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Originally posted by Xcalibur254
reply to post by Antoniastar
 


A positive affect is actually quite powerful at overcoming the effects that negative affect can have on the body.While the undoing hypothesis is a fairly recent theory there is evidence to suggest that it works in the physical realm. In 2000 Fredrickson et al. released a paper that showed that while negative affect can raise heart rate, blood sugar, suppress certain immune functions, which can lead to long term problems, prolonged positive affect can easily bring a person back to their baseline. I did some research into how it works with cognitive deficits caused by negative affect, but had problems finding a proper cognitive task.


Oh hi Xcalibur,

Most certainly! Yes I so agree with you. Overcoming negative affect on my body is a career choice. I figured heck why not go into it full time? And music helps me to stay positive. Here is one of my "happy songs"..



Wow is that what's it's called? "The undoing hypothesis"? That's a good one.
Well the negative and positive effects just show that we are connected to ourselves, we're not just physical beings. Interesting too, if one notices (which I'm sure one does) that our physical body is connected by bones, ligaments, etc. ...it would naturally follow, in my reasoning, that the inside is connected to the outside. So, negative affects would effect our body.

Please, what is a "baseline"?

So, allow me to re-cap. During your research into "cognitive deficits caused by negative affect" you ran into problems locating "a proper cognitive task". Okay. So was a task found? And, if so, what deficit, if any, was determined? Might I ask?

I've got one! How about fear?

Toni






edit on 8-9-2010 by Antoniastar because: used the incorrect code



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 09:40 PM
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Does positive thinking actually work....absolutely.

If you've read any of my posts, my life is pretty good right now...but it hasn't always been so. I have been divorced twice, been through a horrible custody battle over my child. Been down to literallybeing cold, able to see the sun through the cracks in the wall, been hungry, dirt broke, not really known what I would eat tommorrow, nor known what was going to happen next....

Yet through it all... I tried to be positive. I wondered if something was wrong with me...wrong with the way I thought or believed or tried to live.

I started reading books from the library because they were free.... one I read was just that...The Power of Thinking Big. The best thing I learned in there was to LOVE YOURSELF.

Everyday, I was to tell myself at least three times a day while looking in a mirror, I LOVE YOU. The idea being that it would change your outlook, your feelings, your aura, your positive waves....

And it did....What you project is what others pickup on...positive waves attract and reflect positive waves. Unconsciously, others sense the positive waves, the confidence, the happy tone...they also pickup on a negative attitude, defeatist attitude, negative waves.

You can't control others..but you can control you. believe in yourself, trust you and your instincts, learn, grow, try little baby steps...set goals and make them happen....

I will apply for a job today...I will try to make 10 dollars today... I will learn something knew today...I will help someone today.... I will plant a small fall garden today....

13 years ago, I was living in a barn...not a nice barn...a dirt floor barn, two light bulbs..one for each stall... took my bath by the well pump...the hot water in the hose from lying in the sun all day lasted about 30 seconds.... I was buying day old donuts for 10 each before they threw them away at the grocery store.... at night, I would sit by the fire so close to get warm and then run into the barn and cover up in the quilts of the bed...I actually had shampoo suds crystalize and freeze on my . before I could rinse....

Now, I have remarried...have a 50 acre farm, lots of children and step children...all grown up....land in 3 counties and a trailer at the NC coast. There is the power of faith and positive thinking.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by Onet Wosix

People who suffer with depression die younger and suffer with more physical diseases than somebody with without depression.

Interesting, but do the physical diseases cause the depression, or does the depression cause the diseases?


edit on 8-9-2010 by Onet Wosix because: misspellings


Interesting question and worthy of further discussion.

My opinion is that there are at least two types of depression, 1) in-born and 2) clinical.

Clinical depression is difficult to diagnose (from my study of depressed patients and others). I think the reason being is because there is not a sound foundation set in order to make diagnosis of depression with more ease and less suffering..

If, for one thing, depression is seen as an emotion, or "state of mind", then I think many depressive people make the choice to stay in this state of mind. Of course, it is not this simple. But it's a beginning. The only evidence I have for this premise is my own personal experience.

Speaking of, if you suspect that you don't have clinical depression (even after being told by a physician that you do), than see if some positivism will do the will do you good. If it does, then continue with your personal therapy/healing plan.

I am not a doctor so please get another opinion. I am only a survivor of serious and prolonged depression that nearly killed me. But since around 1997, I've only experienced mild and temporary depression (which is normal). One morning I woke up and decided no more! I had enough of being down. I gave it up for good. Though I didn't instantly transform into...



And I am not finished yet. I am a work-in-progress and I always will be.

Power, Light & Love,

Toni



edit on 8-9-2010 by Antoniastar because: typo




edit on 8-9-2010 by Antoniastar because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 10:57 PM
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Your thinking or conscience is what makes you. If you think bad things and depressing thoughts you're going to be depressed.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by Antoniastar
 


Baseline is their heart rate, etc. when their mood is neutral. In these experiments you take a baseline reading before inducing them into a negative mood, and this is what you're hoping a positive mood will bring them back to.

For the cognitive task the problem was finding a task where a negative affect caused one kind of result, while a positive affect caused the opposite result. The task we ended up using was a global-local task. An example of this would be if you showed someone a picture of a square made out of circles. You then ask what shape they saw. If they choose square they are globally focused, which is found to occur more when you are in a positive mood. If they choose circle they are locally focused, which occurs more with a negative affect. Unfortunately we did not get this result, so we were unable to find evidence of the undoing hypothesis in relation to cognitive processing. We did find some other interesting stuff though, but unless you've read the literature it won't make much sense.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 10:36 AM
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Hi There,

Perhaps I may be able point out a few things that will help in the understanding of "Positive Thinking".

It helps if a person can come to terms with the concept "Thoughts Are Things".

For example lets take any of these common practices. Effective prayer, effective manifestation, effective magic.

If dear reader you have noticed the magic all around you nothing I have to say matters as you already know.

To those who have not noticed my words will just be more blah blah blah.

These things can only truly be understood by personal experience and some dot connecting.

And then only understood within the frame work of each persons subjective perspective.

I will continue anyway. I am trying to learn to write and this is good practice.

Back to prayer, manifestation and magic.

I will tell those unfamiliar how it is these practices change reality.

First the mechanics of it.

Trance + Thought + Emotion = Changed Reality

Now the inherent problem with negative thinking is as humans we frequently zone out. TV, commuting, staring off in space, ect.

These are trance states and extremely powerful in creating our every day reality.

If at these times you happen to be dwelling on unpleasant things with a strong emotional connection you can expect ever more unpleasantness.

So by curbing negative thoughts and replacing them consciously with positive the creation process take a much more agreeable turn.

This is clearly being shown effective in mental health treatment.

It's called cognitive behavioral therapy.

What ever you care to call it "Thoughts Are Things".

magpie



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