Yes, I Suck: Self-Help Through Negative Thinking

April 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I was reading the Huffington Post today and following on different links until I came across the piece below from Time Magazine on positive thinking.  Based on many studies the piece concludes that rather than keeping a mantra going of how wonderful we are, if we actually acknowledged our thoughts and feelings, we would have a more fulfilling and lasting experience.

I’ve always been of the mind that if we keep repeating something that we know not to be true like “I’m so happy” when we feel miserable, it will cause even more distress because all we are doing is underscoring the differences between what we are saying and how we are feeling.

Acknowledging how we feel and then moving on is an honest and courageous way to deal with our lives with lasting results.  Please read on.


By John Cloud

running man
running man

In the past 50 years, people with mental problems have spent untold millions of hours in therapists’ offices, and millions more reading self-help books, trying to turn negative thoughts like “I never do anything right” into positive ones like “I can succeed.” For many people — including well-educated, highly trained therapists, for whom “cognitive restructuring” is a central goal — the very definition of psychotherapy is the process of changing self-defeating attitudes into constructive ones.

But was Norman Vincent Peale right? Is there power in positive thinking? A study just published in the journal Psychological Science says trying to get people to think more positively can actually have the opposite effect: it can simply highlight how unhappy they are…Continued