The Power of Positive Thinking

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Posts in total: 9
Whenever I heard someone bloviate about the power of positive thinking, that "just being happy" was all that you needed, I rolled my eyes and thought 'here we go, another instance of mindless platitudes making people think they know the deeper mechanics of human psychology'.

However, there appears to be sufficient research to suggest that merely being optimistic, even when there is no reason to be, should be encouraged in life, as this article reads:

"The study found that women who were optimistic had a significantly reduced risk of dying from several major causes of death — including cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and infection — over an eight-year period, compared with women who were less optimistic."

...

"The most optimistic women (the top quartile) had a nearly 30 percent lower risk of dying from any of the diseases analyzed in the study compared with the least optimistic (the bottom quartile), the study found. The most optimistic women had a 16 percent lower risk of dying from cancer; 38 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease; 39 percent lower risk of dying from stroke; 38 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease; and 52 percent lower risk of dying from infection."


It is conceivable that the optimistic women are the ones who are not experiencing life's hardships, hence why they are optimistic. It is also possible that this is a matter of correlation, rather than any significant causation.

Nonetheless, it is nothing short of fascinating that being a mindless, smiling drone, unable to ponder the complex, often terrifying facets of life, has a better chance of survival than a well-educated realist.
--> @Analgesic.Spectre
I think that this is because stress is such a huge cause of many health problems, and optimism either in itself reduces stress, or is correllated with conditions which reduce stress.
--> @Analgesic.Spectre
I personally find some negative thinking to feel really good. It's good to have positive thinking, but i think it's a fine mix between the two people should master. But then again, this is all really subjective. What works for me may not work for others. And also, i don't get stress from negative thinking, it 'turns me on' so to say. I guess default position should be to think positive if people can't handle negative thoughts. And there are some negative thoughts that automatically induce bad feelings so it's good to turn those off. The studies have merit for a reason. Bc i think the majority of people can't handle negative thoughts well. But if you can, not only does it feel good in my case... it better prepares me for when i do encounter negativity or the manifestation of a negative thought. 
--> @Analgesic.Spectre
Nonetheless, it is nothing short of fascinating that being a mindless, smiling drone, unable to ponder the complex, often terrifying facets of life, has a better chance of survival than a well-educated realist.

TBH you kinda ruined the topic with the last comment. Considering the mind is more machine like by nature one can know suffering and one can know happiness and all that in between. So why is the positive thinker the mindless drone and not the worrier? what makes one better than the other when both are content being experienced through the mind. 

I would most certainly fall within the category of someone who tends to focus and be more attentive to negative thinking but I have learned the nature of the mind and what thoughts are and what they are capable of doing. I don't blame anyone who is able to prioritize the content within their mind and actually envy the mindless happy drone. What makes you think the positive thinker is unable to ponder the complex or that they are not realists? who is really the realist? the one who lets negativity bring down their morale and control their potential or the one that knows whatever thoughts and mindset they entertain is what their outcome will be and what they will experience....both negative thoughts and positive are chosen, even if a person is unaware of it because as I said the mind is a machine it will regurgitate what you allow it to.
Negativity will wear on ones consciousness if it becomes something out of proportion (die earlier) and this is the problem with that nature of thinking anyways, it develops power to control the individual and depletes the person so what is so "realistic" about that? one can be a realist and at the same time control the content of the mind and what it produces. A person can weigh the negative aspects of life and not be overcome by them by being aware of what the mind is producing and the nature of thought.
You can view the mind in many ways to get the point across, how about like a weapon or a gun? you can use the gun for both positive and negative things such as providing for oneself or using it to harm people or even the self. The mind is the same way because it is not an entity but a tool, a storage area where you store whatever content you wish to. In this sense, it is imperative the user control the content within.

Negative mindsets can cause you to believe something is worse than it is, and when it turns out better, you have more of a desire to go back. Versus positive thinking where your more likely to be disappointed 
--> @ResurgetExFavilla
Do you have any sources for this?
--> @Outplayz
How does a person "handle" negative thoughts well? Is it by becoming dispassionate about them?

--> @EtrnlVw
TBH you kinda ruined the topic with the last comment. Considering the mind is more machine like by nature one can know suffering and one can know happiness and all that in between. So why is the positive thinker the mindless drone and not the worrier? what makes one better than the other when both are content being experienced through the mind...
The human mind is rife with confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and in-the-moment activities that keep it from pondering the true nature of existence. It's too busy attempting to find a suitable mate, instead of attempting to ponder whether mating is something desirable. It's too busy attempting to raise a child, instead of attempting to ponder whether raising a child is something desirable. Too busy attempting to increase social status. Too busy attempting to explore the world. Too busy investing years into becoming proficient at a skill. Too busy to contemplate whether life is worth living.

Life, if examined properly, is a horrific nightmare, plagued with all kinds of hardship and tragedy. People are only friends because they are useful to each other, not because they care about each other. People get upset when their sports-team loses, yet are largely indifferent to African people defecating their guts and dying due of disease. Children are cute to manipulate parents in surrendering decades of their lives and resources. You can't ever be content with your life; you will always want more. No matter what you do in life, you are going to die, and all your efforts will eventually be forgotten and for nothing.

There is no way, in my mind, that a human could comprehend the horrors of existence, and thus remain a positive thinker, hence the "mindless drone" label.

both negative thoughts and positive are chosen
>sitting at home peacefully with family, playing a game of Monopoly
>the windows shatter as your children burst with blood
>both flop to the ground, eyes rolled back, pumping blood into blood puzzles
>tires screech until the roar of an engine fades
>call police
>Police officer: "just choose positive thoughts."
--> @Analgesic.Spectre
How does a person "handle" negative thoughts well? Is it by becoming dispassionate about them?
That is one way. Give me examples of negative thoughts and i'll tell you how i deal with them. I can't really think of any right now. That in itself is another reason why they don't bother me. My mind is truly always blank. If it's not i'm thinking of situations and philosophical concepts. But i've practiced being present a lot. Not in the past not in the future. Just always present. So, when i don't have any present thoughts, i let me thoughts just blank out and don't pay attention to them. I've noticed the negative thoughts that bug the most are those that you can't do anything about and are not true by being in the past or the future and not having happened. I stay away from those ones, but everything else, yeah... i guess dispassionate is a good way to describe it.