Effects of Positive Thinking: The Benefits and Disadvantages

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It was Epictetus who said, “The thing that upsets people is not so much what happens, but what they think about what happens.

That was way back in the first century and is also known as one of the oldest recorded histories of positive thinking.

Many centuries after, positive thinking remains one of the most supported practices today because of the proven effects of positive thinking.

In fact, we’ll share with you an excellent program called Manifestation Miracle.

It comes with actionable steps that you can follow to enjoy the best benefits of optimism.

The Science of Positive Thinking

We understand why some of you might be hesitant to adopt this way of thinking.

After all, we live in a world that requires much vigilance and preparation for survival, but it’s not as “woo-woo” as you might think.

There have been numerous studies that have proven the merits of positivity already.

Recent Supporting Studies

A study published in the journal Behavior Research and Therapy found that positive thinking can significantly reduce the pathological worry of patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (or GAD).

They have divided their control group into two subgroups.

The first one practiced positive thinking by replacing their worry with positive images or verbal thoughts related to their worries.

The second group was asked to practice positive thinking by replacing their worry with completely unrelated positive images or verbal thoughts.

The results were surprising. They have concluded that even thinking about unrelated positive thoughts can efficiently counter worry and help in GAD management.

There’s an even more interesting conclusion in a paper published in the Psychological Bulleting by the American Psychological Association.

We already know that success can lead to happiness, but did you know that it can actually be the other way around?

Apparently, the paper states that happiness is a factor in achieving success.

Finally, a paper published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition even goes as far as concluding that self-deception through positive thinking leads to a phenomenon referred to as “The Winner Effect.

Such an effect can lead to actual success and self-enhancement. 

Effects of Positive Thinking

There are certainly other studies out there (hundreds of them!) that further examine the effects of positive thinking in one’s life.

We invite you to explore the similar rabbit hole that we fell into.

In the meantime, here are the main points that we have concluded ourselves through research and experience.

How Positive Thinking Can Change Your Life

Some of the most common benefits of positive thinking are:

  • Improved Health

Optimistic people are less likely to get stressed; thus, they’re less prone to developing both physical and mental ailments associated with it.

That includes heart problems, obesity, diabetes, anxiety disorders, and depression.

  • Better Performance

You will also find yourself shifting to a solution-based mentality because positive thinking will keep you from losing hope.

It will also impart the values of resilience and perseverance that can improve your productivity and performance at work and the other aspects of your life.

  • Achieve Success and Happiness

Following the previous point, it will also increase your likelihood of reaching success in your pursuits.

Finally, optimistic people are simply happier in general.

It’s not because they have fewer things to worry about, but they don’t.

It’s just a matter of shifting their perspective from a glass-half-empty to a glass-half-full.

What Are the Disadvantages of Positive Thinking?

Positive thinking does offer a trove of benefits. However, as with everything in this world, it is not perfect.

The same paper we referenced above by the American Psychological Association states that positive thinking (and happiness) has a few disadvantages too, like the following:

  • More Prone to Make Mistakes

Overestimating things or denying how bad really things are can make a person more prone to take shortcuts, skip error checking, and make decisions based on these wrong assumptions.

  • More Inclined to Thinking Stereotypically

Positive thinkers usually become stereotypes because some fail to see the shadows of personality that make each person unique.

Tend to be Overly Competitive and Reward-Driven That’s because their way of thinking usually begins with success in mind.

  • Lack of Fear

Fear is not the enemy. It is necessary for survival and keeps you from making catastrophic mistakes.

  • Can Limit You From Growth

Flipping to the other side of the coin of the previous point is too much fear.

Since happiness and optimism can bring about contentment, these virtues can sadly also limit us from further growth.

  • Too Much Trust

While it’s not bad to give others the benefit of the doubt, it can also sometimes hinder your capacity to spot red flags.

  • Tendency to Gauge and Feel Pain

Finally, positive thinkers also tend to gauge and feel pain more intensely than a negative person should it arise.

The expectation of pain can apparently make the actual experience better, while the lack of this expectation can make it seem worse.

We believe, though, that most of these disadvantages come from an imbalance, from those who don’t fully understand the real meaning of optimism.

what are the effects of positive thinking

What Is Genuine Optimism?

For us, true optimism isn’t being in a state of denial or ignorance.

It isn’t being too proud or confident either. Most of all, it’s not a “fake it ‘till you make it” deal.

Instead, it is a practice of controlling your thoughts to see things as they actually are and how you would receive them.

It is accepting the things that you cannot change and realizing that worrying won’t solve anything.

It is having a clear and open mind to come up with a possible solution instead of just wallowing in hopelessness.

It is having a healthy outlook on life by recognizing that your challenges are not calamities that bring you down, but opportunities to grow and learn.

With the right way to think positively, you will not be prone to commit mistakes, believe stereotypes, and be overly competitive.

You won’t be too fearless. You will still learn to recognize your limitations, but you won’t let them keep you from fighting as well.

You won’t trust too much, but you can recognize kindness, practice forgiveness, and feel empathy.

Lastly, you won’t let your failures destroy you because you know you gave it your best shot.

For us, the key is achieving balance first.

How to Achieve the Right Balance

We recognize that this is easier said than done.

Fortunately, it’s not impossible. It begins by recognizing thought distortions.

Each person has a history. These histories are made up of various factors and experiences一our life stories.

The problem is that these life stories and the environment we are in, and our immediate society’s norms can develop a distorted view of life.

Different Thought Distortions

There are different types of thought distortions, and the most common ones are:

  • Filtering

This is the way of focusing on a particular aspect of an event while (most of the time unconsciously) leaving out some details.

This is common among pessimists and unbalanced optimists as well, where they either focus too much on the negative or positive side of things and ignore everything else.

  • Polarizing

This is a way of thinking where you only recognize that everything is just good or bad.

There’s nothing in between.

  • Overgeneralizing

It’s the act of inferring dramatic or farfetched assumptions and conclusions from even the smallest details.

  • Personalizing

This is a thinking process where you put the “me” goggles on.

You’re seeing that everything happening is about you.

That smile, smirk, sigh, frown, and even completely unrelated decisions made by other people are about you or have been influenced by you.

  • Emotional Reasoning

This is a habit of letting your emotions cloud your thought processes, of thinking that what you’re feeling is what defines you.

Write your thoughts on the best journals since it may help determine your thought distortions and eventually work them out.

The First Steps Towards True Optimism

Once you have determined your own thought distortions, the second step would be doing something about them.

There’s no other way to go about them than through constant practice until later on; it gets habitual and natural.

You will need to catch your thoughts and analyze them consciously.

Are you distorting them in some way?

Is there a possibility that you are conscious or unconsciously ignoring?

What is the truth?

After you have grasped this skill, it is when we highly recommend performing positive thinking exercises.

Now that you have seen something for what it is, you will now move on to the next question: can you do something about it?

It gets a little bit easier by this point. The answer, after all, is pretty straightforward.

If the answer is no, then there’s no use worrying about it.

If the answer is yes, you can use positive thinking techniques to confront it with a more optimistic approach.

Finally, we also want to remind you that there are cases when practicing these steps can be extremely difficult to do alone.

You might find your negative thoughts persistent and overwhelming. If so, then please feel free to seek professional help.

Your negative thoughts might be a symptom of another underlying condition.

Seeking medical attention will give you access to numerous therapies and interventions to help you deal with your mental health strain with support and added confidence.

Manifestation Miracle

Manifestation Miracle CTA

Another option is to sign up for a personal development program geared towards positive thinking and manifestation.

Of all the choices out there, though, we have found Manifestation Miracle to be one of our favorites.

It provides an easy-to-follow blueprint on how to manifest your goals through positive thinking that is grounded on reality.

It comes in two versions, a guidebook and an audiobook, that you can use interchangeably according to your needs and preferences.

What Can a Positive Mindset Do?

Much has been said about positive thinking, but does it really work? And if so, what does it do?

Positive thinking offers various benefits, including decreased health risks, improved productivity, happiness, and contentment.

However, it also offers several disadvantages, especially if you don’t really apply the techniques the right way.

Decreasing prejudices and thought distortions is one of the keys to achieving genuine optimism.

Taking personal development programs like Manifestation Miracle also helps ground the lessons that you have learned to apply the principles in everyday life.

It will require much practice, true, but isn’t everything else that is worth doing?

2 thoughts on “Effects of Positive Thinking: The Benefits and Disadvantages”

  1. Pingback: How Does Positive Thinking Lead to Success? - Positive Zen Flow

  2. Pingback: Positive Thinking Effects You Can Enjoy Today! - hopelessness

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