How to think positive when everything is going wrong
Trying to be positive when you’re grieving or experiencing other serious distress can seem impossible. During these times, it’s important to take the pressure off of yourself to find the silver lining. Instead, channel that energy into getting support from others.
Positive thinking isn’t about burying every negative thought or emotion you have or avoiding difficult feelings. The lowest points in our lives are often the ones that motivate us to move on and make positive changes.
When going through such a time, try to see yourself as if you were a good friend in need of comfort and sound advice. What would you say to her? You’d likely acknowledge her feelings and remind her she has every right to feel sad or angry in her situation, and then offer support with a gentle reminder that things will get better.
Side effects of negative thinking
Negative thinking and the many feelings that can accompany it, such as pessimism, stress, and anger, can cause a number of physical symptoms and increase your risk of diseases and a shortened lifespan.
Stress and other negative emotions trigger several processes in our bodies, including stress hormone release, metabolism, and immune function. Long periods of stress increase inflammation in your body, which has also been implicated in a number or serious diseases.
Some of the symptoms of stress include:
Cynicism, stress, anger, and hostility have been linked to a higher risk of:
- heart disease
- heart attack
When to seek medical help
If you’re feeling consumed by negative thoughts and are having trouble controlling your emotions, see a doctor. You may benefit from medical help, such as positive psychology or therapy. Persistent negative thoughts can be caused by an underlying psychiatric condition that requires treatment.
You won’t be able to undo years of pessimism and negative thoughts overnight, but with some practice, you can learn how to approach things with a more positive outlook.
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