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It is said that bad habits die hard. How many times have you read in someone's dating profile: "I'm a positive person?" How often have you told someone to "think positive?" Psychology suggests this might not always be such a good idea as it distorts your thought process and, eventually, can develop into a bad habit of always distorting your thoughts. Could it be that one of the reasons so many fake reality is because they've developed poor thinking methods? Are your thoughts typically based upon the most plausible explanation or what you hope/want to be true? Which do you think is more important: thinking positively or thinking accurately?


You have surely heard a lot about positive thinking. Positive thinking gets good press. Everyone tells you to change your negative thoughts into positive ones. But don't believe the hype. Positive thinking isn't quite the winner it claims to be. Those who drive in the fast and exhilarating lane of positive thinking may easily veer into the ditch of wishful thinking or tumble over the cliff of self-delusion. Much of the recent economic trouble people are finding themselves in, for example, is due to their willingness to think positively, wishfully, delusionally about the rate of appreciation on the value of their homes. For sound mental health, the fundamental question is not whether a thought is negative or positive, but whether it is accurate.

Accurate thinking is important because we know today, through the pioneering work of psychologists such as Albert Ellis, Aaron Beck and others, that your thoughts--the beliefs, interpretations and assumptions you make about yourself and the world around you--can shape your feelings and actions...

Our thoughts are, in essence, internal behaviors. Throughout life, we acquire many "thought habits"--characteristic ways of thinking about ourselves and the world. Distorted thought habits will over time result in psychological pain, just as a distorted posture will result in physical pain. For example, if you've adopted a habit of thinking "I must have everyone's approval to be successful," then you are bound to spend your time trying to get everyone to like you. Your inevitable failure over time will cause you pain. But the real culprit, the real source of your suffering, is not your failure to become universally loved but your belief that becoming so is a requirement for success.

Pop psychology may urge you to replace negative thought habits with positive ones. But that just exchanges one distortion for another. What you need is to change distorted thinking, be it positive or negative, into accurate thinking.

For Sound Mental Health, Think Again About Your Thinking - Both positive and negative thinking may be bad for you


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Oct 13, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=348

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