Why positive thinking is mostly, well, positive
For Positive Thinking Day on September 13, it pays to see the glass half full. “Positive emotions broaden our thinking, which in turn makes us have more positive thoughts,” says Julia Breur, PhD, a licensed clinical psychotherapist in Boca Raton, Florida. (Here’s what optimistic people do every day). “If we are experiencing positive emotions such as peacefulness and curiosity, we are more likely to be creative, see new opportunities, and be open to new ideas.” At the same time, however, it’s possible to be too positive. Yes, in fact, perpetual smiles and ongoing Pollyanna-ish thoughts may work against you and those around you. “Being willing and able to feel the entire spectrum of human emotions is far more important for experiencing a full life and can benefit one’s overall mental and physical well-being,” Dr. Breur says. Here, she and other experts explain the downsides of constantly donning rose-colored glasses, while sharing some tips about how you can find balance.
Your partner’s health could suffer
Dr. Breur says that if you dismiss your partner’s physical pain by always putting a positive spin on it, you might miss serious health conditions. Saying things like “you work so hard all day, of course your back hurts,” when your spouse’s pain has been occurring for weeks, may brush pertinent health issues under the carpet. While your uplifting comments are filled with good intentions, Dr. Breur says that you should take a step back and consider the possibilities. And in this case, head to a medical professional, especially if pain has been ongoing. These are the pain symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.