Less Negative is More Positive

Did you know that while positive thinking has its merits, reducing negative thinking is even more advantageous? Psychological research indicates that focusing on “avoiding negative thoughts” can yield greater benefits compared to solely “cultivating positive thoughts.”

Adam Grant (Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Author, Organizational Psychology) offers some staggering statistics about negativity (in this instance, health related):

“Optimism has little bearing on health.  Avoiding pessimism matters more.  61 studies, 221K people: health is predicted more by the absence of pessimism than the presence of optimism.  Well-being isn’t about expecting the best.  It’s about making sure you don’t assume the worst.”

In one way it’s glaringly obvious that in the absence of shit thoughts you feel good, right? You don’t have to “effort” to feel upbeat or happy – it just occurs naturally.  It’s negative beliefs that cause negative feelings.  Since it’s the negative feelings that derail your inner peace, doesn’t it make sense to reduce them? 

The easiest way to change your negative feelings is by changing your (negative) beliefs, which are the cause of your negative emotions.  And if you have a response to that statement along the lines of “well it’s just not that easy to do that”, that’s simply a belief you have. We’ve all changed our beliefs about many things throughout our lives.  Didn’t many of us use to believe in Santa Claus? (Sorry for the spoiler alert if you’re a 5 year-old reading this!) Did you ever believe, “this is the best job ever” and then believe it wasn’t?  Did you at one point believe “this is the one” and then they sure as hell weren’t?

What about conscious belief change – the kind where you “choose” a belief you want to change – like “I’ll never lose weight”, “There is no way to build my golf business without having a ton more money”, “I can’t find more clients for golf lessons”?   I’ll happily admit that I’m biased because helping people change their beliefs and how they feel is what I specialize in and what this entire platform is about. So maybe the first belief for you to change is that you So maybe the first belief for you to change is that you can change your beliefs.  Just sayin 😉