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Once You Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Ones, You’ll Start Having Positive Results

Once You Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Ones, You’ll Start Having Positive Results

It turns out that negative thinking isn’t just bad for your success, but also for your health! Numerous studies have shown that people who are more optimistic are physically and mentally healthier than pessimists.

This isn’t your fault, though, says Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist. He has found that humans are hardwired to be pessimistic as a survival technique. It’s been a long time since humans were in the “survival of the fittest” lifestyle, but we’re still naturally pessimistic.

This can really be trouble for your health. According to Psychology Today, as you dwell on stress and worry, you’re doing damage to the neural system that regulates emotion, feeling, and memory. In fact, this article in Entrepreneur covers a study which found that the health of pessimists deteriorated much more quickly than the health of optimists.

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What a vicious cycle: the more negative you are, the more negative you become!

How to Spot a Pessimist

A lot of people who are pessimistic try to hide it from even themselves behind a curtain of “reality.” How many times have you heard someone say “I’m not being negative; I’m a realist.”  The problem with this thinking is that it requires you to believe that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. That isn’t very realistic!

Here are other signs of someone’s negativity, according to The Mind Unleashed:

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  • They complain a lot.
  • They would rather talk about what’s wrong with the world than what’s right.
  • They are highly critical.
  • They don’t believe they have control over many results in their life.
  • They believe that they need to make slight changes to be happy, rather than being happy with how things already are.

The Power of Positivity

If negativity can actually hurt us, can positivity help us? Science says yes! In fact, Martin Seligman (of the University of Pennsylvania) has devoted himself to finding the power of positivity. In one study, Martin studied insurance salesmen, some of which identified as positive, and some of which identified as negative. Optimistic people outsold the naturally negative people by 37 percent! Everyone has heard cliches about positive thinking attracting positive results, but Seligman wants to prove it. His research is leading the way when it comes to how we think about positive thinking, and how we can stay positive at all times.

Some Positivity Tips

According to Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, staying positive is like exercising. To make a long story short, the more you practice being positive, the better you are at it! Remember that we said we’re hardwired to feel negativity, which means we have to consciously try to overcome that. Here are Shawn Achor’s top five ways to practice positive thinking everyday, without much work!

1. Bring gratitude to mind

Write down three things, every single day, that you are grateful for. In order to make this easier and more effective, you should write one thing about yourself, one big thing about the world, and one thing about someone close to you. This way, you can’t get away with writing “1. Coffee, 2. Chocolate, 3. Seinfeld.” While those things are great, they aren’t life changing.

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2. Journal

Write down something positive that’s happened to you each day.

3. Exercise

Exercise is an amazing way to clear the mind and think through daily issues.

4. Meditate

Every morning, sit in silence for five minutes and pay attention to the motion of your chest as you breathe in and out. This will do wonders to calm your brain and clear your mind.

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5. Help people

Randomly throughout the day, do small nice things for others. Shawn Achor suggest sending a nice email to a friend and complimenting something they’ve been working on. You can even compliment someone out of your reach on Social Media, like someone you look up to. This way, you won’t feel insecure.

You could literally do all of those things, every single day, in just a couple minutes. Think of the incredible power you have now! Anyone can be happier and more successful with such little effort; there’s no reason not to be more positive right away. You can live longer and be more successful if you’re willing to see the good in more things!

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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