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Positive Thinking

Question

What is positive psychology and what are its benefits?

Answer

Positive psychology was first introduced by an American Clinical Psychologist, Dr Martin
Seligman in 1998. According to Dr. Seligman, most people tend to focus on the negative aspects of our daily lives. Often times, the human potential of resilience against everyday obstacles is
de-emphasised and ignored. The main purpose of positive psychology is to promote the idea of discovering and developing such resilience capacity within every individual. People can use such resilience not only to properly manage the periods of down times in their lives, but also to prevent further deterioration of their mental state.

Question

Is this the same as positive thinking? How can we put positive psychology into practice and improve our lives?

Answer

Positive thinking is the integral part of positive psychology. However, most of us tend to think of the worse scenario almost immediately when something negative happens in our lives. This is the usual ABC thought pattern of a person affected by negative circumstances:
A - Adversity - You believe you have no ability to change the adverse situation that you are in
B - Belief - You eventually believe that you are “powerless”
C - Consequence - You think that no matter what you do and how hard you try, you will still get a negative result.
To counteract such debilitating thoughts, add two more steps once you are aware of the above negative thought pattern.
D - Disputation - Begin to challenge the distorted thoughts and start to look for a solution.
E - Energising - Empower yourself by reviewing how you are able to solve the problem.

Instead of minimising your capacity to problem solve, give yourself a well deserved praise, no matter how small the achievement may be.

Question

How does Positive Thinking help a person handle others’ comments?

Answer

A patient I had been helping for the past year has successfully used positive thinking to help manage her emotions. Her friends used to tell her that she was being “excessively sensitive” to remarks made by others. Sometimes, a general comment about her would make her feel brutally criticised. For example, if someone said she looked very tired, she would then assume the worse and felt that the person was saying she was weak or useless. Such negative thinking adversely affected her life and her relationship with others. She felt helpless and spiraled into despair. During the consultation, she was encouraged to enlist the use of positive thinking to help. Seeing some improvements in her condition, she was motivated to work on the change. After much practice, she is now able to think more positively and is able to cope better with situations that she was not able to handle in the past.

Question

How does one make Positive Thinking a habit?

Answer

Positive thinking usually does not become a natural response within a short period. It takes time and continuous practice
and the individual needs to make a conscious effort to selftrain.If necessary, individuals may seek professional help to
cultivate the beneficial habit of positive thinking into a life changing experience.

Question

Where can one seek professional help?

Answer

A Clinical Psychologist who specialises in Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy can help an individual leverage on positive thinking
to develop resilience.

* IMH offers various forms of psychological consultation. The individual would require an initial assessment by a psychiatrist, who may then refer him to a psychologist.

A member of National Healthcare GroupWork Life Activeness AwardTUVTUV   Comm Chest Award 2012