Despite lack of studies, positive thinking is still good advice
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Thursday, November 22, 2012
11/22/12 at 2:38 AM
Dear Doctor K: I'm going through a tough time. Do you think positive psychology can help me?
Dear Reader: For years, I was skeptical about various self-realization or self-improvement programs. That's because there weren't a lot of studies that showed they helped. That's still true, but I've seen individual instances where people clearly seemed to benefit.
Dr. Jeff Brown is a proponent of "positive psychology." The approaches he suggests take discipline. You have to be committed to not letting your mind travel the negative road. You need to consciously will your mind to focus on the positive. Of course, this is easier to do when life's already going well. But positive psychology can also help when you are anxious, depressed or under stress.
Here are some of the techniques used in positive psychology:
Focus on your strengths and virtues This helps you identify and build on your strong points.
Consider gratitude Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you receive, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, you acknowledge the goodness in your life.
Savor pleasure Savoring is placing your attention on pleasure as it occurs, consciously enjoying the experience as it unfolds. This is in stark contrast to constantly reaching for the next, better thing to come along.
Go with the flow Have you ever been so immersed in what you were doing that all distractions and background chatter just fell away? This state of intense absorption is called "flow." Creating opportunities for more flow experiences can be a route to increased happiness.
Be aware of mindfulness Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment - and accepting it without judgment.
Practice self-compassion This means not beating yourself up when you fail or feel inadequate.
Try for the meaningful life Focus on concerns outside of yourself and feel that your life has purpose.
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106