How destructive thinking negative effect: Not a killer of people, but a killer of dreams, achievement, and all manner of success.
There’s a killer in your home tonight:
This killer is invisible, yet its deadly work can be seen everywhere: in careers, in relationships, in people’s health, and certainly in their minds.
I do not believe there is a single factor more detrimental to a successful life than the habit of thinking destructively. It has an incredibly adverse effect on virtually every aspect of your life.
What makes it even more potent is that few people respect its massive power in our society today. Most of us don’t take seriously how we think.
That killer is destructive thinking:
Take, for instance, the common reaction to people who try to do the opposite of destructive thinking-positive thinking. Oden people quietly ridicule positive thinkers as dreamers, naive optimists
who are kidding themselves about the world’s natural state. Many assume positive thinking is ineffective at best and harmful at worst. In this chapter
I hope to show quite the opposite – that optimistic thinking is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to avoid failure in life, as long as you practice it consistently.
The truth is that your thinking quality has an enormous impact on the quality of your life, and if you only realized this, you would devote time every day to strengthening your mental state.
That’s right-I’m suggesting a mental fitness regime just like many of us have a physical fitness regime. A ritual that can be performed and quickly every morning
and evening that keeps your mind away from distractive thoughts or at least stops your dwelling on them. negative thinkings are just too darn powerful not to be combated daily.
Let’s take a look at some of the effects of destructive
DESTRUCTIVE THINKING AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH:
Numerous studies have shown a correlation between negative thinking and illness. One that particularly struck me was an investigation into the mental state of breast cancer victims.
Dr. O. Carl Simonton interviewed around 400 women with breast cancer and discovered that in over 80 percent of the cases,
the women had suffered a devastating negative event around nine months prior to discovering the illness. Now am I suggesting that all cancer is caused by sad or negative thinking? Absolutely not. Clearly, many types of cancer have a genetic component.
But am I saying that I believe destructive thinking (in this case arising from a negative event) can weaken a human’s immune system? You bet I am.
Respected positive psychology pioneer Dr. Martin Seligman talks of a fascinating research study on positive thinking and health involving the life expectancy of nuns.
Believe it or not, nuns make excellent research subjects, because everyone in a convent eats mostly the same thing, does mostly the same activities and lives in the same protected environment.
As such, they provide a very pure sample for research tests. In this brilliant article learned optimism, Dr. Seligman reports a research study in which new nuns were asked to write a letter describing
how they viewed their life in the convent. After 50 years the researchers reviewed the nun’s letters, comparing each letter with its author’s life span. They found an astounding result.
Almost every nun who had described her convent life negatively in her letter had had a shorter life span than the nuns who had written positively about their lifestyle.
Seligman argues that the character trait of negativity in a nun’s youth was likely to have continued throughout her life and was also likely to have shortened her life.
What impact on our health: Destructive thinking
Both the Simonton and Seligman studies are remarkable, but they are just two of many conducted over the last twenty years that support the theory that negative,
pessimistic, or destructive thinking has an extraordinary impact on our health.
There’s plenty of evidence to show that happy thoughts make us healthier, too. Here’s one of many stories that supports the notion.
In the now classic book Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient, Dr. Norman Cousins wrote a detailed account of how he cured himself of a rare degenerative disease by making himself
watch funny movies for hours on end. Cousins fervently believed that by staying upbeat and positive, he strengthened his body’s ability to ward off the disease.
Twenty years after that book’s publication, the field of psychoneuroimmunology (or how the mind affects the immune system of the body) has become a fast-growing school of medical research.
Where once doctors scoffed at the thought that our thinking affects our body’s cells, now tens of thousands of them accept that the two are intimately connected.
Let’s now move on to another ugly result of thinking destructively in the next post.