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The Power of Negative Thinking

Better to acknowledge bad feelings than recite phony good ones
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2009 2:50 PM CDT
The Power of Negative Thinking
Positive thinking may not be the best way to escape negative feelings.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Deliberate positive thinking—from Norman Vincent Peale to Stuart Smalley—has long been touted as a way to overcome feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt. But a new study suggests that repeating positive mantras may often backfire, making people with low self-esteem feel even worse about themselves. For many, it may “simply highlight how unhappy they are,” writes John Cloud in Time.

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The recent study, bolstering earlier experiments, supports psychotherapy that pushes people to come to terms with negative feelings, learning to put them “into a larger, more realistic perspective” rather than rejecting or fighting them.
(Read more positive thinking stories.)

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