Are you suffering from negativity? Expressing criticism and not much joy?Here in Southern Indiana, the first signs of spring are reason enough for joy. But even in the most bleak or disheartening circumstances, as my colleague shows today, you can be filled with joy and appreciation for the goodness and beauty around you. Anna Bowness-Park, writing for the March 23, 2015 edition of The Vancouver Sun, shares some interesting research and a prisoner’s transformation, as she encourages us to look for the good. Here’s Anna:
A critical eye for diagnosing a patient’s health problem is crucial to being a physician, says Dr. Ahmed Bailony in an article on KevinMD. However, he recently discovered that this analytical approach to his work was seeping into his personal life, influencing him with a negative tone. Even a baseball game became an event to dissect with a critical, problem- focused approach. He realized that his view of life was becoming increasingly pessimistic.
Dr. Bailony is not alone in realizing the increasing negativity in our lives that comes from focusing on problems. The health-care industry itself has recently begun to talk about shifting from a “disease management” focus to a “health creation” focus, as more and more evidence indicates that focusing on disease does not necessarily produce health. Similarly, problem-focused negativity in the news, on social media, in many movies and books can influence how we see life.
This doesn’t mean we should shut ourselves off from the world, forego critical thinking skills. However, becoming aware of these influences awakens us to the need for a change of thought that rebalances how we see ourselves and the world.
A study from the UK monitored the mental attitudes of 360 patients with heart problems over the course of one year. It found…