The Power of Positive Thinking v3

The Power of Positive Thinking v3 - The Power of Positive...

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The Power of Positive Thinking When Norman Vincent Peale wrote "The Power of Positive Thinking" in 1952, he introduced the idea that positive thoughts can bring about positive realities. While his book was supported mostly by anecdotes, some research has since substantiated Peale's ideas. In a John Hopkins study, researchers followed 600 adults with a family history of heart disease (Goode 2003). Individuals with a positive attitude were half as likely as their less optimistic counterparts to experience a heart attack or other heart issues. Researcher Diane Becker of Hopkins suggested people with a sunny outlook produce lower levels of stress hormones, helping to protect them from disease (Bryner 2008). The human brain is a beautiful and complex component in our body. It is the master unit of intelligence, controlling everything we do from breathing to speaking to our five senses. It is an intricate bundle of ideas, feelings, attitudes, desires, fears, dreams, opinions and ambitions. This bundle is constantly varying, from year to year or day to day. Your life is made of the connecting of these factors. Sometimes people give up easily when the task at hand is not so quick to complete, or when they need to exert more effort than they would like to. Researchers and scientists have been questioning if thinking positively can change this. We find this topic interesting because the thought of someone changing the outcome of a task or their lives is amazing, and if it was actually proven to be true, would prove as a valuable tool in creating a successful life. Supporters of this theory believe that thinking in a positive way will allow a person to achieve any goal he or she sets, while detractors say that it has no affect. This paper will discuss the different views on positive thinking and arrange information from which one can make an educated decision on whether or not there is any power behind it.
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Perspective We don’t believe that thinking is doing, but we do believe that positive thinking does have a beneficial effect. Studies have shown that personality traits such as optimism and pessimism play key parts in certain areas of your health and general well-being. Positive thinking can lead to lower levels of stress, which decrease risk for illness and disease. Specific health benefits that positive thinking may promote include increased life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of stress, greater resistance to the common cold, better psychological and physical well being, reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and better coping skills during hardships (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009). This doesn’t mean to ignore everything that goes wrong and never let anything affect you; it does mean an individual should approach the bad feelings and experiences in a more constructive and optimistic way. Generally, people who think and live positively lead healthier lifestyles achieved in ways such as eating healthier, exercising more often, and limiting alcohol and tobacco intake (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009). Nevertheless, according to Duke University, extremely optimistic people are actually more likely
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2011 for the course PSYC 2700 taught by Professor Ruecker during the Spring '11 term at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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The Power of Positive Thinking v3 - The Power of Positive...

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