“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” — Zig Ziglar
Don’t fall into the trap of rumination.
If you dwell on things that go wrong, it’s a downward spiral, and can lead to depression.
Instead, find a way to dwell on positive things.
According to Martin Seligman, in the book Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, people who mull over bad events are called ruminators.
A Ruminator Can Be an Optimist or a Pessimist
An optimist that ruminates avoids depression because their explanatory style does not make things permanent, personal and pervasive.
Pessimistic ruminators are at the most risk for depression because they replay and dwell on the bad things.
Rather than a ruminating pessimist, you can be an action-oriented pessimist.
An action-oriented pessimist does not talk to themselves much at all, and when they do, it’s about what they plan to do, not about how bad things are. So then, the key to defeating depression is changing either rumination or pessimism and changing both helps the most.
How the Pessimism-Rumination Chain Leads to Depression
When you ruminate and you have a pessimistic explanatory style, you spiral down.
Via Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life:
“Here’s how the pessimism-rumination chain leads to depression: First, there is some threat against which you believe you are helpless. Second, you look for the threat’s cause, and, if you are a pessimist, the cause you arrive at is permanent, pervasive, and personal. Consequently, you expect to be helpless in the future and in many situations, a conscious expectation that is the last link in the chain, the one triggering depression.”
The moral of the story is, either be an action-oriented pessimist, or a ruminating optimist, or ideally an action-oriented optimist that periodically dwells on the bright side of life.
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