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How to Think Optimistically - Part II

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In our last article, we discussed how to interrupt negative trains of thought. Remaining optimistic while undergoing cancer treatment is paramount to a better recovery. Today, we will discuss two other states of mind that we need to be aware of and deal with effectively: 1) selecting the negative, and 2) generalizing.

Selecting The Negative:

Many people have an interesting internal screen that seems to keep out positives but lets in negatives. When someone compliments them, they discount the compliment as a courtesy and erase it from their memories quickly. But if we criticize them the memory of that hurt lingers. Some of us can replay the criticism in minds and can still recall it word for word years later.
This is due largely because of conditioning. Pessimism and hopelessness become almost a knee-jerk reaction. Our reactions become so instinctual that we do not realize how blinded we have become to the good around us. As we deal with cancer, we must remain positive. Having a positive attitude has been shown to be extremely helpful to cancer patients

Generalizing:


There is a logical fallacy that many of us experience frequently: from one incident we jump to all sorts of wild generalizations. On one hand, certain people, when they fail, refuse to see it as permanent ("My initial cancer treatment did not work, but I am hopeful that the next one will work"). These optimists do not assume that if they’re having trouble in one area, they’ll have the same difficulty in every area. They tend to question the circumstances. Also, optimists usually see the setback as due to circumstances that can be changed (that you can be healed of the cancer). If the initial treatment did not work, they continue seeking other treatments and then formulate a plan of action. It has been shown that individuals who tend to "problem solve or keep active actions of plans tend to do better when undergoing treatment for cancer.

Strive For Favorable Conclusions.
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About the Author


BA, MPH

Steve shares what he learned from his personal experience with cancer.

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