How to Think Positive

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Thinking positive, while better than thinking negatively, can lead people to unrealistic expectations about a situation or goal. Think realistically instead of trying to be positive about every situation with advice from a licensed mental health counselor in this free video on thinking positive.

Part of the Video Series: Psychology Careers & Treatments
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's John Bosworth. I'm a licensed mental health counselor in St. Pete, Florida. I'd like to talk a little bit about how to think positive, or how to think positively. There's seems to be a mis-perception on positive thinking. I'll hear a lot of my clients say, "Well, can you help me think positively about this?" And my usual response is, I can, but I'd rather help you think rationally about it, and I give some of the adolescents that I work with that are involved in sports, maybe they're golfers. I give my... my example of Tiger Woods. An example of positive thinking would be for me to coach somebody and if they want to play golf and tell them, you know, think positively and come up with statements such as, "One day I will play golf as well as Tiger Woods and make a boatload of money like him and have the beautiful girl and the great lifestyle." That's positive thinking. And from a rational perspective, and me being a rational emotive behavioral therapist, I think that sets people up for a lot of disappointment and failure. There's not many Tiger Woods in the world. So positive thinking is better than negative thinking and saying that I'll never amount to anything 'cause I'm a worthless piece of you know what. So we don't want people to go that route, but rational thinking in the Tiger Woods example would be something like this: You know what, I'm a pretty good golfer, I'm going to work my butt off to do as well as I can do, and I'll try to make as much money as I can, but even if I don't attain the status of a Tiger Woods or any other PGA professional, I'm determined to enjoy my abilities and enjoy playing the game to the best of my ability, so that's kind of what I like to describe for people, the different between positive thinking and rational thinking. Positive thinking, although good, can still set people up for unrealistic expectations. Any kind of rational thinking usually will set our eye... we can set our eye on a goal, but recognize that even if the goal doesn't get met, we can still be happy and enjoy the process along the way. My name's John Bosworth. I'm a licensed mental health counselor and we're talking about how to think positively.

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