Negative Thinking Vs. Positive Thinking

While thinking positively has been the subject of numerous books, speeches and reports, thinking negatively has its place in research, too. Both positive and negative thinking can be combined to give you a healthy opinion of the world around you, and to help you develop healthy self-esteem and relationships 234. Through both positive and negative thinking, you're able to watch for potential problems and learn to enjoy what you have 234.

Positive and Negative Thoughts

"Psychology Today" points out that you have as many as 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts each day, and the nature of those thoughts will eventually make up your outlook on life 1. If your thoughts are mostly negative, you could suffer from depression or a cynical outlook. Positive thoughts could keep you happy, but might ultimately be unrealistic. Both are important to a healthy mind, but using them properly is of utmost importance.


Thinking positively about yourself means you have strong self-esteem. But an article published in a 2009 issue of "Time," based on a study by the University of Waterloo and the University of New Brunswick, argues that positive statements about yourself can be detrimental if you have low self-esteem. Urging yourself to be better and more positive could lead you more deeply into negative feelings as you identify areas in which you are lacking. Positive thinking works well for those who already have fair to good self-esteem, while it can be dangerous for those with low self-esteem 34.


In relationships, both positive and negative thinking have their place 34. Positive thinking allows you to see the best in everyone, and identify the value in relationships 34. Negative thinking helps you stay on high alert for betrayal or disadvantages to certain relationships, be they personal or professional. recommends that you use rational thinking to discern whether you should exercise positive or negative thinking in relationships 34. If the relationship is going well and is beneficial, positive thinking is best 34. If you have reason to suspect otherwise, negative thinking can allow you to find the problem.


When it comes to health, positive thinking has the clear advantage, reports the Mayo Clinic 34. Positive thinking can lower your risk of depression, increase your life expectancy, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and lower stress 34. Since positive thinking allows you to cope with stress more efficiently, it lowers the impact that stress has on your body and health, reducing your risk for disease and sickness 34.


You should know how to use both positive and negative thinking properly 34. When having an experience where you have the potential to be hurt, financially or emotionally, negative thinking can help you identify problems and stop them before they hurt you. Positive thinking can stop physical problems from occurring due to stress 34. Both positive thinking and negative thinking can bolster your self-esteem through daily affirmations and stark realism, to help you realize your talents and personal drawbacks 234.