However, an expert has claimed that life doesn’t work this way and that irrespective of achieving our image of happiness, success or the desirable life, pain still persists and although positive thinking is helpful, it’s not so much as positive thinking as clear thinking, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Neuropsychologist at Berkeley University, Dr Rick Hanson, has revealed in his book ‘Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence’ that “positive thinking is usually wasted on the brain.”
Hanson explains that our neurons fire and wire more on the negative, which is because, back in the day, our response to natural hazards and predators determined our survival. Whereas, while positive experiences are all very nice, they did not affect our survival in the same way.
The expert told The Atlantic that many people, who have this kind of positive, look on the bright side attitude, are actually very frightened, angry, sad, disappointed, hurt, or lonely. He said that although positive thinking is helpful, it’s not so much as positive thinking as clear thinking.
Hanson added that he thinks it’s important to be able to see the whole picture, the whole mosaic of reality; the tiles that are negative, as well as the tiles that are neutral and positive.
Social researcher and author of The Good Life, Hugh Mackay, agrees with Hanson. He says: “The pursuit of happiness can make us miserable,” Mackay says. “A lot of so-called positive psychologists are starting to rethink all this… There is light and shade, peaks and troughs.” Regardless of how life affirming we are or how amazing our life actually is, there is no magic bullet, Mackay says. “You’re still going to hit turbulence and experience mood swings,” according to Sydney Morning Herald.