journal of personality and social psych

“Cynical individuals are more likely to avoid cooperation and trust or to overinvest in monitoring, control, and other means of protection from potential exploitation. As a result, they are more likely to forgo valuable opportunities for cooperation and consequently less likely to reap the benefits of joint efforts and mutual help.” – Cynical Beliefs About Human Nature and Income; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, May 25, 2015 (see link below)

Three studies showed that, over 2 to 9 year time horizons, those with negative believes about human nature earned less than their more optimistic, positive counterparts. Other studies have linked cynicism to increased risk of inflammation, dementia, and cancer. On the financial side, in anything other than a true low trust environment (Wall Street? Russia?), we all benefit from cooperation, working together to expand the pie to help everyone earn a bigger slice.  On the health front, one theory is that negative thoughts trigger your body’s “fight or flight” syndrome at a low but continuous level with long term detrimental effects.

Want to stop being cynical and cease thinking negative thoughts? 

1) Focus on what you want, release any thoughts directed toward what you don’t want. We can’t always control the thoughts that come to mind but it is within our power to learn how to direct our minds and control the thoughts that STAY in mind.

2) Find affirmations that work for you; short, positive, present tense, first person statements that resonate with you on a deep emotional level and direct your mind where you want it to go. Thoughts held in mind, attract in kind. What you focus on, expands. One of my personal affirmation favorites is “My joyful thoughts create my joyful world.” 

3) Heal any past wounds, release any past hurts. Refuse to see yourself as a victim. You may not be fully responsible for any negatives in your life, but it is your responsibility to respond as effectively as possible, to create and implement solutions. My favorite affirmations on this issue are “I will release all thoughts that hurt.” and “The past is over, it cannot hurt me now (unless I let it)!”

4) Develop an “Attitude of Gratitude” and “The Habit of Happiness.” Count your blessings daily, acknowledge all the good things and people in your life that you have to be grateful for; remember to appreciate the little things. As I walk about Manhattan, many places have planted flowers or other touches to brighten up the city; I find it improves my mood when I notice them, appreciate the labor that went into them, acknowledge the caring that motivated the effort and reflect upon how much duller and lifeless the city would be without those thoughtful touches.

Link to study cited:

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier