New Jersey Institute of Balance - September 2017

216 Palmer St. Elizabeth, NJ 07202


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INSIDE This Issue

Fighting ProcrastinationWith…Marshmallows?

Extracurricular Overload Dealing With Stress

The History of Physical Therapy Winning Apple Crisp

Put Positive Thinking to Bed

Why This Way of Thought Isn’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be Put Positive Thinking to Bed

Can the power of positive thinking change your life? Bookstores brimwith self-help books written to guide readers toward positive thinking and countless websites claim to do the same. But what is positive thinking? Essentially, it’s shutting out negative thoughts. One website,, says,“Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you frombeing in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become.”

In reality, the biggest factor at play when it comes to positive or negative thinking may be stress. Stress comes with its fair share of negative consequences. Stress can influence overall health, both mentally and physically. If you are stressed, chances are you are not in a good mood and, by extension, are thinking negative thoughts. And this presents another problem with positive thinking. Anne Harrington, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science and director of undergraduate studies at Harvard, and author of “The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body

This sentiment is ironic considering the Buddhist philosophy of detachment (or non-attachment) suggests that one should let negative thoughts and emotions enter the mind, but not dwell on them, so they pass with the moment. Research into the subject agrees. In the 1960s, researchers studied grief —or the lack of it. When people attempted to suppress grief, it took them longer to recover fromwhat caused the grief in the first place.

Medicine,” says, “It’s just as stressful to keep up a performance of positivity as it is to [keep up] a bad mood. It’s very stressful to be inauthentically upbeat all the time.” So, what can you do? Let yourself think negative and positive thoughts. Don’t dwell on the negative, and let it run its course. Then, turn your attention to your sources of stress and do what you can to minimize them.

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