Mental health therapists have embraced the field of positive psychology to address some mental health issues, including anxiety, stress, suicidal ideation, anger, and fear. Their focus has increasingly turned towards individual factors such as positive thinking, and less on the manifested signs of mental illness. One of the popular aspects of positive thinking that has contributed to the popularity of positive psychology is that our thoughts manifest in our lives. Therefore, proponents of positive psychology believe that positive thinking is a gateway to better mental health. The interplay between mental health and positive thinking should not be ignored. Moreover, mental health challenges are significant contributors to the burden of disease and disability. Positive thinking contributes to our mental health and thus needs to be integrated as a critical component of improving well-being.
Positive thinking reduces psychological disorder symptoms. A few experimental studies have been conducted to prove this correlation. The consensus among most of them shows that positive thinking not only decreases anxiety and depression but also improves a person’s self-esteem (Rostami et al. 2). Other studies have taken the research to a higher level by focusing on what positive thinking does to patients experiencing life-threatening conditions. Interestingly, positive thinking was also found to improve the quality of life among the patients by stimulating them to minimize their subjective likelihood of dying (Rostami et al. 4). These studies prove that while positive thinking may not prevent all mental health problems, it can minimize an individual’s risk of developing anxiety, suicidal ideation, uncontrollable stress levels, and depression. Zandvakili, Jalilvand, and Nikmanesh have found explicitly that positive training can help those who are depressed to reduce depression symptoms (56). Positive thinking has a critical role in reducing the inset of psychological disorder symptoms.
Positive thinking improves coping processes. Some of the people who succumb to anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal ideation have traits of negative thinking that predispose them to the disorders. They also have weak coping mechanisms that could help them persevere through adversity. Coping with daily stressors is almost dysfunctional, which eventually leads to psychological health problems. Negative people tend to have fewer friends, financial resources, and happiness and tend to suffer from a broader range of mental illnesses compared to their positive contemporaries (Wang et al. 50). It is this negativity that pushes such individuals into a self-destructive mind state that has far-reaching implications on well-being. In contrast, positive thinking not only elicits positive emotions but also improves an individual’s coping processes (Alsaleh and Kubitary 58). It allows an individual to have a higher sense of control of a stressful situation while hoping for positive outcomes. Alsaleh and Kubitary also point out that positive thinking helps improve coping processes by creating a more extensive social network that can offer adequate support in times of distress (58). It is in this perspective that positive thinking improves coping processes. Positive thinking has proved useful in the administration of