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086: Negative and Positive Thinking… An All Inclusive Approach with Oliver Burkeman

Could there be a potential down side to positive thinking? If you’ve tuned into the show before, you’ve heard me have many conversations with leaders and authors on the benefits of positive thinking, imagination, and other methods characteristic of the self-help and positive psychology movement.

On some level I think we know that pushing away or even suppressing seemingly negative emotions is counterproductive. All the while we get mixed messages, from social media etc., that always staying positive is the way to be.

In this interview, I sat down with Oliver Burkeman to chat about all things positive psychology and his book, The Antidote

Oliver Burkeman is a columnist for the Guardian and the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.

I see this book and Oliver’s work as a bit of a holistic approach to the mind and emotions. These concepts helped me see the terrain of the human experience on an all inclusive level. Where we can be positive, have a positive outlook on life, and integrate and potentially transform some of those seemingly negative feelings and thoughts.

In this episode you’ll learn

  • About the negative side effects that come from too much positive thinking.
  • Why it’s important to experience our negative emotions.
  • How always having to strive and push ourselves takes us away from the present moment.
  • Why we shouldn’t wait until we FEEL motivated before taking action.
  • How to move past the planning stage and take action.
  • How we can use unfavorable emotions as warning signs.
  • Why always having to “get into the right mindset”, can cause us to procrastinate.
  • Learn strategies to tolerate uncertainty and anxiety.
  • Why we shouldn’t try to numb out certain emotions, and only remain in an intensely positive state all the time.
  • How to remain detached and observe our emotions, without getting pulled into them.
  • Why it’s necessary to experience the highs, lows, and all the different seasons of life.
  • Why we shouldn’t put constant pressure on ourselves to achieve and succeed.

Click to Tweet Oliver’s quote

“Give up on yourself. Begin taking action now, while being neurotic or imperfect, or a procrastinator, or unhealthy, or lazy, or any other label by which you inaccurately describe yourself. Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die.

– Japanese psychotherapist Shoma Morita

Connect with Oliver on social media

Twitter | Facebook | theguardian


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