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Positive thinking: a different way of looking at life

Positive thinking: a different way of looking at life
One of the main reasons why some people become depressed when faced with difficult situations is that they see life in a negative way. It is very helpful to identify such negative thinking and encourage the
person who has attempted suicide to see how the same situation could be viewed in a positive way.
Here are some examples of such negative thinking and positive thinking (shown below the negative thinking, in italic):
If someone does not like me, it means there is something wrong with me.
Most of the people I know do like me. Just because this one person did not like me, it does not mean something is wrong with me.
I will always feel miserable. Nothing will change in my life.
These feelings are temporary. I feel this way because I am not well. Talking to the health worker, taking my medicines and trying to solve my problems will make me feel better.
It’s my fault that I failed the exams. I do not deserve to live.
Anyone can fail an exam. I need to study harder and I will surely pass the next time.
You should try the following steps in helping the person to think more positively:
• Teach the person to be aware of these negative patterns of thinking and how they make her feel unhappy.
• She should ask herself “Is what I believe real?” To answer this, she could talk to friends or relatives whom she trusts. She could ask herself whether other people in the same situation would also think in
the same way.
• Next, encourage her to come up with alternative ways of thinking. This is best done by practising with recent negative thoughts and
situations as examples.

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