Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is today’s question:

QUESTION:  What’s the difference between positive thinking and positive psychology?

ANSWER:   Although it is physiologically unhealthy to dwell in negative thinking and rumination, it is also unhealthy to be Pollyannaish, which is the same as positive thinking.  The reason it is unhealthy to put a positive interpretation on everything is because in order to effectively manage our lives and to improve our lives, we need to be able to recognize all the areas that could benefit from improvement.

Once we are able to identify areas where we can improve, we then need to step up and take action to improve whatever is within our ability to change. Positive Psychology helps us to do that by identifying and focusing on our strengths. Traditional psychotherapy focused on psychopathology.  Three leaders in the new field of Positive Psychology are Dr. Martin Seligman, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Dr. Barbara Fredrickson.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? 

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column. 

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