Positive mantras reduce self esteem

14 replies
Research has been done which shows that saying positive mantras may not help all people. It only helps those who have good self esteem and not those who have low self esteem. In fact for those with low self esteem it actually makes it worse.


Read all about it here: BBC NEWS | Health | Self-help 'makes you feel worse'
#esteem #lower #mantras #positive
  • Profile picture of the author Hasan Barbary
    You must be a mind reader... I was just going to post this very article! lol

    It's indeed a fascinating study, and for me raises more questions than answers. But intuitively, I've stayed far away from such self-help tactics, regardless of my mood.

    I have NEVER found any collection of mantras to resonate with me. In my late teens & early twenties, I tried everything: positive affirmations, auto-hypnosis, lucid dreaming, etc. They always threw me "off balance".

    Imho, what we all really need is to be appreciated & admired once in awhile by our peers & colleagues. That tells me my hard efforts have some objective value. The trick is to keep going in the absence of short-term positive feedback. Maybe that determination is a marker that seperates those of us with healthy amounts of self-esteem from those that suffer from a lack of it.

    All I know for certain is that spending money on these kinds of materials isn't going to add any more funds to my bank account.

    I distinguish the "warm & fuzzy" type of self-help books mentioned in the BBC story from more concrete titles dealing with productivity, time management, leadership, team building, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Muhammad Hassan
      I think it has to do with disturbing the brain. The brain has an idea (not necessarily correct) about what type of person you are. If it gets information that the person is not like how the brain perceives then it causes problems for the brain. I think the term is dissonance.

      The brain struggles to accept ideas that conflict with what it already believes. To stop the 'pain' it just ignores the new ideas and thus perpetuates the old ideas.

      A better approach I think would be to use a series of mantras. Starting from 'weak' mantras that are close to what the person actually thinks leading to 'strong' mantras.

      For example, 'I am liked by some people' to 'I am a lovable person'.
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      • Profile picture of the author D89
        Originally Posted by Muhammad Hassan View Post

        The brain struggles to accept ideas that conflict with what it already believes. To stop the 'pain' it just ignores the new ideas and thus perpetuates the old ideas.

        A better approach I think would be to use a series of mantras. Starting from 'weak' mantras that are close to what the person actually thinks leading to 'strong' mantras.

        For example, 'I am liked by some people' to 'I am a lovable person'.
        Yes you are so very correct. Its a gradual thing! You can't go from stage 1 to stage 5 in one shot.

        But you have to be consistant with taking yourself through the levels by doing the work daily. Otherwise the mind goes back to its original way of being.

        It's like trying to stretch a rubberband.
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        • Profile picture of the author Hasan Barbary
          It would be helpful to know a bit more about the demographics of the study participants, especially their ages.

          The brain is a marvelous and adaptive organ, but it will atrophy if not regularly stimulated in appropriate ways. To follow up on the rubber band analogy ~ older brains are less flexible, more brittle, just like old rubber bands.

          I wouldn't be surprised if there was a correlation between the ages of the study volunteer and his/her resistance to a "dissonant" mantra.

          The crude popular idiom says that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks". Harsh, but (mostly) true?
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  • Profile picture of the author clubvikram
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    I agree with mohammad to program our subconcious mind we need to go from weak to strong.we should indeed start with some thing really 'believable' which our brain could acknowledge and from there on feed it accordingly.
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  • Profile picture of the author L33tProgrammer
    Interesting indeeeed.
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  • Profile picture of the author torozo
    Hmm.. never thinked before. Useful information. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author gapsapman
    good stuff, also affirm my belief that not all people are suited for self help programs or products and may actually backfire.
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  • Profile picture of the author tylerdrun
    True when you are not taking action. If you are passively listening, tis' not going to help you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rodrigo Werner
    listen, absorve it, make a goal, and DO IT!
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      you know, I think there may be some truth to this. I got sucked into a lot of stuff that basicly has put me way off course to where I really should be at this point in my life. I'll even go as far as saying I now understand exactly why I have been struggling so much in my life. I've been hiding from who I really am.

      no amount of positive affirmations, and all that other stuff, is going to fix anything if you're lying to yourself. And if you're trying to hide your true self, sooner or later the truth will come up and bite you in the ass.

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  • Profile picture of the author scortillion
    If you’ve read any of the self-help, motivational, goal setting, or success books out there you can see what a lot of them have in common. The one factor that most of them reveal is that you and ONLY you have control of your thoughts. But what most of them don’t tell you is that your subconscious is the one in control most of the time by affecting your thinking process.

    The subconscious has one major goal, to help you survive, to keep you safe, to protect you or more generally, self preservation. How does the subconscious do this? By the way you program it.

    How do you program it? Most of the time it’s done completely automatically without any conscious thought on your part. That is what you have to change. You must begin to reprogram the subconscious by changing what the subconscious has stored and what it will store in the future.

    The subconscious is always listening and storing EVERYTHING you experience. It doesn’t judge it just stores but it does store it in one of two ways; important information and unimportant information.

    Any information that the subconscious receives with any type of strong emotion attached to it is stored as important information to be recalled when needed. Any information received without any emotional energy attached to it is stored as unimportant data.


    Read more here: http://www.warriorforum.com/articles...ml#post2941662
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  • Profile picture of the author PeterDunin
    Thanks for sharing this interesting post!
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  • Profile picture of the author baker.jones01
    Many people have little regard for their own skills and capabilities. Some cannot even realize that there are many potential abilities within them just waiting to be activated to serve as solutions to any given problem or keys to actualize their long-held dreams.

    Are you one of these people? Do you often say to yourself, "Why am I like this all the time?" or "What can I possibly do to bring out the best in me?" I'm quite certain there are many things you want to do with your life. You may want to visit many places, you may want people to admire your talent and recognize you for your skills, you may want to have more money to buy more things, or you may simply want to be loved by someone special. However, all of these will not be possible if you don't pay attention to the most important element that can make all of these things happen. That element is your "self."
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