When author Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer, she In her new book, Bright-Sided, Ehrenreich explores the negative. Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed) delivers a trenchant look into the burgeoning business of positive Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Barbara Ehrenreich, Author. Barbara Ehrenreich’s examination of the history of positive thinking is a tour de force of well-tempered snark,culminating in a persuasive.

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View all 29 comments. I Love Your Smile Millions of unemployed people, many middle-class professionals, have been forced into taking minimum wage jobs, in which any negative comments are met with a swift and firm dismissal.

A far less rational theory also runs rampant in American ideology — the idea that our thoughts can, in some mysterious way, directly affect the physical world. It has become big business with coaches and gurus and motivational speakers busy milking the masses who apparently think that this is not the same as the old-fashioned voodoo magic.

Their greed is our greed in waiting. I suggested no amount of positive thinking would pay his back mortgage, and shouldn’t he start working as a plumber again, a field in which he could make pretty good money, and renegotiate with his bank?

‘Bright-Sided’: When Happiness Doesn’t Help

Oprah would probably disagree. I said, “Now look here, God!. And I would criticize her for brigth accepting the motivational industry’s definition of happiness, her only objection being that their scheme doesn’t really btight it. Ehrenreich, who has a doctorate in cell biology, points out that even if positive thinking could strengthen the immune system, it would not help defeat most cancers, since most cancers have nothing to do with the immune system.

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When you feel like you are not in control of some aspect of your life your health, your job, your financesthinking positively gives you that control. What a crock of shit.


I don’t remember who I asked about the flying. Obviously, there is something to the idea that Positive Thinking has something going for it. Many of the kids were flirting with, or had already joined, local gangs, and during my last week a group of students caused a five car pile up by hurling rocks into passing traffic. View all 20 comments.

People who report having positive feelings are more likely to participate in a rich social life, ehreenreich vice versa, and social connectedness turns out brighy be an important defense against depression, which is a known risk factor for many physical illnesses.

So I take it as a sign of progress that, in just the last decade or so, economists have begun to show an interest in using happiness rather than just the gross national product as a measure of an economy’s success.

I agree with this author, Barbara Ehrenreich. In another potential sign of relative distress, Americans account for two-thirds of the global market for antidepressants, which happen also to be the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. The lie is that the average Joe will one day make it to being a billionaire as he has been ejrenreich as a reward for his hard work.

Osteen’s books are easy to read, too easy – like wallowing in marshmallows.

‘Bright-Sided’: When Happiness Doesn’t Help : NPR

However, I can see how the book would turn off some readers for its level of difficulty. Egrenreich you, she asks, rather have a skeptical, even pessimistic doctor who was going to explore every treatment possible, do every test possible, rather than the positive-thinker who says, “oh, it’s probably just a shadow on the x-ray.

So I spent a month anticipating the day I’d be able to fly. This is our reputation as well as our self-image. But rather than provided emotional sustenance, the sugarcoating of cancer can exact a dreadful cost. I sought this out after reading Ehrenreich’s L. It just may take a little time, because theirs seems to be a forgetful God, who has to be ‘reminded’ of his promises, Joel told us.


But I didn’t realise that the scam reached deep into academia, shysters claiming to be teaching science, aka positive psychology.

Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

We can and must pursue joy in tandem with the realities of trial and suffering – we don’t have to fascisticly monitor our thoughts to purge the dark.

Because she doesn’t recognize positive thinking as a bight mechanism for unhappy people but rather characterizes it solely as an attitude for selfish people, she comes across as having absolutely no compassion.

Those who would argue that there’s no harm in trying to be positive regardless of what the science says, however, would do well to read the chapter “How Positive Thinking Destroyed the Economy.

For Ehrenreich Positive thinking is something like the inversion of Calvinism, the reaction as it were to the belief that God has predetermined everything and the only action is to stress and worry about his judgement is to belief to the contrary that nothing is determined and everything is open to the power of one’s own mind, ie Milton’s Satan taken at face value: Sarcasm should not be such a major weapon of an obviously intelligent and otherwise convincing author.