Imagine you are telling someone you are suicidal and your conversation partner tells you to just start to think positive. While this might not be something you would want to hear, there might be some truth to it.
A recent study by Denise Matel-Anderson and her colleagues has shown that an increase in self-esteem corresponded to an increase in positive thinking and social support, which leads to an enhanced suicide resilience.
“Low self-esteem and social isolation or lack of parental support increase one’s risk for suicide.”Suicide Prevention Resouce Center
In the study they measured self-esteem, positive thinking, perceived social support and suicide resilience of 131 undergraduate students and analyzed the data. The result was that the more positive thinking increased, the more resilience increased as well. This means, that if someone thinks more positively, the risk for suicide decreases.
While the results might seem obvious, it is an important foundation for handling future suicidal cases. Additional, this study states that positive thinking training interventions can help to build suicide resilience. It also emphasizes that interventions should be tailored to the needs of the patient.
This shows, that positivity and positive thinking have a bigger effect than one might think and should therefor not be underestimated.
Matel-Anderson, D. M., Bekhet, A. K., & Garnier-Villarreal, M. (2019). Mediating Effects of Positive Thinking and Social Support on Suicide Resilience. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 41(1), 25–41. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193945918757988