If you're constantly stressed and feeling anxious, don't worry, you're not alone. Researchers at Michigan State University recently uncovered evidence that certain people are just wired that way. The university compared positive thinkers to individuals with a more negative mindset in an effort to see if we're really preset when it comes to our way of thinking.
The study involved 71 women (females were selected as the control group since women have demonstrated a greater penchant for anxiety) who were initially questioned to determine those predisposed to positive or negative outlooks. After having the participants view troubling images, investigators asked each to approach them in a positive manner. The women’s brain scans were then monitored as they were forced to pick from a set of predetermined scenarios. As expected, the negative thinkers’ brains were more active during the sessions and their negativity actually increased when forced to think positive.
Researchers point to this experiment as proof that you simply can't tell a well-documented worry rat to not worry about something, since it is quite literally out of their control. While this study might be concerning to those always in a funk, it also provided a bit of good news for the chronically negative. Jason Moser, lead investigator and assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University, informed ScienceDaily that, with a little practice, there are indeed ways to train your brain to approach troublesome situations in a more constructive manner.
Although some of us may never morph into happy-go-lucky people, at least we can be positive that all those negative thoughts don't have to prevent us from occasionally looking on the bright side of life.