Positive thinking can lead to emotional stability and happiness

Dr Andrew Y.T. Low, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong

Sponsored feature

Dr Andrew Y.T. Low, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong |

Latest Articles

Billie Eilish confirms upcoming Apple TV+ documentary, ‘The World’s A Little Blurry’

Where to recycle your mooncake tins in Hong Kong after Mid-Autumn Festival

'Loving China is a duty, not a choice,' says Beijing liaison office head

Greta Thunberg speaks out after arrest of Chinese climate activist Ou Hongyi

We all face difficulties in life - that’s inevitable and out of our control. What we can control is how we face those hardships. We can choose to feel miserable and depressed; or we can be positive, and believe that we have the ability to overcome anything. Having a different attitude in general can lead to different approaches to how we deal with things.

We hear about young people who end their lives because of the pressure they face over school work, or because of relationship woes. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact reason why a person ends their life, but we can identify common risk factors, and see how they can help us understand it better.

Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people in Hong Kong. Most research suggests young people who are suffering from depression, anxiety, mental health problems, have low self-esteem, and have many relationship problems are more at risk of killing themselves than people in other demographics. Other factors include conflicts with parents, poor family communication, and a history of suicide within the family.

Research also identifies several preventive means. The more willing a person is to discuss their problems with friends or family members, the more emotionally healthy they tend to be. Having high levels of perceived connection to their relatives is one way of becoming emotional healthy.

Recent studies also indicate that adopting a positive attitude towards difficulties by, for example, sharing feelings with those that we trust, as well as building a supportive social network, will benefit the emotionally vulnerable.

Studies also suggest that being emotional competent and resilient helps. But how can we build up these attributes? One way of doing that is to join leadership- or adventure-based training programmes that encourage the growth of problem-solving skills that can be applied to daily life.

The key point is to become more confident and to believe in yourself. Instead of viewing difficulties as an obstacle, try to think of them as opportunities for growth, that will help us to become more emotionally stable.

Edited by Ginny Wong