The burden of positive thinking

By Ellen Anderson, Ph.D
March 5th, 2023

February was “Red Dress Month,” a campaign from the American Heart Association to promote awareness of heart disease in women. Much like the “pink ribbon” campaign for breast cancer awareness, there are multiple walks, runs, and celebrations for survivors of cardiac illness. Such events are intended to honor those who have been affected by the disease.

I attended a recent event for cancer survivors with a video presenter presenting a high energy, upbeat, motivational talk replete with phrases such as “booyah!” and extolling the audience to “find your joie d’vivre”!

The audience included multiple women with stage IV cancer and it was hard to ignore the incongruence between the speaker’s intention and the effect on the audience. While t...

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