jueves, 2 de mayo de 2013

Rutina diaria: ¡Cinco minutos de inglés al día!

Si el idioma forma parte de un hábito como ducharte o desayunar, tu nivel aumentará de una forma espectacular. No pierdas el contacto con el inglés, tanto si escuchas un vídeo, como si lees un artículo.
No importa el tema que elijas, algo que te interese, que te relaje, que te haga disfrutar o que te enfurezca.

Hoy os propongo un artículo de la revista Elle.com con un lenguaje sencillo sobre “El lado positivo de pensar negativamente”.

Mientras lo lees, te iré guiando con el significado de algunos términos.

The positive side of negative thinking

Somewhere along the way, positive thinking became the holy grail (el santo grial) of self-help. Catherine Townsend taps into (aprovecha) the power of so-called negative thinking.
By Catherine Townsend
January 24, 2013

“Come on, give me a smile!” I was hungover and hiding behind sunglasses. The Starbucks barista (barman) was the only thing standing between me and my morning coffee, so I tried my best. "Have a nice day, and don't forget to think positive!" Since moving to Los Angeles, my pre-latte existential crises (mi crisis existencial pre-café con leche) were becoming more frequent. I was dealing with a pile (haciendo frente a un montón) of rejections, lack of (falta de) friends, an empty savings account, three flat tires (pichazos), a then-boyfriend who said he “couldn’t do commitment,” (que no se podía comprometer) and a text from my mom saying the family pug (perro, una raza de) died. But faking good cheer (fingiendo buen humor) for a caffeine hit (chute de cafeina) didn't make me feel better. It only made me feel more “positive” that I wanted to punch him in the face (darle un puñetazo en la cara).

For several years I had lived in London, where moaning about (quejarse sobre) the weather and public transportation is a national pastime (pasatiempo). But here, in permanently sunny L.A., the real power cult isn’t Scientology. It’s The Secret. Norman Vincent Peale wrote “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” (al mal tiempo, buena cara) in his mega-bestseller The Power of Positive Thinking, telling us to make the best of bad situations and turn failure (fracaso)  into opportunity. I get it: If I smile, project confidence, and take calculated risks, I vastly improve my chances of people wanting to hire, help, and sleep with me. According to the laws of attraction, imagining success will make it materialize. Conversely, (por el contrario) if I fail, it’s my fault for attracting negativity. But in a town where, for every movie star immortalized on Hollywood Boulevard, there are 10,000 people whose only line of dialogue is “Would you like fries with that,” ignoring the possibility of failure doesn’t make sense. The more I try to get rid of (deshacerme) a thought, whether it's a Maroon 5 song or my mortgage, (mi hipoteca) the more times it comes back.

“People treat failure like an infection and believe that if they spend too much time thinking about it they will ‘catch’ it, when in fact the reverse is true,” says Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. He's right. If I spend all my time telling myself that nothing could ever possibly go wrong, I am much more likely to freak out (soy mucho más propensa a flipar) when it does.

Burkeman argues that "visualizing a worst-case scenario can actually be helpful." The first time I tried this was on a plane during a thunderstorm. As a terrified flyer, I’d tried every technique under the sun (todas las técnicas posibles) to quell my fears (para calmar mis miedos). But all my attempts at trying to squelch (vencer) my negative thoughts during turbulence just resulted in more anxiety. Finally I allowed myself to consider the (very small) possibility that we were going to die. Sounds disturbing, but these bad thoughts weren’t dangerous, and I realized I was okay. What would happen, then, if I dismounted this mental roller coaster of constantly convincing myself that everything was fine and started accepting my negative thoughts?

Experts are starting to see the positive side of negative thinking. University of Michigan researchers Jennifer Crocker and Lora Park have concluded that the pursuit of self-esteem (búsqueda de la autoestima) often causes people to do the opposite of what they need to thrive (desarrollarse bien) and be successful (tener éxito). We end up self-sabotaging our goals. For instance— in my case as a writer—my fear of failure often leads to procrastination (conduce al retraso). The researchers go on to explain that the “emotional benefits of the pursuit of self-esteem outweigh (pesa más que) the costs only if people can guarantee that they succeed more than they fail, perhaps by limiting their aspirations.” In other words, I have a choice: I can only put myself in situations where I know I won't fail and feel good, or I can chase (perseguir) my dreams—which pretty much involves living outside my comfort zone. Being honest with my doubts makes it easier to risk having doors shut in my face these days because success and failure don’t define me—they are just part of learning.

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