There has been a tendency to take the position that thoughts of death are associated with depression and associated negative health consequences. However, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies thinking about death can actually be a good thing. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology has discussed this topic in the article “How Thinking About Death Can Lead to a Good Life.”
Thoughts about death can actually be a good thing which can help us re-prioritize our goals and values. It appears that even non-conscious thinking about death, such as walking by a cemetery, could prompt positive changes and promote the helping of others. Past research generally suggests that thinking about death is destructive and dangerous and sets off everything from prejudice and greed to violence. These studies which have been related to terror management theory (TMT) have rarely explored the potential benefits of being aware of death.
- Terror Management Theory (Sheldon Solomon – Ernest Becker) (disquietreservations.blogspot.com)
- New Research: Thinking About Your Mortality Makes You A Better Person (bobsutton.typepad.com)
- What Happens When Atheists Confront Mortality (alternet.org)
- Do Atheists Have Deathbed Conversions? – Tom Jacobs – Pacific Standard (richarddawkins.net)