Beware of Positive Thinking - It's not always good for you

Yes believe it or not positive thinking isn't always good for you. Actually there are times when trying to turn a negative feeling or event into a positive one can be bad for you. Why?

Because in a nutshell, life isn't always about things going our way, life isn't always great, perfect and plain sailing. Sometimes life is just hard, painful and difficult. This continuous need to think positively is causing us to get sick. Personally I am fed up of all this positive talk, all this inspirational and motivational speak. You know why I'm fed up?

Because until we grow up and accept that we live well even when things do not go as we want. Until we stop this delusion that we can make everything better just by being positive, we will continue to suffer.

Depression is often caused by not feeling good enough or somehow not being like everyone else. Thoughts such as

"everyone else has their shit together, what's wrong with me?"

Even though we know we are all messed up and it's about time to admit it.

Let's stop this constant "think positive thoughts and everything will be great" or worse "if you think it, you will attract it!" - come on it's delusional and definitely not healthy.

What can you do to live better?

So it sounds like I'm being negative but I'm not. I am worried about all these people who get told to cheer up, smile, think positive and deny what they actually feel. I want to help the people I work with who are led to believe that all they need to do is be positive, when that's the last thing they can be.

I'm fed up of listening to people who are in denial about their own emotional health telling others what to do. And yes I will put my hands up and say, I'm not perfect, I don't have all the answers and yes I'm a mess. Of course I am, just as we all are. But it is my very acceptance and awareness of all of this that helps me live in this messed up world, pretty happy most of the time.

I worry about the affect all this positive talk is having on our children. We are not teaching our children how to deal with real life. We are not preparing ourselves for the hard times.

It's time to face the truth and then do something with it. It's time for us to take responsibility to help all those people who are stuck in depression, anxiety and stress being told to just be positive!!

When you feel down, what should you do?

In life there are only a few certainties, one is that we are born and the other is that we will die. In between that we have very little control, we are guaranteed to experience a whole host of good things and bad things. And when everything is going great, we are happy. Easy to be positive now, right?

But when things are not as we want them, when we are going through hard times, then we get depressed, stressed, unhappy and we fight to push this "bad" thing away. However what would happen if we learnt to just sit with this feeling, emotion and experience?

What would happen if we knew how to be when things are not as we want them to be?

To be still when things are not as we want is true happiness and it is liberating.

Some would call this resilience. I call it inner peace. A sense of inside all is quiet, still and safe.

To achieve this inner stillness even when things are not great and not as you want them, you need to practice how to stay still. In Mindfulness we use several practices, one being meditation. In meditation we learn about our mind and how to better relate to it.

And remember that nothing stays the same.

The bad news is nothing lasts forever, the good news is nothing lasts for ever 

Why positive thinking is bad for your health?

Trying to think positive when you are actually feeling bad about something means you are denying your true feelings and that keeps wounds open. Over time these feelings will manifest into something else, either physically or emotionally.

So perhaps it's time to say how you feel, just open up about your real emotions. As soon as you are able to accept your true feelings and emotions, the quicker you will be able to deal with them.

As a society we should just as easily be comfortable with negative feelings as we are with positive ones. We should be able to accept when others are not happy and positive, otherwise we become a society in denial. A society that can only function when everything is great. This alienates people and stops us from being real, authentic and human.

It isn't the things that happen to us that cause us to suffer, it's how we relate to the things that happen to us that cause us to suffer - Pema Chodron

Surely it is better to strengthen our resilience rather than pretending all it takes is a positive attitude?

Surely it's better to work on our attitude to negative stuff than to pretend there is no negative stuff?