Is Positive Thinking Dangerous? It can be….
Really? Positive thinking is dangerous??? Well yes it can be. Over the last ten years or so there has been a definite lean towards filling your life with nothing but positivity, thinking positively, behaving positively, feeling positive – all of the time. I believe this is contributing to the mental fatigue (or as Michelle Obama puts it ‘low grade depression’) I’m seeing women experiencing every day.
We all have emotions. A whole wide range of them. Some we like to feel (joy, love, adventure, excitement, happiness etc) and some, not so much (sadness, hurt, anger, fear, shame, guilt etc), but in truth, they are all valuable and it’s necessary for us to feel all of them.
Our emotions are our compass to what’s happening in life, they are neither good nor bad, they just are.
Ask yourself whether water is good or bad. It depends on the circumstances; in a flood it can be considered bad, if you’re thirsty then it’s good. But the fact is, the water is neither good nor bad, it’s what emotional state we place on it that makes it seem one way or the other.
It’s the same with emotions. If we start thinking of them as messengers coming along to alert us of something, we can start to view them as valuable parts of ourselves. Fear is simply the messenger letting you know that you could be in danger and you need to take action. Joy is letting you know something in life is great right now.
The danger with positive thinking is thinking that you should only feel the ‘good emotions’ and to feel the ‘bad emotions’ is detrimental and will disrupt your well-being. What will disrupt your well-being is supressing certain emotions because they are considered unpleasant or unnecessary.
Always being on high alert for those ‘dangerous emotions’ you don’t want to feel is so tiring! Always thinking ahead, planning for what to do the next time one pops up, practicing conversations you might have if this or that happens and then you’ll feel this or that and then this will happen and you’ll say that and they’ll say this…..and on and on and on. No wonder you’re feeling mentally fatigued!
The bare fact is that life isn’t always positive, it isn’t always unicorns farting rainbows and spreading sparkles across the world. Sometimes life is dark, scary, messy and hurtful. Sometimes it’s seeing things that make no sense, that reach in and tear your heart out and cause immense pain and unhappiness. And other times is so joyful you want to cry at the beauty of it. Sometimes you feel that your heart will burst if just one more amazing thing happens and you feel alive in every cell of your body! And that’s the glory of life!
To live fully, to be self-expressed, to experience the highs and lows of life is more than just to live…it’s to thrive! But to do that we must embrace every single emotion and allow it to move through us, not to try and hang onto it or pretend it doesn’t exist, but to really feel it, experience it, learn what it’s telling us and then let it go.
So forget about being positive all the time and allow yourself to experience the breadth of human emotion and starting thriving!