Is thinking positive the key?
What is the sense of having emotions? And do we sometimes have to feel bad or is thinking positiv the key-skill to learn in life?
Since I learn about personal development and therefore about positive psychology as well, I have noticed that my focus was on avoiding negative emotions. Because, obviously, who wants them? So I researched for methods and strategies to have a solution I could use whenever a destructive thinking pattern or feeling would come up.
I determined it as my ultimate goal to become an always positive thinking and feeling human.
This time had definetly its good and gave me a lot of input. Still, wisdom is seldomly found in extremes. Somehow I never was fully able to handle my “dark side” even when I nicely filled out my thankfulness-diary and found rational counter-arguments for my destructive thoughts. As often, Nathan became my best teacher for this theme.
Everybody who knows us and Nathan for a bit longer has found out that our pony is the opposite of constant. He lives through all kinds of highs and lows, phases of greatest motivation followed by times of total contemplation and encapsuling. Although Anni and I have tried everything to get him out of his down phases, we never succeeded.
When everything you have tried doesn’t work out, then it is time to accept.
Time to accept that this phase is there and wants to be fully experienced. Accepting that to every light there belongs a shadow as well. Nathan is the best example for this: One day he barely lifts his head to greet us and the other day he almost runs into our arms and demands us to exercise with him. We don’t always sink in the depth just because we don’t struggle against it.
Of course we should pay attention to not expose ourselves to more negative stimuli – but sometimes things just are the way they are. And therefore not worse than if they were different. I am convinced that positive thinking alone for the sake of thinking positive is not always the way to go. Because even the times where we feel like contemplating, sad or hurt support growth ultimately. Desperation sets energy for changes free, sadness makes room for discharge and only from hurt there can grow forgiveness.
Maybe in reality it is just another form of thinking positive if we learn to trust that bad phases have their good as well. But for me it mostly feels more authentic to not force myself into happiness anymore.
How do you feel about this? Did you think about this topic lately and what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section!
PS: Nevertheless, I can only recommend Tiny Buddha for overcoming negative thoughts – can be handy sometimes as well ;).