Why “Think Positive” is Terrible Advice
At one point or the other, we have all been told to think positively. The quote “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is everywhere out there. Little do people actually know that positive thinking can make a person super toxic. Like, really, really toxic. Not to mention that it’s super detrimental to a person’s mental health. It does the exact opposite of what it’s said to do. So where do we draw the line?
Toxic positivity masks other emotions. Emotions are meant to be felt. Avoiding emotions such as sadness or anxiety when they appear will only make them worse in the long run. Positive thinking encourages the use of avoidance by trying to suppress these negative emotions.
Second, trying to think positively all the time will bias our minds by only showing us one side of the picture. It will never show us the precautions we have to take. If this is overlooked, then it’s very easy for projects to fail and for things to go down the hill. You can never learn from your mistakes. This leads to self-doubt, depression, and can even lead to suicidal thoughts.
So what do you do when life gives you a lemon (aka a negative feeling)? The answer is to accept the lemon and let it be there. Let your feelings take their own time to settle. Don’t force this process to happen for it will only backfire. Look at what you CAN change and accept what you can’t control. Look at both sides of the equation with no bias.