Everything Positive?

When some people hear Positive Psychology they automatically think of positive thinking or smiley faces and as a consequence, some get a tight knot in their stomach. Rightfully so. Positive Psychology is not about unicorns and that everyone should always be happy and smile all the time. That is not the aim of Positive Psychology and certainly not mine.

My definition of a happy life is leading a balanced life. Not to be too disturbed by negative events but also not by positive ones either. I strive for living a calm life, but I also know that sometimes it is better to shake things up a little.

Sure, many people suffer and the numbers of people suffering from depression and anxiety continue to increase. So it makes sense to help people to find a way with which they can bring some more light into their lives at times very dark worlds. And that is the main reason why researchers came together to establish Positive Psychology research.

But it is also important to not neglect negative feelings and emotions. Let’s take anger as an example. Anger is important as long as it is used for something good. The current situation produces a lot of anger. If this anger is used to destroy, then this is not useful. Imagine you are a hard worker who, after some years finally was able to afford a new car or was able to have his/her own shop, only to find it burned or looted. This behaviour divides us, and it causes more suffering. But if the anger is used to protest, to call politicians and put them under pressure, to vote or to start a dialogue, then this is a wise use of anger.

Moreover, all the other negative emotions are important, too. Anger and sadness can reveal our values, envy can give us direction, loneliness shows us how important human connectedness is for us. Boredom can be used to identify what we want in our lives and feeling down and exhausted can show us that we need a break and recharge. They can teach us a lot and they should be nothing to be ashamed of. Having those feelings is part of being human. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

So, please don’t neglect your negative emotions and feelings. They want to be heard and they need to be heard. When suppressed, they will resurface later and much more powerful, too. Pretending that we are constantly happy will do us no good. We set unrealistic expectations for others, our children and ourselves. Life can be difficult at times. Let us not put ourselves under the pressure that we need to ignore our reality and act as if everything is fine. That is not good for our souls.

If you don’t feel good, are angry or experience any other negative emotion/feeling, give it room to be heard. Then, think about what it wants to tell you and then think about how to act wisely on it.

Have a wonderful day, do it from love and take care,

Stephan

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