We’ve noticed a trend lately, whenever we talk about something that’s bothering us, or something that is making us sad or angry, we keep hearing the same responses from people around us: “think positively”, “don’t think negatively”, “remember the law of attraction”… There’s truth in these words, and merit in noticing your thought patterns and changing them in order to change your reality. However, this advice is being offered left and right, and is causing people to feel like they’re not being heard. If you feel the same way, this is an article for you.
As much as we have happiness inside us, we have sadness. As much as we have joy, we have pain. As much as we have positive thoughts, we have negative thoughts. And as much as we want inner peace, we have a war to fight inside of us.
When people are told to think positively, this must not be misconstrued with repressing your negative thoughts. When you repress your negative thoughts, they linger in your mind and manifest in your physical being. You can end up stressed, anxious or depressed, as well as with muscle pain, headaches, or even chronic illnesses. Repressing your emotions is one of the most harmful acts that you can inflict upon yourself.
So when someone comes along and hears your pain but all you’re left with is “think positively”, it’s easy for you to feel unheard, undermined and feel the urge to repress your emotions. Hearing people tell you to simply replace your thoughts or ignore them can discourage you from opening up, and in return distance you from others.
With the rise of social media, there’s a continuous battle of showing that our lives are perfect and that we’re always happy. This is just another way of discouraging people to share their pain, and encouraging more and more emotional repression.
Yes, there’s merit to being positive. It’s life-changing to be able to put positive energy into the universe and reap its rewards! But what is the healthy way to do it? How do we get people to change their thoughts in a (mentally) healthy way?
One the best pieces of advice we’ve been given by someone who sincerely cares for us is: whenever something is bothering you, write it down. At first we thought, what difference is it going to make? To write it down might make it more real. And we just want to get rid of the problem entirely, not dwell on it even more.
But the truth of the matter is that writing down your thoughts is a medium to get them out of your mind and in front of you. It’s a great way of helping you reflect on your feelings as you are forced to read them and face them. You’ll be able to decide whether it’s a problem worth resolving or thoughts that you should just allow to pass through you, without giving them any meaning.
Next time you get negative thoughts, don’t be afraid or ashamed to share whatever you’re dealing with, because someone else might share your pain, or be left inspired. And sometimes, when you get told to”think positively”, it might be the right thing to hear and it might spark a positive change.
However, in those dark moments when you really need someone to lend an ear, don’t settle for just being positive. It’s okay to have negative thoughts, allow them to present in your mind, and even write them down to get to know them better. Find a solution for them, help them over the bridge and out of your life, to make room for the positive thoughts to flourish. The trick with negative thoughts is to not allow them to live longer than they need to.
You’re the landlord inside your head, and whoever is damaging your property has to be evicted.
Sisi & Rara