Advice on positive thinking can be really irksome. The more aggressive the advice, the more you get irritated. That’s because our intuition and experiences always warn us about accepting only part of the world. I mean, one has to be really delusional to think only good things about the world when there are stories about fathers raping their own daughters. However, the annoyance could be also because there is something about positive thinking that might be…positive?
Just think about your argument against positive thinking: clinging to one extreme causes imbalance, right? What if that is the exact point of positive thinking? What if the reason why we need to surround ourselves with positive content, stories is not to deny negativity but to achieve a balance?
I might be wrong here but in my experience, you cannot avoid negativity, even if you try to. The idea that you can avoid negativity is either too naive or too arrogant or both because life is smarter than all of us. Our minds have an intelligent way of achieving balance..just like our bodies. Even if you think positive all day by using all your will power, the mind will release all the repressed negativity via dreams. If you think that you can avoid dangerous things by just staying in your house or going to some secluded mountains, then you are mistaken. Because even if you don’t go out into the world, the world will come to you! Like a wise person once said, even if your body is away from the world, your mind is STILL a part of the world. So by default, life WILL expose you to negativity. You might stop talking to that colleague of yours because she is negative but what if your child is negative? Will you disown him?
Even in social situations, people have a tendency to lean towards the negative side of life. What is interesting is that many people don’t even believe that life is only negative and yet, they will talk about how pathetic life is (this is my guess because those who talk this way are very aggressive. And I’m not talking about people who are depressed or suffering). It is just a way of selling themselves an idea that they are powerless and hence it is not possible to do anything. I mean, it is perfectly possible for each one of us to save $1 a day, right? What if we did that for few years? But that is not exciting for the ego which always wants big things.
The media observes this habit of ours and focuses more on negative news. It is well aware that people like outrage because it gives them a chance to project their shadow onto others. The media is actually our creation that tries to strengthen our belief that we are powerless.
When everything that we observe consciously is so negative, perhaps, it is a good idea to consciously choose something positive. If I’m surrounded by cynical people for 8 hours a day and I spend the rest of my day with more cynicism, my life will actually become imbalanced. Instead, if I choose something inspiring then it will give me some hope. Even if we don’t do this, the mind will find a way to balance things but at the end of the day, we need that extra boost because we survive because of hope. You might want to deny this but if you are alive, right now, you ARE hopeful about something.
Positive thinking with awareness and compassion towards ourselves can make our lives better.