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The Tyranny of Relentless Positivity - Mindful

Embrace emotional agility

Don't consider what you think you should feel. Open your heart to what you do feel, even the difficult emotions. It could involve pain, regret, grief or loss. 

When we name our emotions accurately, we are able to find the cause of our feelings. For example, there is a big difference between "I'm stressed", and "I'm in the wrong career."

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Tyranny of Relentless Positivity - Mindful

The Tyranny of Relentless Positivity - Mindful

https://www.mindful.org/real-gift-negative-emotions/

mindful.org

6

Key Ideas

False positivity

We are caught up in a rigid culture that values positivity.

However, when we put aside our difficult emotions in order to embrace dishonest positivity, we fail to discover skills that can help us to deal with our problems.

Tough emotions are essential for living

How we deal with our emotions affects how we love, how we live, how we parent and how we lead.

We should not view our emotions as good or bad, positive or negative. We need our emotions for real resilience.

Moving Beyond Emotional Rigidity

When we go through tough situations, we cannot ignore our negative emotions with the hope that they don't matter.

Write down what you are truly feeling in a personal notebook. Move beyond the rigidity of denial.

Embrace emotional agility

Don't consider what you think you should feel. Open your heart to what you do feel, even the difficult emotions. It could involve pain, regret, grief or loss. 

When we name our emotions accurately, we are able to find the cause of our feelings. For example, there is a big difference between "I'm stressed", and "I'm in the wrong career."

Emotions are data

Emotions are not directives. We can label our emotions for their values without listening to them.

We own our emotions, they don't own us.

What to do with emotions

When you feel a strong, tough emotion, don’t run away from it. Understand why you have this emotion and be open to it.

What is the emotion telling you? Notice the emotion for what it is. Be with your emotions with curiosity, compassion and courage. 

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Susan David

“Being positive has become a new form of moral correctness.”

Susan David
Forced positivity

Suppressing or avoiding our difficult emotions is not healthy or helpful.

Doing this impairs our capacity to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. And this leads to lower levels of resilience, lower levels of wellbeing, and higher levels of depression and anxiety.

Labeling difficult emotions

An important way of dealing with a difficult emotion is to label it effectively.

Labeling your emotions more accurately helps you understand the cause of those emotions and triggers your ability to set goals and to make real concrete changes.

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Experiencing Grief
Experiencing Grief

Everyone has to experience grief at some point in life. It is an evolutionary trait that is present in mammals in general.

There seems to be a certain purpose for this int...

The Five Stages Of Grief

The stages of coming in terms with grief are:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

These widely accepted stages are considered rigid and obsolete as modern psychologists update the understanding of grief.

The Attachment Theory

It focuses on the psychological connectedness of grief, looking at the quality of bondings that are made during the course of our lives.

Grief, and even the behaviour of babies in the absence of parents suggests it is not just a mental experience, but has physiological effects, like raising the level of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies.

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Positivity Could be Good for Us

Negative thinking can narrow our thinking and prevent us from moving forward. Positive encouragement can open our minds to alternatives. It fosters creative thinking and opens us up to take on risk...

Forcing positive thinking

Forcing positive thinking puts us under pressure and in an always-on-the-alert mode. We can never relax because a negative thought might pop into our heads when we least expect it.

It can make us feel more negative emotions and we may blame ourselves for not being happy enough.

We need some negative emotions

Emotions like fear and anxiety can help us to act in certain situations, for instance, alerting us to danger. Anxiety should not be avoided. It can point to an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

Thinking negatively can also help us prepare for worst-case scenarios in advance. However, too much negative thinking is not good for us either.

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