Being positive does not help everything go well (as they have led us to believe) and sometimes quite the opposite

Smile to life and she will smile back. If you can dream it you can do it. There is nothing impossible.

Yes, how beautiful it is to be positive all the time. In fact, being so, so, so positive is a trend and it seems that we should all get it. Although experts warn us that deep down it's not as good as it seems and that we should value that sometimes create more problems than solve them.

Or see the glass all the time half full. Or see it all the time half empty. The key according to experts is not to fall on the extremes and, especially, not to be influenced by the overflowing positivism that floods everything lately.

And is that Positive thinking at all times is more dangerous than it seems, because it makes those who practice it have some resources or results with which they should not be so sure of having, as Maribel Moreno, clinical psychologist and systemic psychotherapist and Francisco Herrera, doctor and systemic psychotherapist at the center, tell us Systemic, experts in individual, family and couple psychotherapy.

Perhaps the clearest example of positive thinking is the phrase "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". It seems something so drawer that we have never questioned this saying, but experts tell us that you do not have to dig much to find faults:

1.- To begin, we have to question whether it was indeed Destiny that has given us a lemon (brown, problem, drama, what you consider calling it) or if we are exaggerating and it is not as bad as we think;

2.- Next, we should also question whether this lemon (situation, brown, etc.) it's as bad as it seems and if it would not be a waste turn it into lemonade and

3.- If it is bad, do we have to stress right now making lemonade with this lemon? Isn't it better to do something else?

If we transfer it to our own life we ​​will understand it better. Who has not ever had a problem that deep down it has ended up being something tremendously good? Like that job you lost for not participating in the project of your university classmates, but that ended up leaving you free to accept another much more interesting long-term employment proposal. Or like that train you missed and that allowed you to spend an hour sitting on a bench in the company of that girl who became your best friend.

Being too positive, a denial of reality?

It is impossible not to think about Mr. Wonderful's cups when we talk about this topic. Or in that friend who believes in unconditional love, who is satisfied with what he has, who accepts things and always sees the good side. Sometimes it seems that deep down what you are doing is flee from reality and avoid facing problems. Pain cannot be avoided, nor bad things, it can only be moved elsewhere. Or hide it. Or not accept it.

As Maribel Moreno and Francisco Herrera, the experts we have consulted, tell us, "in moments of doubt and instability like the current it is easy to fall into one of these two antagonistic attitudes: the excess of optimism or pessimism or, as we like to call it, defensive positivism and negativism. These currents appear cyclically framed in different ideological or religious frameworks. The old "God will provide" has now become a self-imposed attitude towards the positive that translates into what some experts call "positive self-positioning," designed to generate thoughts of personal, professional and social success. "

Our two experts tell us that through acceptance and commitment therapies, self-help books and motivational speakers we look for ways to achieve happiness. He seems forced to be happy all the time as if this happiness were the panacea, the state of absolute grace, the new paradise.

It seems that only the possibility of achieving it was within us, as if external factors did not influence or as if there was no room for "non-positive" thoughts and feelings such as anxiety, sadness or anger.

Sadly, the character in Pixar's Inside Out movie appears initially as an annoying character, but in the end we realize how necessary his presence is. The weight of sadness among our basic emotional team indicates that it must offer some evolutionary advantage.

However, they claim, "An excess of positive thinking has also been shown to be negative, as if it were a side effect of the bliss of happiness. Some researchers have joined the pressure to think positively with self-criticism:" If I can't be happy it's my fault, for not being able to think positively enough. ”This puts us at a crossroads: if I think positive all the time, the false-optimistic empathy eliminates objectivity and critical thinking but, if I am not able to achieve it, I will feel guilty and increase the number and intensity of negative thoughts about myself, putting me in an even worse position than the one I started from. "

Some negative consequences of being excessively positive

For starters, the person who practices exaggerated positivism creates expectations that do not correspond to reality, exaggerated and that can lead to frustration quickly.

The direct consequence of these exaggerated and excessively positive expectations is that it is difficult to objectively assess personal circumstances, adapt to them or calculate what steps to take next.

In addition, people who exceed that positive approach never have an alternative plan, because they consider that it is not necessary since everything will be fine in their calculations. Not considering that there is an opportunity for something to go wrong, they are not so well prepared to face it. And they self-deceive or lie to themselves. Or they only see the part of reality that they want to see, ignoring obstacles, problems, etc.

Emotional agility, the ability to face emotional fluctuations

As Maribel Moreno, clinical psychologist and systemic psychotherapist and Francisco Herrera, doctor and systemic psychotherapist of the Systemic Map center tell us about that disconnection between the feeling and the thought that tells me what feeling I should have It is also not the best solution. Both an excess of optimism and the opposite actually reflect an emotional or rational rigidity that will end up preventing us from accepting ourselves and looking for valid solutions.

More than the search to always be happy, we must cultivate what experts call "emotional agility," which consists of ability to be aware and receptive to all kinds of changes and emotional swings according to the different vital situations without being blocked by them. That is, having enough emotional flexibility to face what life brings us.

Finally, cultivating a certain objectivity and critical thinking improves memory, mental awareness and caution. In short, ** we are talking about emotional intelligence **.

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