Positive thinking is both good and bad for you. One reason why lots of people are skeptical when it comes to positive psychology or using strengths is that they think it’s all about the slogan “Think Positive”. Well it’s not.
If you are suffering it is unhelpful and damaging in the long-term to pretend that you are “feeling great”. Why? What are the dangers? Think about how trust is built. What would you think about a friend who would constantly lie to your face about how they are feeling? Exactly. You would probably not give a fig to spend time with that person. What person would you rather spend time with? I don’t know you but honesty is high on most people’s list. So lying to yourself is not a good way to go about life. Rather the strengths way of life is about building a trusting relationship with yourself. When you look at the way you talk to yourself does it help you trust yourself more or less?
However positive thinking in general is a good thing. According to studies positive people are more successful at work, in their relationships and in lots of other ways. So how can you “think positively” in a good way without betraying yourself? Think about it as a journey rather than quick-fix. Instead of trying to think positively when things are really tough, think about how you can raise your ability to think positively in general. Learning to think positively in the long-term means to look at what you pay attention to, how you explain what happens to you and whether you accept or fight your emotions and thoughts.
So if someone tells you to think positively think twice whether it’s a good time to do just that or whether it might be better, to admit, express and then move on from the negativity you are feeling.