Positivity is a wonderful thing. Making that change from pessimism to optimism has been a long, treacherous journey throughout my life so far, and one that continues to represent my growth as a person. Positive thinking in itself is hugely beneficial for mental health and, consequently, physical health; the power of the mind is something that so many of us continue to underestimate. Despite of this; I feel like the pressure to be positive all of the time, especially on the internet, is, quite frankly, ridiculous. There is absolutely nothing wrong with paying attention to negativity, or things that are generally seen as having negative connotations, from time to time. Why, then, is this natural human response something that is so frequently shamed and looked down upon? Is it normal to feel the need to repress something that only makes you human, and isn't it unrealistic to expect people to be, or to come across as, totally happy and carefree when that is not nor will ever be what life is really about?
Here's the short answer: no, it's not. As an honest writer and a heartfelt human being; I feel that if I were to subdue any thoughts or opinions on things that may not be necessarily seen as wholly positive and pretty and sugarcoated, then I would be lying not only to those of you who read what I have to say, but also to myself. Especially as I have gotten older; I have realised just how much I want to use my voice and use the platform that I have to speak out about things that mean something to me and to other people. I am more than happy to talk about my favourite romantic comedy selection or list the little things in life that make me smile, but that doesn't mean that I am subsequently disallowed from confronting the horrendous sexism, racism and homophobia in the media and society as a whole. Why should I be scared to talk about things that actually matter just because they may falter this image of a flawless human being with a permanent smile and no hair out of place that we are all so attracted and drawn to? I don't want to be that. I don't think it's healthy to want to be that.
Furthermore, being a positivity advocate doesn't mean that you have to be happy all of the time. If I'm having a bad day, I'm feeling a little less confident than usual and my anxiety is creeping up on me; I have no problem with accepting and voicing that. Sometimes you have to allow yourself to be sad, because it's unhealthy not to. My counsellor once told me that I had to learn to coexist with anxiety because I'd never be able to banish it completely, and that's how I feel about the bad and the negative in this world and in every day life. Ignoring it completely is never the right thing to do; instead, I believe that it is how we utilise it and welcome it in order to inspire change for the better. Does that make sense? Are you still with me? Nobody is happy and positive all of the time, and that's okay. Additionally, focusing on real life issues doesn't make you this vicious entity of negativity; it means that you care about something and actually have the balls to address it. Of course, there is a difference between using your voice for good and just using it to be hateful; it is very important to know the difference, but just because something has negative undertones doesn't mean it should be automatically disregarded. I think that that is one of the most dangerous things we as human beings can do.
It is true that a positive mind leads to a happy life, but that mind must also be an open one.
This post originally featured on my blog where you can find more of my thoughts and ramblings.