Positivity: A different perspective on mindset and mental health.
Story: Virginia LeBlanc
When we think of mindset and mental health, positivity is most commonly thought to be among the desired dispositions. But what if it’s not? What if being too positive is merely a mask for denial, depression, and a nest-bed for harbored negativity.
Women in particular rarely are coached to allow our true feelings out. Our conditioned response is grin and bear it, no matter the weight. Is it too much? Are we too obsessed with being positive in society, when the world is far from utopian? The truth of the matter is that our most prized possessions are masks that hide our true feelings.
For example, when at a loss for getting to and solving the root cause of a problem, from relationships to gun control, race and gender relations, or world peace, the popular default mindset is denial.
Deny it exists to maintain balance and a “positive” state of mind. But what if the healthiest thing for our mental stability is to allow an imbalance or free, unconditioned expression when called for?
The potential for positivity to become a mask people hide behind is too easy, particularly when needing to deal with personal traits, life events, and a hopeless mindset. Denial may temporarily protect our reality; however, it feeds into mental dysfunction and instability that spills over into personal and societal relations. Even messaging in tragedy is packaged with a positive twist, in an effort to find and recover positivity. What if we just called a spade a spade? The problem with the illusion of positivity is that it precludes true feelings and emotional expression, bottling them up for a pretense that eventually causes one to explode.
A conditioned response
As with most conditioning from societal beginnings, the goal is to provide a think-less, uniformed solution to lessen abnormalities and arrive at a desired consensus in being and doing. The problem here is a suppression of individualism, and simply being told “be positive” does not provide rationale nor tangible or actionable steps. When it comes to dynamic human beings and minds, a single party line will not address emotion; one size does not fit all, or even most, for that matter. People must be allowed to feel what they feel and move past it organically. A conditioned response is not the right approach, nor a solution, for mental health or to manage your reality.
The perceived absence of positivity in someone is not necessarily a weakness on their part but a lack of understanding and empathy on the judger. Down days are normal and expected; it is humanly impossible to not have them. Anyone who tells you otherwise is in denial, devoid of communal interactions, and/or practicing an unhealthy suppression of feelings. You should be concerned. We must all learn to deal with down days in a productive manner without experiencing guilt for having them. Guilt is a powerful mask motivator with detrimental consequences to mindset and mental health.
Negative effect on resilience
Trying to manufacture positivity can be harmful and negatively affect resilience. It also can simultaneously skew perspective and alter reality. We are all built differently. We approach and handle life differently based on our experiences. Not allowing someone to organically arrive at a positive mindset impedes their healing path and potentially alters their resilience and life path.
Manage your reality
When life happens, manage it. Understand that, in all honesty, there is no such thing as balance (an elusive endeavor) in a dynamic human life, only shifts in time, energy, focus, and scope of priority. Change your perception and seek right proportions that allow you to manage your reality and steady yourself in the ring of life, while seeking happiness and finding your measure of success.
Learning to love the skin you’re in is key to a healthy mindset and a better way forward to gain and maintain resilience. To find a sustainable happiness that endures life’s ebbs and flows, feel what they feel and work through those feelings to come out on the other side of emptiness or lack. Manufactured feelings, conditioned responses, and actions based on a framework preclude reality, foster alternative facts, and damage the psyche; constantly drilling a message does not make it so, until the root cause is addressed.
From a homeopathic medical perspective, symptoms of illness (lack of positivity) is a normal response of the body attempting to regain health (positivity). If we subscribed to this perception, one would naturally discover thwarters of happiness, take off masks, and have a greater opportunity to heal from the inside out. There is no switch labeled “positivity.” Life is meant to be lived with every ebb and flow. You remove the ebb, it will not flow.
About the writer
Virginia LeBlanc is an author, speaker, singer, coach, and consultant. She is a multi-disciplinary expert and scholar. Her new book, “Love the Skin YOU’RE in: How to Conquer Life through Divergent Thinking,” is written to encourage and empower those seeking their place, trying to connect the dots, and fulfilling their purpose in life. Visit her website at lovetheskinyourein.club.