Yes, Positivity Matters, but Am I Happy?
Yes, Positivity Matters, but am I Happy?
Asking why positivity matters is a non-starter. I mean, of course it matters. But, it isn’t the whole picture. Only part of it. I want to look at how positivity and happiness gel with each other. To look at positivity from a different angle. I don’t want to diminish its value, in fact, what I’m hoping for is that we will take it to an entirely different level. Step up positivity’s game, with a little bit of help from a friend (ps. that friend is Purpose).
I’d like for us to take a spoonful of positivity and a spoonful of reality check and find where the two meet. A happy (excuse the pun) medium between the two. We want to be able to bake the cake using all the right ingredients instead of wondering why it didn’t rise when you left out the baking powder. What I’m saying is, being happy does require being positive, but it’s only one aspect of happiness. So, while we are going to look at why positivity matters, we also want to take it a step further to include genuine happiness. Kind of like wanting to get to a place where positivity is more of a by-product of the choice to just be happy!
I’ll Give you Something to be Positive About
What I’m looking for here is a shift in perspective. Instead of forcing what just doesn’t come naturally, find something that lights you up so much that you can’t stop yourself from feeling those positive vibes. Focus on the things in your life that are freakin awesome and exciting. Try being negative when you listen to a baby laugh! See what I mean! If we spend more time trying to find what provides joy naturally, without being forced, the positivity finds its way to us all by itself.
And, those areas that need a bit of a positivity boost, figure out why that is. If you need to keep telling yourself, ‘It’s good pay’ every time you get up to go to work that positivity isn’t serving you! Find your path of joy and follow that instead. Find something that thrills you and then the positivity will follow naturally, as part of a genuinely happy life.
Do you Struggle to be Happy?
Do you ever feel like no matter how positive you are you just can’t quite seem to be genuinely happy? I think that there is a point where you have to realize that you’ve been focusing on the wrong things. We want to be happy, so we feed ourselves with positive vibes, happy thoughts, etc. but never once give ourselves the time to contemplate why we still seem to be unhappy despite it all. It’s quite simple really, we’re focusing on the wrong things.
It’s not positivity’s fault! We’ve been doing what we always do. Follow the rules. ‘Be positive’, ‘Don’t worry about it’. Like a one liner can fix it all. ‘Smile though your heart is aching’ as Charlie Chaplin would say. But, we cannot fix everything with a smile and an affirmation. We need to peel back the onion layers to help us understand that positive energy is not a complete recipe for happiness. Maybe I’ll look at why positivity matters as a stand-alone another day, in another blog, but today I want us to add some ingredients to the positivity recipe. Give it a boost of purpose!
Finding what Matters to You
We are multi-layered creatures. And what this means is that there is no one quick fix. There is no right answer and we need to be able to look more closely at what we need, as an individual, to be able to be happy. Let me ask you a question. If you are feeling down and somebody says to you ‘be positive, everything will be okay’, does it help you or does it make you feel worse? I suppose this can depend on the situation and on the person, but you might find that you are in a place where a pep talk just isn’t going to cut it. It may infuriate you. ‘Telling me it’s going to be okay isn’t going to fix anything!’. And if that’s the case, the question is, what will it take for you to be happy? And, if positive talk doesn’t get you there, what will?
As the heading states you need to find what matters to you. Life’s frustrations are mostly caused by feeling like the life we choose is out of our control, out of our reach. This leaves us sad, angry, despondent etc. And, telling ourselves we should ‘be grateful’ or ‘it could be worse’ will never make us feel better. It may help us shift our perspective momentarily, but it won’t fix the problem. We need to get to the bottom of what is making us feel unhappy, work on fixing it and then the positivity will flow directly from our pure, authentic joy.
Separate them, then Build Them Back Up
What we need is to distinguish between what is merely looking at the bright side and what is really bringing us joy. Once we have taken a real close look at our positive approach to life and asked ourselves a few questions, we can start again if necessary and build from there.
If you step back and see that your positivity has been more about coping with the fact that you aren’t where you want to be in life than actually getting you to where you want to be, then that’s your wake-up call. Find what stirs you to joy and then boost that with positivity instead of trying to use positivity as a magic wand. Become aware of your positive thoughts and notice if they come with positive energy or just a sense of hopeful optimism.
Uncovering the ‘Gaps’
Sometimes we desperately want to be happy, and we keep propping ourselves up with positive thoughts , affirmations and the like but somehow the negative keeps getting through. This happens when we are wanting so badly to be happy, but we are using positivity as a band aid instead of treating the wound. For example, you desperately want to fall in love and it’s making you ache inside, but you keep telling yourself ‘it’s okay, there’s a reason for everything and it’ll happen when it’s meant to happen’. I confess, I am so very guilty of this way of living. I am an eternal optimist! A fantastic trait, for sure, but sometimes it leads us to lie to ourselves. To hide away from the hurt.
Try putting your positivity into 2 buckets. One is for high vibe positive energy that comes from pure inspiration and the other one is for those slightly more questionable positive thoughts and sayings. When you understand your thought processes you can start to keep them in check. Mothers are especially guilty here. We tell ourselves how lucky we are to have children, using a positive spin on the loss of a variety of things. Self-care, individuality, adult time etc. Having children (and positivity) should never be used as a weapon against ourselves! It’s time we started to find a balance in life, and that includes being honest about what is true positivity and what is a rather unhealthy version of it.
Find the Cause and Feel the Feelings
So, if we are wanting to work through what is troubling us, we need to face it head on. We need the positive thoughts and affirmations to go hand in hand with honesty, self-reflection and healing. While we will always need a positive mindset as a base point for our lives, we need to be aware that sometimes we are using it the wrong way. If you realize this in your own life, be kind to yourself and try to understand where it is coming from. What are you avoiding or hiding from in your life. Are you using positivity as a mask?
Whatever your situation, the only way forward is to start by feeling into, and processing, your feelings about the situation. Once you’ve worked through it you will find a renewed sense of optimism and all those wonderful positive feelings you were desperate to feel will show up automatically. That’s when you know you’re on the right trackd.
This is Why Positivity Matters
Let me ask you a question. Why do you think you need positivity? Do you need positivity? Yes, you do. To feed you, to get you through the day. This is why positivity matters, because it keeps us believing that everything will be okay. That, even although it may not be easy everything will turn out okay in the end. But that’s rather telling, isn’t it? That we NEED it. It means that something is missing. So, look closer the next time you’re ‘being positive’ and decide which bucket your thoughts need to go into.
When you begin to become more aware of your thoughts and choose them (and your actions) more consciously, you will be playing an active part in creating your life the way you choose. Create a life that oozes positivity. And happiness!
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An interesting read. I’m of the thought that happiness might come and go and isn’t always in your control, but positivity can be maintained like a muscle.
Thanks for sharing, Helen! I love this perspective. When we do feel low we will bounce back so much faster with a positive outlook (and well-trained muscle!)
This was really helpful. Thank you so much!
You’re welcome, Katie, I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Loved this!! Feeling the feelings is so important.
And the last paragraph, sport on!! Thank you so much for sharing this post.
You are so welcome, Nicolle! Thank you for reading 🙂
I really like the positivity graphic sweet spot and the idea to be happy from the things that already make you naturally happy. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Nia, I think we often get distracted by what is less than satisfactory when focusing on the joy can shift everything instantly.