We are all told to have a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) for short. Many people have taken this rhetoric and ran with it, having a positive outlook no matter the weather. However, for many having a positive mental attitude whilst good can often be overdone and sometimes lead to harm.
In short, sometimes I believe a positive mental attitude is overrated! Here’s why.
The bit where I have to be nice
Okay, before I go into why positive mental attitudes are overrated, I’ve got to preface the pros of it first. If I don’t, the internet and the self-help gurus will come after me with pitchforks. I would like to be able to go on Twitter.
Yes, a positive attitude can help improve your outlook on life. It can make your work harder. And it can decrease stress, excessive worrying and stop emotional burnout. Which negativity can make worse. However, having a massive dependence on being positive and making everything out to be fixed by looking at the bright side of life can be as detrimental as constant negative thinking.
Sugarcoating everything isn’t good.
Having a positive attitude over everything can lead to us sugar coating situations. Because we want to look at the positives of the case, we don’t truly address the problems we are going through. And in life, that isn’t always possible. Being overly optimistic in a situation doesn’t enable us to think critically about something. It doesn’t look for solutions. Whereas if we look at a case for what it is whilst were in it, instead of forcing some message out of it, we can sort it out much more quickly and in a way that is more rewarding and improves us for the better. Plus, it is not truthful, or realistic and not being honest with ourselves can give us a false sense of security. Making everything worse!
Two paragraphs ago, I said that a positive mental attitude could improve stress levels and emotional burnout. However, as much as those improvements are good, positivity can work against your ability to practice self-improvement pragmatically. For example, because were look at everything positively, we can’t objectively look at what we do wrong. Or the problems in our way of living to improve. Like anything negative about our way of living, we can quickly turn it into something positive to avoid doing anything about it. In the end, it goes back to that idea of sugarcoating things. And that’s one of them.
Being too positive and not truly changing can also lead to snobbishness and this absurd and rather selfish idea that you don’t need to fix anything that is rarely ever true in life.
Positive actions, not positive thoughts
Positive thoughts are all well and good and do help a little bit. However, you’d find better serotonin if you focused on positive actions, not thoughts.
Positive thoughts provide a fleeting amount of happiness and development and often have little impact or change in our thought processes or anything we do for a long time. Whereas if we do a positive action, we can see how we are helping the world, we are proactive in our steps. Being proactive in these positive changes makes the happy feelings last longer. Still, it has a better impact and enables better self-development to analyse and interrogate to make ourselves better people.
Plus, if you are using positive thinking as one of the ways to improve your thoughts when your depression gets to an unhealthy level. (Or to stop it from getting that bad.) Then you’ll find that doing those positive actions in small steps has a better effect on your mental health. And the way you see the world. (Obviously, positive thinking may help reinforce this but don’t be super dependant on it.) Don’t lie to yourself about the world.
The alternative approach
Now I’m not going to sit here and say that you don’t need positive thinking. Because the truth is you do need it, and you should have some level of optimism. The problem is when it gets in the way of self-development and how you change situations. The same goes for negative thinking.
What do you do then? Well, my answer is to be more balanced in your outlook on life. Now I’m not saying you have to remain neutral to everything. That would be boring! Also, emotions don’t work like that. But whenever you feel like you aren’t improving or being held back. Try to weigh up the options, be realistic about the situation.
Having that balance will enable you to see the situation for what it is, without the spin and come to a conclusion. It won’t lie to you and will give you the truth about what you need to do. It also enables better critical thinking of situations that will be more beneficial to problem-solving and the long-term goal.
Thanks for reading this article:
Hopefully, you found this article helpful and as always our wer8 family is always available to help you on your content journey. If you haven't already, please also download any one of our FREE ebooks to help you with your online presence.
Share, Leave a comment, and tell us what you think, we always love to hear from you...
Sign up to our newsletter for regular articles like these!