3 Reasons Why Positive Thinking is Making You More Miserable, and How to Have True Happiness in Life
Are You Faking It?
Have you ever forced yourself to be positive when you really wanted to punch a pillow or tell the world to screw off instead?
Maybe you are desperately trying to live by the mantra of “positivity thinking kills negativity,” or don’t want to appear like an ungrateful jerk when you receive the 3rd wedding invitation in the mail after your last messy breakup. Perhaps you obsess over teachings from Law of Attraction gurus about cultivating positive thoughts so you can attract positive things, or feel ashamed to show your true feelings because every person on your social media is smiling like Christmas came early for them and makes you question your own sanity.
I have committed almost every single one of the “forced positivity” listed above in the past, and much more.
Don’t get me wrong, positive thinking is a beautiful thing, and it is essential for all of us to take care of our vibration for multiple reasons. However, being fixated on the idea “I must think positive regardless of how I am truly feeling” may just make you more miserable.
Why? And how to turn it around?
1. It Creates Bypassing
I cannot tell you how much spiritual bypassing forced positivity has created in many which often results in increased anxiety and self-blame leading to inevitable self-doubt of, “What is wrong with me and shouldn’t I be more grateful?” In case you are not familiar with spiritual bypassing, it is when we skip the necessary self-work in order to chase after the end result of that work which usually is genuine joy, inner-peace, bliss, etc.
The goodness which we all desire in life is more of a result of having performed a deep emotional house cleaning to free ourselves from baggage. So when you are constantly avoiding the unwanted emotions stemming from past wounds and current experiences, you are actually skipping the work you need in order to get to that good feeling place!
Worse, that energy you try so hard to bypass is not going anywhere when you sweep it under the rug and will come back again and again to bite you in the butt until it is processed.
This is one of the reasons why those who rely solely on affirmations or meditation as means of escape without having confronted their inner demons find it difficult to achieve the same results after a while, and the reason is because they are not meant to be used as spiritual band-aids.
Solution: Let it Out
Emotion is Energy in Motion. As Einstein stated long ago, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
That means, when you experience the energy of anger, fear or anything you deem unpleasant, if your first reaction is to engage the often-times unconscious defense mechanisms (dissociation, projection, denial, repression, etc) in order not to feel, that energy which has a specific frequency gets stored in the body and does not have any opportunity to be released, processed or integrated.
The more you avoid facing negative emotions, the more that energy gets trapped in your system which creates all kinds of havoc. When this is done chronically, it creates energy blockages in your energy centers which manifest as mental, emotional and physical ailments.
A burning question you may have as you are reading this is, “Doesn’t the act of dwelling in negativity damage my health?”
The answer is an absolute yes. So here is the difference: when you are constantly throwing pity parties, you are coming from an unconscious victim mentality and perpetuating the victimhood cycle. If you, however, choose to set a time aside in a safe setting with the intention of honoring how you are feeling and being present with your emotions, you have stepped into the shoes of a conscious creator. These two vibrations are drastically different!!
Don’t be surprised to experience a pleasant shift in your energy when you truly embrace your emotions, and that is when you are more receptive to creative insights.
I personally find when I fully allow myself to feel whatever comes up, after a while, it usually leads to genuine calmness and inner peace.
2. It Creates More Negative
Many who have an incomplete understanding of Law of Attraction (technically, it is Laws of Attraction since there are multiple universal laws in operation when it comes to using thoughts to create reality) believe since like attracts like, we need to always be in a joyful state in order to attract more awesomeness into life.
While this is all true, what you may not be aware of is that all the goodness in life only gets attracted to you if you have the energy of genuine, as opposed to forced positivity.
Given over 90% of your mental capacity is dominated by the unconscious mind which is the seat of all beliefs, experiences, memories and intuition, and since beliefs and thoughts create corresponding emotions, it doesn’t really matter what you are attempting to do with the limited conscious mind if you cannot take care of what is going on in the unconscious.
That means when the guy next door successfully sells all the spots for his upcoming luxury spiritual retreat, and your first reaction is, “Who does he think he is, that materialistic fake,” but instead you shove concepts like “love thy neighbor” and “we are all swimming in a giant soup of Oneness” down your throat in order to avoid feeling the unpleasant emotions of judgment and jealousy, that energy which comes from an underlying and most likely unconscious belief of lack will always come back to haunt, and create more lack.
You do not attract what you think you need or want. You attract who you are - your most predominant energy.
Solution: Dive Deeper
After allowing yourself to feel, it is worth to do a bit of self-inquiry such as “Why am I feeling jealous? Is it because I believe life is unfair, or the guy is luckier and more capable than I am?
It may then become, “I wish my parents were rich and gave me their business so I don’t have to struggle in life.”
Keep going. Write down every layer of your thoughts. Be brutally honest.
Eventually, ask yourself, “What is it that I must have to believe in about myself and the world in order to create my initial reaction?
It probably will look something like, “I believe the world is full of lack and I cannot receive everything I want” or “I believe prosperity is only for nasty and greedy folks instead of the kind ones.”
Now the party really begins. It boils down to taking complete self-responsibility, and turning every light on in your emotional house and giving the space a thorough inspection to see what limiting beliefs are generating unpleasant emotions, and what you can do to reprogram them rather than forcing yourself to fake happiness and acceptance.
3. Negativity Serves a Higher Purpose
I use the terms good/bad and positive/negative rather loosely in my speech as everything is relative in life. There is no true positivity or negativity from the perspective of your higher self because it only sees perfection in all; in this life, however, there is what serves you, and what doesn’t.
Some of the best things in my life came out of embracing the most negative experiences.
When I was at my last soul-sucking job under two bosses that resembled the relentless Agents from the Matrix, I kept on telling myself to look at the positives such as “I got a pay check” (so I could put food on the table, have a roof to sleep under and wake up miserable again, yay) or “I worked close to home” (which enabled me to spend more time sulking and complaining about the Agents and the killer sentinels over texts with coworkers).
After a decade of forced positivity while having made myself a permanent home at rock bottom, I finally realized I was trying to conceal burning coals with a thin piece of paper that said, “This isn’t so bad, just look at the positives.” Eventually, the fire blew up and led to a series of most scary yet miraculous decisions in my life that allowed me to reclaim my freedom in every way.
Along the path, I have encountered dear and courageous souls who after embracing the negativity in their lives be it cancer, addictions or failed suicide attempts, are dedicating their lives to service humanity by creating campaigns to support research for psychedelics or opening spiritual retreats to inspire and empower others.
Solution: Use Negativity as a Springboard
Contrary to the common belief, there is nothing frightening about negative emotions because emotions cannot hurt you. Emotions are components of your internal guidance system which is an extension of Universal Intelligence. Whenever you feel, you are literally receiving an intuition from your higher self as to whether you are heading in a direction that is aligned with it, or meandering too far from it.
Ultimately, every negative emotion and rock bottom serves the purpose of revealing to you that you alone have the power to choose the quality of your life whether it is to change the direction of your course, or change your perspective of how you experience things.
You can either continue to convince yourself to stay positive while bury your true emotions, or face whatever situation you are in head-on, own it with absolute sincerity and 100% responsibility, then do something about it.
Complete and utter liberation follows the moment you whole-heartedly own everything that shows up in your life as something you have created on some level whether consciously or unconsciously. By confronting your worst nightmares and inviting the emotions as well as the lessons underneath into your life, you are reclaiming your infinite power of creation and announcing to the universe, "I created that, now I can use that power to create something else.”
Just like that, the negativity you have been afraid to face can now set you free.
Some Final Thoughts
We are taught to fear the shadow because we do not truly understand it. Those who dive into the shadow with curiosity and openness will always discover hidden keys to wisdom and greater liberation for the simple reason that darkness in life is not meant to crush you, it is meant to invite you into this space where the old can be destroyed so the new can be built. It is meant to wake you up.
“The ego says, ‘I shouldn’t have to suffer,’ and that thought makes you suffer so much more. It is a distortion of the truth, which is always paradoxical. The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it.” – Eckhart Tolle