If you are ill or something goes wrong, it is better to embrace your negative emotions rather than pretending to be ‘positive’, says RENU GULATI
The internet world of social media that we live in today where thinking positively about the body, mind, emotions and spirit are guaranteed to make the body bounce back into good health have literally made us obsessed with the idea of healing. Along with this are quotes galore about the best way to think positively and to police your negative thoughts should they ever arise.
This has led us to a new phase – often referred to as ‘positive toxicity.’ This is a stage when you are constantly trying to be positive on the outside, but are literally breaking inside. In my view, this may work to a point, perhaps in the initial stages of an illness, but if you are genuinely ill and need help, you must seek it rather than rely upon just your own positive thoughts to get better. For many, dealing with this has become a huge pressure and a constant battle.
How many thoughts and feelings can one battle with, after all? Do not feel bad for yourself if you are not reaching your positivity goal. Be true to yourself and take stock of what’s going on with your body. When you fake it so much, you can lose your own true self – and that can land you in a far worse situation.
Remember the Shakespearean quote: ‘To thine own self be true.’ What I am trying to convey here is that do not give in to your negativity, but do take note of it and listen to what your body is trying to tell you about yourself. If you have pain in some part of your body, acknowledge it, rather than ignoring it and trying to pretend that it does not exist. If you do this, repression can set in and cause havoc to the entire system. Sometimes, what you regard as negativity is merely your body telling you something you need to know for your own well-being.
How about changing your way of thinking and embracing that negativity as a friend that needs to be heard and not suppressed. Agreed, other forms of negativity do not deserve any attention and must be curbed with rational thought, but do not fake positivity when it comes to your own health.
The Role of Buddhi
Rational thinking comes from buddhi, the discriminating intellect that we all have. Just overriding negativity with positivity may not always be effective as the mind needs to be convinced with the higher power of a clear intellect. Such intellect helps to dissolve negativity, but you can also perform other activities that involve the mind, body and senses.
However, a number of people around you may take it upon themselves to infuse you with fake positivity; and when you go against this popular opinion that is supposedly for your own good, it may create self-doubt and guilt. This, in itself, may perpetuate a disturbed psyche that can lead to disease.
We are born with our own innate intuition for optimum survival, yet conditioning in our childhood given to us by family, school and social influences, overrides that. Now, we also have the added conditioning from social media flying in our face, including a deluge of so-called advice from the many motivational, positive talks we attend and the self-help books we read.
This could cause positivity indigestion that takes us away from the inner healing voice that lies deep within us. When we are sick, just like animals, we need to be quiet and lie low to recuperate and regain our health. We should cut ourselves off from external stimulation, but instead we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with fake positivity and, thus, cut ourselves off from the deep rest the body and mind needs to repair itself.
Accessing all the parts of you as they really are and not thinking of how they should be will help you progress on your journey towards wholeness and happiness.
Renu Gulati is a lawyer from the UK and holds an MSc in Ayurveda from London since 2006. Based in Rishikesh, she consults, teaches and writes in the field of Ayurveda, internationally.
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Featured Photo by Daniel Duarte from Pexels
Flowers: Artwork by Renu Gulati