Help… Always be positive???

Important note from the Website administrator:
Help ! I get angry so fast- I cannot handle it! This Q & A theme (January 2015) was handled by our expert: Dr Paulomi Sudhir, Additional Professor, Dept of Clinical Psychology.
Dr Paulomi is a specialist in the field of Behavioural Medicine, including cognitive behaviuour therapies. The expert name was missed out in the last month section, inadvertently. This error is deeply regretted.

Q & A:

Help… Always be positive???

People tell me that I should always be positive. I don’t know why

Perhaps it would help to understand why people say that /how often they say that. Is it a comment that thrown at you because you come across as irritable/worried/frustrated most of the times? If you think so, then it may just mean that you might want to practice paying attention to the brighter side of things or situations or expressing about things that are going right /sharing lighter moments, as much as you might want to share about things that are not going right.

But how can I be positive ALL the time?

Yes, you are right. “Be positive” advice is several times given based on the misconception that one should NOT experience or express negative emotion…!

In fact, it can be problematic for our health, if go on putting up a mask of positivity for a long time while we are experiencing lots of difficult emotions inside us. Negative emotions are natural and normal. It does not help to deny their existence. These emotions have their own utility. What we do with these emotions, how frequently they interfere with what we need to do or, how long these linger on—these are some of the parameters we need to be aware of rather than going by an unrealistic dictum that negative emotions are a taboo.

Expert: Dr Seema Mehrotra, Additional Professor

Dept of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bangalore-29