The habit of being optimistic, as with any type of habit, can be beneficial when it is used constructively. Too much positive thinking or not enough will lead to trouble. When done to excess, positive thinking can work magic for those suffering depression. If depression could be measured on a scale of 30 to 1, it would register 30. A sense of empowerment would measure 1. In this case, an excess of positive thinking is one way to balance the scales. You can use the Emotional Balance Profile if you want to give yourself an emotional reality check up. Inspired by the work of authors Esther and Jerry Hicks in their book, ‘Ask and It is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires’ it can help to you to move your mood up to a more satisfactory emotion.
For those individuals who do not suffer from depression, but where their mood registers higher on the Emotional Balance Profile, and in an effort to stay there, an excess of positive thinking on their part has the potential to minimise another’s difficulties. Brushing off other’s feelings with statements such as “I don’t understand why you are so upset” or “no-one else is feeling like that” or “don’t let yourself cry about it” can postpone grief or loss to the point where it prolongs the healing process rather than assisting it.
Too much positive thinking can get in the way of common sense. It makes you naïve and vulnerable. Telling yourself “it will be okay, you can do it, you’ll be fine, it’s safe to walk home in the dark on your own”, even when you know there has been an incident in the area, is not positive. It’s dangerously naïve. On the other hand, that you may not have known there was an incident in the area is also a result of being overly optimistic and therefore naïve.
When positive thinking is deficient it will bring your mood down below 9 on the Profile. This creates an atmosphere of negativity that impacts on others and their mood. Negative self-talk, such as “you’re stupid”, “you can’t do that”, “you’re not smart enough”, and not enough positive thinking, “it’s possible”, “others have done it too”, “you’ve worked hard for this”, is debilitating and can be depressing for everyone. Self-esteem and confidence are affected. A lack of optimism destroys your relationships, imagination, creativity, productivity and ultimately your health.
It is dangerous to skim across the surface of a difficult or negative emotion in an attempt to wipe it clean with positive thinking. There is a rising backlash against it. There will always be at least one reason why you might feel doubtful about making an important decision. Why are you hesitating? Your gut instincts were designed to help you. Instincts have helped human beings evolve by surviving and thriving for thousands of years. You have to find out why you feel any emotion. It’s trying to get your attention for a purpose. Identify the purpose of each emotion that moves you. You don’t have to do this on your own. In fact, you will do it better with professional support. Until recently, it was believed that it took 21 – 28 days to change a habit. Research undertaken by University College London psychologist Phillippa Lally and her colleagues now suggest that it can take up to 245 days. You will need support to rebalance, or create a balanced habit of positive thinking. Build a relationship with your emotions. Find someone qualified to help you.
If you believe in the concept of “All is One” then this suggests that you agree all emotions are equal in their own right. Doubt can be a challenging emotion. It is easy to sweep away doubts, but every emotion, whether it is positive or negative, needs to be honoured and not ignored. The fastest way to heal an emotion is to feel it fully. When you ignore your own feelings and emotions, you give others subconscious permission to ignore them too. An emotional reality check is good for your physical, emotional, creative, mental and spiritual health and balance. The relationship with your self will improve and so will your relationship with others.