Why Focusing on the Bright Side Isn't Always Good Advice
#MondayMusings - Mental Health

Why Focusing on the Bright Side Isn’t Always Good Advice

I’m a person of contradictions. Who isn’t? So last week, I wrote about the need to have a positive outlook. But this week, I’m looking at why focusing on the bright side isn’t always good advice. I stand by both points of view!

Whether you’re reading a self help book or scrolling through your Instagram feed– you’ll find tonnes of advice and quotes revolving around positive thinking, and how you should try to focus on the bright side of your life as much as you can. The advice is sound and helpful no doubt, but it does come with its share of downsides as well.

Why Focusing on the Bright Side Isn’t Always Good Advice

Its Plain Denial

While looking at the bright side of everything does have its benefits, going overboard with it and not accepting the tough situations as they are is simply just being in denial. Stopping yourself from viewing things as what they are isn’t going to be helpful to you in any way. It’ll in fact, affect your mindset more negatively than you can imagine, because deep down, you know the problems are there, your situation is what it is- you just don’t want to accept it.

Acceptance is Healing

The first step to healing is acceptance, and if you can’t get there, you’re actually stuck. Most psychologists believe that a certain amount of criticism, pain, judgement and doubt is absolutely necessary, since it is with these things that comes the desire to bring about a change.

It is just how things work in this paradoxical life- to experience true happiness, you have to experience pain. To understand speech, you have to be fluent in silence.

Most of the time, the wrong in our life is there to serve us- it is there for a good reason- to make us change, or to help us see what can be changed, or to push us towards doing what we can to make things change.

We Lose Our Path

Focusing on the bright side of your life all the time can never bring you growth. If you’re always contented and happy with your life, and you don’t feel there’s anything wrong (even if there is), you won’t ever want to change anything, and that will stunt your growth as a person. You won’t ever want to turn into the best version of yourself if you don’t feel there’s anything flawed. If the fact that where you are doesn’t hurt you or cause you pain, you will never want to put in the effort to come out of the situation. Acknowledging the obstacles and hurdles will only encourage you to overcome them- as opposed to thinking ‘they aren’t there!’

Your ability to judge yourself, criticise yourself and pay attention to the ‘bad’ in your life is actually what helps drive you towards making change, and what pushes you towards improving and emerging victorious from your current situation.

I’d love to hear what you think of this?

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An inspirational writer, a creativity and writing trainer/coach, I write about life, gratitude, healing, wellness, relationships at Everyday Gyaan. I offer training/coaching to anyone looking to explore their creativity and heal through writing via The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Bytes of Gyaan, on Substack.

14 Comments on “Why Focusing on the Bright Side Isn’t Always Good Advice

  1. What you’ve put here is true Corinne. I am basically a negative thinker and I am proud about that. I’ll tell you why, not everyone accepts that things can go flawed. I think of the flaws first and get critical and then adapt the situation positively. This way I have less to lose. I’m not disappointed too much or affected by most things. Maybe I am wrong, but my life has taught me this for now. Earlier I was called by most friends as a positive person, but that was because I always saw the positive in the negative. Now I still do, but I just don’t want to overdo it like before.

  2. I have been having a similar line of thought recently. People who always look at positive things are indeed living a life of denial. This is an apt post in today’s times of turmoil. I totally agree. We need to accept the bad and learn from the experience.

  3. Somehow we find grace (it’s given, I believe) to hold sorrow in one hand and joy in the other and to lament the bad without allowing it to destroy our gratitude for the good. It’s a balancing act, and one that we cannot accomplish without help and intentionality.

  4. There needs to be a balance in introspection too like everything else. And I agree that healing begins with accepting the issue in the first place. Denial only creates more angst and self persecution like feelings.

    Very thoughtful post Corinne-enjoyed reading and musing over it!!

  5. We need a balance of both, to be able to see light in dark situations and to be able to understand our failure, shortcomings and improve on them. I agree that if we don’t see our flaws and improve them, we will not grow in life and truly achieve things we are capable of. But frankly I am not a fan of being overly critical. Isn’t life is too short to be unhappy?

  6. I have to thank you, Corinne, for writing this because last week I wasn’t totally convinced. There are 2 sides of the coin and so does life which can have, I think, even more than 2 sides and shades. I hate to say this but what people (mainly bloggers) tell write 3 or 5 points in your gratitude diary everyday and you will feel lightened up is crap. Because, when there is hopelessness and pain in the head, it ceases to recognise a single gratitude point worth opening the journal and writing it then. It appears to be pointless. Everything appears to be pointless. Hence, it is reassuring to read your take about the other side of positivity. It feels real.

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