How positive thinking almost harmed my grieving process



If life comes with warnings upon birth, we would better equip with dealing with overwhelming human emotions such as grief, wrath, and disappointment to prevent blockages in our thought process. I always had some sort of awareness of morality prior to my grandparents’ death in 2013.  And thus, the stages of grief begins again as 2017 challenges me again with losing my last grandfather’s (mom’s side) a few weeks ago.

For someone who made sure his presence is known, my grandfather, alongside with my late grandmother taught me how much time is precious, especially if well spent. And in the midst of having my camera stolen at work (GoFundMe link: a week prior to his death, instead of the usual mental meltdowns I had for years, I decided to look into one quote I been hearing a lot all year and frankly…. Well, look at the bright side, at least we have positive thinking, yay!

“Positive Thinking”, a phrase is commonly thrown around in those pep rally Buzzfeed Facebook videos, Instagram posts, and life coach motivation clips. However, over time it just doesn’t add up for me. In fact, it made my life difficult in several ways. Positive thinking made me mask away how I really felt about situations, people, and outcomes. In other words, I felt uncertain, unhappy, irritable, anxious and insecure at times. I was told to keep positive and suck up the pain, but eventually sometimes take it out on people I cared about and beat myself up if things didn’t work out because I felt that negative thoughts came through more than the positive ones.  Eventually, those soaking up those feelings made me not as happy as I was truly was and my mental health felt a bit compromised despite my good standing physical health.

I get what you are thinking, how a creative personal trainer can feel these strong emotions without getting help and babbling about it? According to a technique developed by Gabriele Oettingen, a motivation psychology specialist, she points the benefits of “achieving a certain goal (instead of simply imagining achieving the goal) followed by imagining obstacles and difficulties that may get in the way of completing your goal. So you imagine both the good and bad things that may happen.” For me, just don’t imagine the end goal, but rather the process. Sure, you can think positive, but never keep things bottled up.


Does positive thinking help you get through tough times? Is everyone options different? Comment below.


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