Yesterday I came across a question. ‘When I believe that I will not be infected by COVID 19, am I being positive or negative’. This made me wonder about the kind of image of positivity people have in mind. Many people feel that positive thinking means that one has to focus only on positive things and ignore the facts that generate negativity. But do you think that such an approach to life is right?
Let us consider this case, we all are aware of the fact that it is a contagious virus. Thinking that you will not catch the virus means that you are ignorant of the situation which in turn makes your thinking unrealistic. If you let such a thought- process guide you, you will end up catching the infection and will also contribute towards its spread. So, unrealistic thinking, that you thought was positive, produced negative consequences. Thereafter, people complain that positive thinking is not working for them. It is important to understand that any form of thinking should be a derivative of facts and not a preconceived theory. Positive thinking is not being ignorant about the problems or flaws. It means perceiving the negative aspects of the situation as a challenge rather than a restriction. This challenge is a way of life of bringing out a better version of you by giving you a direction of growth.
For example, in the present scenario, while we were in lockdown many of us fixated on the impact that this prolonged lockdown might have on the economy. Anticipating an upcoming problem based on facts is not being negative but worrying about it and allowing it to weaken your mental health surely is. Lockdown period must have been used to prepare oneself physically and mentally capable enough to withstand the upcoming problems with an attitude that you are capable enough of figuring out a solution for your problems.
Perceiving the problems as challenges and using them as a motivation towards growth is called positive thinking. It is very important to understand this difference between positive thinking and unrealistic thinking. Where positive thinking promotes growth, unrealistic thinking inhibits growth.