I do have concerns about the over arching societal messaging that we are hearing, which is that we should focus on being happier; that we should choose to be happy and that we should think positive. Now just to be clear I am not anti-happiness. I, in a past life, wrote and 80 chapter give or take door stopper book called The Oxford Handbook of Happiness, which really explored how it is that human beings can develop higher levels of happiness. But what I am concerned about in the current discourse is that I think what it is actually paradoxically doing is setting people up for greater levels of unhappiness. Let me explain why.
A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with and died of stage 4 breast cancer and she described her experience of suffering and loss as being exacerbated by what she termed “the tyranny of positivity.” That she had so many people coming to her and saying just be positive; just think positive; everything will be fine. And what she said is those messages that a real impact on her ability to be authentically and in a real way with her experience. She also said that it made her fairly angry, that if it was just a case of thinking positive and being positive that all of the individuals in her breast cancer support group would be alive today. They were the most positive people that she had met, but they were not alive and that somehow the messaging that our wellness is 100 percent in our control simply by thinking positive can often lead to people who are suffering from illnesses like cancer to feel that they are somehow to blame for their own illness or for their coming death because they weren’t positive enough.
Step-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation and more!
Discover the world's most popular mindfulness meditation scripts that make a positive impact on people's well-being.
Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
Morning Affirmations To Condition Your Mind for The Best Day Ever
Morning Affirmations To Start Your Day On The Right Foot (Daily Affirmations)
Positive Thinking Affirmations
Self-Discipline Through Mindfulness – How To Become More Disciplined
Love Yourself (Self Confidence Exercise)
Mini Meditations To Let Go of Stress
Headspace Meditation: Getting Started
“The Hole in the Road”
Brilliant Things Happen in Calm Minds
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.