According to behaviour blog Psychology Today, the culture of positive thinking creates a lot of undue stress by making us think that every negative situation must be turned into a positive situation. Avoiding “good” and “bad” labels eliminates this stress.
Photo by @boetter.
Author and professor Srikumar Rao uses the adage, “when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade”, to illustrate his point. It implies that the lemon is a bad thing, but how was it labelled as a bad thing to start with? Most people assign “good” and “bad” labels to things in their lives — and tend to use the “bad” label three to 10 times more often than the “good” label. When the “bad” label is assigned, people often feel the need to turn it into a positive situation. This event creates unnecessary stress by creating a need or expectation to remedy it, according to Rao. Sometimes you can’t make lemonade, or anything positive, out of a bad situation. Pressuring yourself to do so only exacerbates the situation.
He also argues that people who flourish over the worst circumstances are often the people who never label or lament over their circumstances. To them, it’s just the way life is and simply another piece in the puzzle.
Why Positive Thinking is Bad For You [Psychology Today]