Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking writes:
Research] points to an alternative approach: a ‘negative path’ to happiness that entails taking a radically different stance towards those things most of us spend our lives trying hard to avoid. This involves learning to enjoy uncertainty, embracing insecurity and becoming familiar with failure. In order to be truly happy, it turns out, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions – or, at the very least, to stop running quite so hard from them.
In a society that promotes “the pursuit of happiness,” “looking on the bright side,” and “noticing the silver lining,” this idea might seem a bit off the mark at first glance. But what if Mr. Burkeman has a point? Perhaps when we let our experiences – all of them – be what they are without always trying to find the positive, we are more apt to finally see the joy that sometimes lurks just outside of our sightlines.
What do you think? Can we overdo positive thinking? What’s the best balance for you?