In today’s society we are so impressed with the need to “be happy,” that we feel negative or bad thoughts have no place in life, so we tend to just try to shut them out or avoid them in the “pursuit of happiness”.
That is a big mistake because by doing that you invite an imbalance.
Good and bad, positive and negative, indeed happy and sad, they are all part of each of us, and are needed to be a balanced and “whole” self.
Social researcher Hugh Mackay has written about this in “The Good Life”. He points out that in the culture of pursuing happiness and worrying about being happy, people suffer from a new disease he terms ‘fear of sadness.’ This also helps us recognizes that wholeness is a matter of everything that makes you what you are: disappointment, negativity, failure, frustration, sadness, dissatisfaction as well as the nice things like victory, fulfillment, satisfaction, and joy.
But study after study reveals that the attitude path to resilience in the face of negative emotions to keep that even keel, that balance, that sense of wholeness is actually a matter of allowing both positive and negative feelings to co-exist!
Happiness or well-being has been defined by social psychology as attitudes that stem from a person’s evaluations of his or her life.
In the face of negative situations there is an adaptive process that works on attitudes to promote the ability to adapt to the situation.
It’s a balancing process!