Thursday, 21 March 2013

Being Positive Can Be Dangerous For Your Health

Yesterday I posted an article on Bubblews called 5 Reasons Being Positive Is Wrong, but it got so long that I had to leave so much out especially the part about how being positive can be dangerous for your health.  For anyone that has read my previous posts, you’ll know that in August 2001 I became extremely ill after what I thought was just a case of food poisoning; constant flu symptoms, aching muscles, cognitive problems, joint pain and so much more.  You know how it goes.  I had been trained to consider giving into illness as a weakness, as something that is negative.  As I explain in 5 Reasons Being Positive Is Wrong, trying to be positive just made me more and more ill, but it was only when I was real and honest that I not only felt emotionally better, but my physical symptoms also improved.

Why is it that as a society we are hell bent on forcing ill people to endure with a smile?  I won’t repeat the reasons I give in my Bubblews article, but I just want to say that this ‘being positive’ malarkey is totally ridiculous and puts more stress on an ill person rather than helping.  If you’re ill and you’re honestly happy and positive about it, then more power to you!  Embrace your truth and live like that.  But for the rest of us, it may take tears, chocolate or duvet diving to help us to get through the worst of our symptoms.  

I remember when I read The Journey by Brandon Bays and she talks about a week when everything went wrong for her, and she just allowed the emotions to sweep over her.  She cried and she was depressed; she didn't try to block them, she just allowed them to flow.  She felt awful for a few days, but then it was gone.  She had gone through whatever she needed to.  

In fact, the whole book is about how suppressing emotions can affect us at a cellular level.  There are instances of people going within themselves to look at a tumour or illness and realisations of how negative emotions and experiences from years ago were being held within at a cellular level.   Brandon Bays has helped many ill people with her work and I am one of these people.  

Even if we look at it from a totally logical point of view, when we feel one thing, say a negative emotion like fear or doubt or anger, but pretend that we are positive, hopeful and happy, a disturbance occurs in our body as these two opposing notions go up against each other.  That can't be good for us, can it?  Isn't it much better to admit how we feel, look at why we feel that way and try to see what we can do about that?
Yes we must try to maintain hope and work towards getting better, but pretending to feel something we don't is not the way forward and will just make us more ill in the long run.  Acknowledging how bad our health is the best way to device a treatment plan.  Doctors do not focus on healthy bodies, they focus on the disease, the tumour, the illness and that is how they treat and beat them so you can be the healthier.

There is another book that really looks at how we deal with illness and it is called The Human Side of Cancer: Living with Hope, Coping with Uncertainty and is by Jimmie C. Holland, M.D. and Sheldon Lewis.  There is a Chapter in this book called The Tyranny of Positive Thinking which looks at the negative affect the pressure of thinking positively can have on patients.  You can read that chapter for free online by following the link below.

It is perfectly normal to experience a whole range of emotions when we deal with illness.  No-one can dictate how we should be reacting to a situation and even worse, as the examples show in The Human Side of Cancer patients were making themselves more stressed out and worried by obsessing over whether they were being positive enough.  Who needs that extra worry on top of cancer?

Read Chapter 2: The Tyranny of Positive Thinking from The Human Side of Cancer online now for free!

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