a sign made of letters saying 'be positive' and over it a sign saying 'just be real, be yourself' on Journeyofsmiley blog

Positive Thinking: Can It Cure Your Illness?- RallyUp Magazine Guest Post

A few months ago, I received a recommendation for a book that described how the power inside us can heal any disease. It went on to explain how our positive thinking could affect the outcome of any illness we may be suffering from. So then I started to wonder. I am a positive person, after all, my nickname is ‘Smiley’. However, what if the cause of my chronic pain is actually a lack of positive thinking? As I started to question my positivity and delve deeper into my thoughts, I decided to share my words on the pages of RallyUp Magazine.

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Why exactly on the pages of RallyUp Magazine? Because RallyUp Magazine is a global mental health magazine which normalises conversations about mental health and healing. And that’s a motto I stand behind. I am therefore so grateful to be one of RallyUp Magazine’s contributors. And I feel honoured to have one of my articles on the pages of a magazine that is making a difference globally.

I am also thankful that there is a magazine that actually focuses on this. When it comes to normalising conversations about mental health and healing, some topics are very controversial. Controversy isn’t something that is unknown to me. Actually the opposite, I often probe conversations that make us delve deeper into our beliefs and values. Just like at the recent Women’s Christian Conference, or when interviewed for the Wellbeing Podcast at the beginning of the year.

a type writer with a paper in it with writing Positive Thinking and All feelings are valid and the title What kind of positivity do we need? on Journeyofsmiley blog
📸: unsplash @florianklauer

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Positive thinking in recovery

If you have followed me for a while you will know that I started my blog after my accident. On the Journeyofsmiley Blog, I am sharing my journey of recovery. Two years ago I ended up in hospital with a fractured back after a car hit me as I was crossing a road. After the accident, I tried not to pity myself but decided to try and make the most of my life as it was. I admit the journey hasn’t been easy. However, my positivity and faith have helped me to get through it and they have not only survived, but have actually grown during my recovery.

Positivity is crucial to my healing. However, despite this, I am not a big fan of the phrase ‘stay positive’. Having been diagnosed with PTSD after my accident, I often asked myself what does this actually mean? Do people really think that I am not trying to remain positive? Do they think that I would choose negativity over positivity? After all, I didn’t get my nickname ‘Smiley’ for nothing. I have always tried to be positive. However, not even a smile could protect me from some of the trauma that I have been through during my life. Neither did just think positively, despite my attempts to always look at the bright side of life.

A person hiding her face with a balloon and a smiley face drawing on the balloon. On the balloon is written 'what's behind that smile?' and over the balloon is the title 'Has positivity culture got it wrong' on Journeyofsmiley blog
📸: unsplash @happy_lollipop

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Positivity Culture

And that’s why I decided to share my thoughts on ‘toxic positivity’ in a mental health magazine which exists to help empower and encourage people on their healing journey. Because perhaps positivity isn’t the only thing that is important on our healing journey. Perhaps there are values that are more valuable and meaningful than just ‘stay positive’ when it comes to moving forward in our recovery.

So I started to question, is toxic positivity a trap that we are blindly falling into? Is it possible that there is a dark side to the positivity culture? Can positive thinking really cure us or can positivity even be harmful to us?

Read my article ‘Positive Thinking: Can It Cure Your Illness?‘ on the RallyUp Magazine’s website. I invite you to explore the positivity culture further and look for the values that help us on our healing journey.

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Thank you for reading and till the next blog post,

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33 thoughts on “Positive Thinking: Can It Cure Your Illness?- RallyUp Magazine Guest Post”

    1. Thank you, Emily! Yes, it can be really hard, but we just need to learn to value all feelings, no matter how difficult they may be. Let others feel what they need to feel and then help them to move on. Many thanks!

    1. Thank you so much! I am glad that it was helpful and hope you enjoyed reading my article in the magazine. I would be happy to read your feedback. Many thanks!

    1. Thank you so much! It’s true, we can’t be positive all the time, there is a reason why other feelings and emotions exist. I am glad that you enjoyed reading it. Many thanks!

  1. Like anything, optimism can be taken too far. I know people like this- they are constantly talking positive and it can get irritating after a while. However, the opposite extreme- excess pessimism- is far worse! I would rather be in the company of an overly optimistic person than an overly pessimistic person any day!

    1. Bryan, thank you so much for sharing! It’s true that we are all different, we have different needs. I, honestly, wouldn’t want to sit with an overly optimistic or pessimistic person during hard times, during grief, when I feel overwhelmed…I just would want to sit next to someone who won’t label me as ‘negative’, ‘weak’ or ‘burden’ when I show my true feelings, who would let me feel what I feel and help me to move on, without judgment, with kindness. Perhaps that’s what we need more in this world, rather than fake positivity. Thank you!

  2. I think about this a lot and so appreciate your article!! There have been so many times I’ve found myself forcing positivity because that’s apparently what we’re supposed to do and then it left me feeling super empty and fake. I have PTSD as well and have also asked myself the same question you did. Today I just try to see if there are natural ways to feel positive but I also don’t beat myself up when I can’t because to your point, at what point does it become toxic? This was such a great article!

    1. Michelle, thank you so much for sharing, and I am sorry to hear that you also have experienced PTSD. But I am so glad to read that you have found natural ways to feel positive and that you allow yourself to feel all the feelings. This is so empowering! Because only when we feel we can heal. I am glad that you enjoyed reading the article. I hope that it will help others who feel confused and unsure about their own feelings. Thank you so much!

  3. I really don’t like the “stay positive” phrase either. It kind of drives me crazy. And I don’t find it as helpful as people seem to think it is. I love what you have wrote here! Thank you!

  4. Congrats on making it to the magazine, Smiley! 🙂 And as usual, I agree with you. Toxic positivity is yet another strategy how to manipulate people who may be susceptible to such manipulation. It’s great that you write about it and are vocal about it. I am sorry to hear about your accident and simultaneously you amaze me with te gratitude and force with which you have overcame the darker bridges of your life. Keep spreading the healthy positive stuff and reminding people of the necessity for being true to themselves and their emotions. With love from Hong Kong.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this article.
    I am struggling with depression for almost about two years and I still sometimes feel like crying. My relatives would get mad at me for crying but yes we have to feel certain emotions. We cannot avoid negative emotions. They are part of our lives. Love this article, Smiley.

    May Almighty bless you always.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story! In our world, it is too easy to hide our pain behind a smile. I appreciate that you give this issue a more realistic perspective.

  7. Positivity in and among itself can go a long way in helping one overcome trials. However, if issues are deep, one must deal with the root of a problem before being able to move forward. And it usually includes getting help of some kind. Happiness requires a balance of multiple factors.

  8. You’ve touched upon some really thoughtful points here. Positivity is good as long as it’s truly intrinsic. You can’t force yourself to smile when what you need is a good cry.
    Thank you for writing this.

  9. When I started my self-discovery journey, I would inevitably have days when I wouldn’t feel positive and upbeat and I felt bad…Then I came across “toxic positivity” and everything made sense to me! Beautiful post, informative and inspiring!

    1. Thank you so much! That’s right, we are beating ourselves for nothing… Positivity is so helpful, when it’s genuine, we need to always remember it. Many thanks and blessings to you!

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