Are we so sure that a positive mental attitude is the right goal? What is the line between being “positive” and being “real”? Join me on this episode to explore when positivity becomes negative.

Highlights include:

6:16 – JM: “You don’t need to choose between “fear or love.” Fear is actually a form of self-love.”

7:46 – “People with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook.” Source: Positive thinking – Johns Hopkins

8:25 – JM: “Do these people have a more positive outlook because of their past experiences and their family history and they are, therefore, less likely to have these cardiovascular events? Is it not that they are more positive in the face of equally traumatic things but that they have had fewer traumatic things?

9:30 – Denial and Crohn’s Disease

11:50 – JM: “I am not sure that everybody who is measuring other people’s positivity has the skill set to analyze whether it’s positivity or denial run amok.”

12:08 – JM: “We say ‘we’re just going to be positive, we’re just going to feel good,’ as if our emotional state is just a mental choice.

12:50 – JM: “Real life has real problems in it. So we can either be “positive” or we can look life in the eye and say, ‘This is what’s really going on.’ The choice is to not use our positivity to control our feelings but, rather, to mobilize us and motivate us to solve the problems that need solving.”

16:06 – JM: “We’re so scared of what we call ‘negativity’ that we don’t learn how to explore it and understand it and grow from it.

17:04 – JM: “I don’t think the goal is to be positive; I think the goal is for it to feel good inside.”

17:50 – JM: “If we can’t be there in the presence of those feelings for somebody else, then what is “positivity” gaining us? It’s not gaining us compassion.

19:08 – JM: “I think we have to start distinguishing between the feeling and the denied feeling.”

Leading with Health is the podcast where women dive into societal change through the lens of healthcare. Host Jennifer Michelle has a Master’s in Public Health and Epidemiology and is a certified EMT. As President of Michelle Marketing Strategies, Jennifer specializes in healthcare marketing.

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash