Why Can It Be Hard to Be Positive? These reasons may surprise you
My personal journey into growing my positivity skills began in 2011 when I was at a 3-day seminar for creating a culture of innovation. The instructor had a bunch of books at the back of the room. I was checking them out and making a list to get from the library. One of them was The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. That book was the catalyst that set my life in a totally new direction.
That book and my exploration of positive psychology taught me a few major revelations like –
- Our survival instinct creates a strong negative bias in how we see the world.
- We have the ability to notice our thoughts and override our survival instinct.
- There are practices we can use that make shifting our thoughts easier.
But in the past few months, my understanding around positivity and how we see the world has expanded yet again. I’ve learned that some people’s ability to be more positive is much more challenging.
A few articles and discussions led me to a book by William Walsh called Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain. This book and related content have led me to a few additional revelations such as –
- The voice in our head is strongly impacted by how well our biochemistry is balanced.
- Chemical imbalances can be genetic or acquired from brain injuries, toxin exposure, bad diet, etc.
- There are lab tests that can identify many of these imbalances such as our levels of copper, zinc, histamine, folate, vitamin B6, and others.
- In many cases, there are nutrient therapies that can help.
Dr. Walsh relates biochemical imbalances to a wide variety of things such as depression, autism, behavior disorders, and even Alzheimer’s. But in addition to these challenges, it became clear to me that even subtle imbalances can impact our mood and negative thinking.
Now when I catch myself labeling someone as pessimistic, unmotivated, grumpy, etc., I remind myself that I don’t know what it’s like to live in their head. I don’t know what challenges they’re currently facing in their life. I don’t know what past traumas they might have. But I also don’t know what their biochemistry is like.
These reminders help me be more patient, understanding, and empathetic. I hope they can do the same for you.