Why I Believe Positivity Has a Place in Mindfulness

I’m a roll with the punches, make the best of a bad situation, look-on-the-bright side kind of gal. I’m not one to dwell on something that can’t be changed.

Some days, it’s something as simple as turning a “no” into a “yes” from my toddler — or husband. Other days, it’s been overhearing conversations of our new POTUS. No matter which way you feel about that, or other aspects of life, one day I’d had it up to here — insert hand high above my head — so finally I said:

“You guys, it’s going to be fine. Everything is going to be fine. It is what it is.”

Apparently, I’m a harebrained fool who believes centaurs are real because one of my friends snapped back at me:

“How can you say that? How can you say everything is going to be fine?”

It was in this moment I realized something important about the stigma of being positive where most choose negativity.

Many people believe that those who are positive in negative situations are blind to the hard truths of life. That to remain optimistic in the most horrible situations means you are ignorant, naive and innocent. But don’t you think the ones who remain optimistic are the ones who have the most honest grasp on life?

To remain positive means to accept the world as it is — whether dark and stormy, or sunny with bright blue skies. Choosing positivity, no matter how dark the seas, does not make you ignorant or oblivious to the potential harm that could come your way.

Choosing positivity means you are mindful.

Connecting Mindfulness and Positivity

Mindfulness is being fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, body and environment. It’s being completely mindful to everything as is, without your subjective opinions. This allows you to rid yourself of the habit of judging something according to whether you like it or not.

Positive thinking, on the other hand, is an attitude that believes in the good, expects favorable results and releases into the mind thoughts and words that are conductive to growth.

There is something to be said about positivity and mindfulness being opposites. After all, being positive means you look on the bright side of a bad situation, while being mindful means acknowledging the bad, accepting it and moving on. I argue they aren’t opposites at all, rather they feed off of one another.

3 Ways Positive Thinking Fuels a Mindful Existence

Mindful Meditation

Many people turn to mindful meditation to rid themselves of negative thinking. They’re using the practice of mindfulness to become more positive people.

When you release yourself of biased opinion, you have a clearer vision of the world and a broader awareness that allows you to think beyond your own subjective opinions. This in turn adds fuel to your positive outlook.

Buddha Says So

In order to understand and truly be mindful, you have to have a grasp on the true meaning of being positive. You have to look past the “hunky-dory-everything-is-fine attitude” and have the awareness that comes with the teachings of mindfulness, which ultimately will lead you to a more meaningful positive outlook.

Buddha’s teachings of mindfulness come with many practices that ultimately lead you to enlightenment. In fact, one of The Four Foundations Of Mindfulness, The Mindfulness of Dharma, practices awareness of the inter-existence of all things— that everything is temporary, without self-essence, and conditioned by everything else.

Dharma teaches that you open yourself to the whole world and allow yourself to just be. It is here that positivity is most powerful and fuels mindfulness and urges you to practice awareness of the inter-existence of all things.

It Is What It Is

Some people hate the adage “it is what it is,” but I believe when used in the right context, this is the most honest expression out there. It’s vague, general and annoyingly simple, but sometimes it’s the only way to explain something you just can’t put into words.

Sometimes when I’m positive in a not-so-great situation, it’s most mindful to just think — it is what it is — and move forward. Plain and simple. Because the core of being mindful is living in the moment and awakening to experience. When you can observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, you aren’t judging them good or bad, rather letting them exist for what they are. This way of mindful thinking, in turn, leads to a more positive existence.

I explained to my friend why I had a seemingly nonchalant attitude about a very important matter. She still disagreed with my “it is what it is” demeanor. In that moment, I let her know I saw her meaning, but I realized the most positive and mindful thing to do was move on. No one will ever truly understand you the way you want to be understood.

Positivity is something you practice and learn, the same way you do mindfulness, and when you recognize they thrive off one another you can lead a more positive, more mindful and much happier existence.

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