Positive thinking is part of US American culture. In other cultures, there is an acceptance of the reality that sometimes life is hard and people feel depressed. It isn’t something to be alarmed about and it isn’t something people feel pressured to fix in themselves or in others.
Even when dealing with death, US Americans refuse to grieve deeply or experience depression. We insist on have “celebrations of life” rather than funerals.
In the midst of a crisis like the one we are going through now, I am amazed at the cultural push to constantly find positives and to seek ways to cheer ourselves up. It isn’t acceptable in our culture to simply be sad.
The article below discusses the psychological downsides to the constant push for positive thinking.
During a time like this, there is a need for grief. We need to grieve the loss of our normal lives, which may never be quite the same again. We need to grieve the loss of our sense of safety and well-being. We may need to grieve the loss of friends or family who have not survived the virus. It’s okay to grieve and to experience times of depression. In fact, it’s a very sane thing to do.
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