Being Positive vs. Being Happy

I find myself getting caught in the habit of using “positivity” and “happiness” in the same context, to mean very similar things. But I’ve quickly realized that these two words don’t mean the same thing, and don’t always necessarily go hand in hand.

There’s a big difference between someone who is positive versus someone who is happy. Someone who is positive always expects the best to come. It takes a lot to beat down the positive person with negativity because every situation can be turned into a good one.

However this doesn’t mean that he or she is actually happy. Because positivity is a character and an outlook, while happiness is a state. It’s easy to be positive and still be generally unhappy with circumstances or situations. The positive person just may not voice them openly and actively. Now in my opinion, a positive person will always be generally happier than the negative, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Being happy means that you are feeling or showing content. There are many degrees of happiness, just like there are with positivity, but the happy scale has a much larger range and carries value.

You can be happy but be a negative person just as much you can be happy and be an extremely positive person. This is because happiness is circumstantial and situational, being a positive person is something you adopt and is a part of your whole being, happiness is weighed.

I consider myself a happy person, I feel that most aspects of my life I am very happy about. But there are things I am also unhappy about. I am also a very positive person, which has no scale because of the fact that it is an outlook.

You can always be positive, but you can’t always be happy.

But that’s okay.

Because when you’re a positive person, the negatives and unhappiness gets beat down and becomes minuscule compared to your overwhelming positive and happiness for things in your life.

You don’t always have to (and can’t always) be happy, and it’s important to address and recognize your sadness. We feel emotions for very specific reasons. Bottling them up to always put on a facade of happiness will always do you more harm than good. But you can even be positive about your sadness, knowing that things will get better and that happiness surrounds many other aspects of you and your life.

This is the type of mindset and work required to eliminate your sadness.

Through focused goal setting and dedicated action you will be set on the path to becoming the strongest, healthiest, and happiest person you can be.

Thankful for the Common Cold

Yes, even getting sick has a positive side.

Before I go any further, I want to clarify that I know most sickness are serious and difficult to deal with, and these are not what I’m addressing in this post. But almost because of that fact alone, there are a few reasons why I am actually thankful for the occasional common cold, and why you should be too.

While annoying, having a cold actually makes you realize how happy you are and how thankful you are when you are in good health. We often times take for granted that most of us have relatively healthy lives, free of the many serious illnesses that millions of people are affected by every day.

The cold is a relatively non-serious infection that gets us to temporarily snap out of this mindset and force us to remember how much we should value our good health and how serious we should be about taking care of our bodies in order to prevent injury and sickness in the future.

Think about it, the last time you got a cold, what did you do? You started drinking lots of water, paid more attention to what you ate, you drank less alcohol, you got to bed early, and sure, you probably took some sort of anti-inflammatory and a bit of NyQuil, but the point is that you immediately started to take care of yourself.

After a week or two of this behavior, your cold was gone.

Now, aside from the reactive OTC drugs you took, if drinking lots of water, eating well, consuming less alcohol, and sleeping more all helped you get rid of sickness, you best believe that taking those measures proactively can help you prevent sickness.

Getting a cold not only makes you realize how much you value not being sick and how you shouldn’t take good health for granted, but it also teaches us how we should live and treat our bodies to help prevent further sickness. Now most of us get rid of the cold and then are back to our old behaviors of a bad diet, less water, more alcohol, and less sleep, but we need to keep these illness curing behaviors in our lives constantly and proactively in order to prevent sickness and ultimately live a healthier, stronger, and happier life because of it.

Afraid of the Rain

There’s a whole lot of people who, when it rains, can’t seem to stop complaining about how much they hate it and how annoying it is. Sure, days or weeks of non-stop rain can be a nuisance, but I’m talking about even the one or two rainy days out of the week, lots of people can’t stand it.

“Rain serves no purpose” or “It literally makes things so difficult” and anything in between seems to be the classic complaints of a rain-hater. I’m here to tell you today about why we should all grow to love and cherish the rain, along with many things in our lives.

I love the rain because it not only is a free watering for the plants, it is also a free watering for the dirty streets and sidewalks that we walk on every day. It makes those areas a little cleaner for us to use and it’s a nice little wash that a lot of sidewalks don’t get. Especially in the city.

It also keeps the busyness down. The rain usually means fewer people on the streets, making it a great opportunity to walk around “bump-free” and have a very pleasant and peaceful experience.

Above all, I love the rain because it is a natural part of our world, and a necessary one for the survival of our ecosystem. And because that is the case, why should we spend our time complaining about something that is entirely out of our control, and something that actually is an extremely important part of our world – much greater than our little selfish lives.

When we complain and create negativity around an uncontrollable facts and elements of life, we’re wasting time from creating positivity around those same uncontrollable things. There are so many aspects of our lives that we can’t control. And while that may be scary, it in no way means that we should be afraid, complain, and create a negative situation out of them. And the reason why is because like I said, there out of you control. Get use to those things, make peace with them, make them positive, and move on.

So if it’s raining, get an umbrella. Now go take a walk on the clean, quiet street and be thankful that the environment that supports your entire life is stronger, healthier, and happier due of the very thing you’re complaining about because your hair got a little wet.

The Negatives of Being Positive

I love being positive, don’t get me wrong. But I think that people tend to talk about positivity and how much you should be happy but ignore the fact that there are some downsides and challenges to being a positive person. Challenges that, at times, can making being positive difficult and might make you want to stop. While I’m hear to talk about some of those difficulties, I’m also hear to tell you that these challenges can be overcome with a strong will and an understanding that it is always better to have a positive outlook than a negative one, because there’s no point in spending your life negatively when there is so much to be grateful and happy for.

So here are 3 reasons why being a genuinely positive person can lead to some challenges:

1. People notice your change in mood

The biggest downside of being a naturally positive person is that when (in those fairly infrequent times) you aren’t actually positive and joyful, it’s easier for people to take notice. You spend so much of your time expressing joy in everything that when it stops temporarily, people will ask “is everything okay?”.

I write this as a challenge because I myself struggle with this on a regular basis. Life gets in the way from time to time, and it’s important to recognize, analyze, and take in all your emotions to get a deeper look into yourself, your true feelings, and state of being. But when you are outwardly positive almost always, it opens the door for people to be concerned those few times you aren’t.

Now this is a good thing, it means that people in your life care, but sometimes for the positive person, you just need a day or two to gather yourself before being back to your happy and optimistic self. It may even be something that when you say “No I’m fine, really” you actually mean it, but because you’re slightly off your game, others perceive it as something more serious.

2. Negative People Will Bother You

Another challenge of being a positive person is that those who spend most of their time in a negative mindset will bother you. You won’t be able to understand why people act this way, and you won’t be able to relate.

This is a challenge because it is up to the optimist to open the door of happiness to those who live in a world of negativity and pessimism.

It is easy to be negative. It feels good to complain. But that’s only easy when you are trying to avoid a problem or be lazy. When it’s time to take measurable, dedication action towards conquering your issue or current state of being, the only mindset that will get you through is a positive one.

There is a reason why people complain and live in negativity. Those people don’t have the mindset and strength to take action so that they won’t have anything to be pessimistic about. It’s easier to be upset about your current situation than it is to turn your situation around, but that won’t get you very far, I promise.

And maybe it’s the positive person’s fault for letting their negativity get to them. I know it’s difficult for me to allow negative people in my life, but I understand that everyone is different and it’s just the way some people are. They may be happy with their lives and positive some of the time, but they just express negativity more dramatically or overtly to others. And that’s okay.

3. People Will Look at You Differently

It’s a shame that we live in a world where it is more surprising to have an act of kindness bestowed upon yourself than one of meanness, but that’s the way the current world is. And the positive person will live with the challenge of being perceived as weird or different, because you are often acting not to the status quo.

Some of the time your positivity will be recognized and people will envy your ability to have that outlook on life and all things in general. But often times other people may perceive your positivity as you being easy to manipulate, weak, and even a pushover. That your willingness to accommodate for the betterment and happiness of others is a sign that you can’t think and defend yourself.

It is difficult for people to understand your feelings and attitude toward any given situation, and because the positive person seeks to bring positivity out in everyone, those with a different mindset (skeptics and pessimists) will think differently about you, often with negativity.

But don’t mind those people, because only you and your other like-minded, positive peers know the true benefits of being positive and staying happy. Plus, you know better than to let negative people change the way you feel about yourself.

Being positive is a challenge, but it is a worthwhile one to take on. You’ll feel better every day when you begin each one in a positive state of mind, helping you become the strongest, healthiest, and happiest person you can be.

Why I Love Being Happy

I’ve written a lot of posts on happiness, but I’ve never really talked about the reasons why I personally love being happy, and the benefits of happiness that I truly believe in and practice every day.

Being a generally happy and positive person means that it takes a lot to get you down. If you wake up with a smile on your face every morning, even if you have to force it some days, it sets the tone for the entire rest of your day. Knowing that you were able to even wake up on this earth should put a smile on your face, and for that fact alone you should be happy and grateful.

Taking that smile with you throughout the day is also something that I love. Finding things to be genuinely happy about even in a time of stress is an important skill to have.

But happiness isn’t always about finding a silver lining, it’s about making one. 

For the average person, it is difficult and near impossible to search for and find happiness in a difficult situation. For the optimist and the happiness creator, positivity lies within everything that he or she does. There’s no searching to find it, it’s there, and a happy person brings it out and can create it from seemingly nothing.

The positive effects of happiness on everyone around you brings me even more joy because people take notice of your outlook on any given situation and life in general, and want to adopt it. And that smile that you put on your face at 7:30am is still with you, and you’re sharing it with everyone you pass, with the goal of making them do just the same.

Being happy makes me realize what the important things in life are to me, and how fleeting and unimportant negativity is. We shouldn’t be spending our time dwelling in the negative when there is so much to be happy about. And if you spend most of your time being positive, you’ll do whatever you can to rid any negativity in it because you don’t spend you life thinking “this is just the way things are”, or “I’m sure it’ll go away on it’s own”, because the happy person knows better.

So begin each day with a smile on your face. It’s 7:30am, what could you possibly have to complain or be negative about yet?