Does Writing Positively Heave You Up?

It’s pretty noticeable that social media is full of positivity in a world that isn’t all sweetness and light.

Sometimes, I find that reading reams of positive stuff makes me feel like I’ve overdosed on chocolate.

However, I know that when I feel down, I tend to use what I call ‘positive’ writing  as a way to haul myself up. This is at the public level, at least. My private journals are probably a lot closer to the real me.

But overall, I find that the very act of writing a positive post tends to lift my mood.

Today is one of those down days, for a variety of reasons, and here’s where I went delving to find much-needed colour and bounce!

… laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis.

What’s your approach? Do you tell it as it is if you’re down or do you try to find something, a n y t h i n g positive to write about to both lift yourself (and not feel that you’re dumping your miseries on other people)?


Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

94 thoughts on “Does Writing Positively Heave You Up?”

    1. Thanks for the link, Val. I certainly agree with all your ideas, especially the getting out and being physical. I notice that writing, of different descriptions, comes into a fair few of your strategies.
      I suppose the question I was really posing here is whether people write positively, for public consumption, as a strategy to ride the inevitable lows. As I noted, I find a huge difference between reading a huge amount of positive stuff and actually writing it. I’d go as far as to to say that the reading can actually make things feel worse and that poses the quandary as to whether writing positively is contributing to making others feel even more down as it may seem like there is a huge gap between where they are and the positivity that beams out at them from social media.
      Clearly, one way to cope with that scenario is to get out and about and well away from social media until things settle down.

    1. Willow, I certainly wouldn’t use the word ‘naughty’ in this context. Maybe you are doing a service to others by outlining your true feelings rather than trying to put a positive spin on them. Empathy counts for a huge amount!

  1. That’s an interesting thought Jean, I only guest post ocassionally and don’t have my own blog yet. Many posts I do are recounting stories that have happened and I tend to plan them out to emphasize the positive while staying within the truth. I do do a weekly guest post over at Willow’s with the theme of “If we were having coffee…” where we chat about the week – personal, local and intenationsl happenings. There i tend to mix the positive and negative to balance the post. All sweet would gag me and eveyone else, all negative I think would turn people off. Real life is a mixture and sometimes even a perspective. Sometimes you can make lemonaid from lemons but that takes sugar as well. Sometimes when all you have is lemons, it just leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

  2. I tend not to write much about negativity, because I want my blog to be positive, but not in a happy clappy way. Not to say I wouldn’t write about feeling down – I’ve written about doubt and my mother’s terminal illness, just not all the time 🙂

    1. Andrea, I think the ‘happy clappy’ is the tipping-point of positivity and that’s the bit that really sticks in my ‘cra,’ to use an Irish expression! I totally agree that a blog that is unrelentingly about ‘being down’ would be a bit hard to take without, at least balancing it with some more positive reading.

    1. Sue, I think the ‘optimist at heart’ is a key dimension in all this. Seems like half the world fits into that category!
      Yes, I’m totally with you about writing ‘lifting’ as a rule.

  3. Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
    Some does, but I think it can be overdone at times. It especially becomes wearing when it is OVERLY obvious the person is writing or sharing positive stuff just to attract attention. They possibly don’t even believe it. -OM
    Note: Comments disabled here, please comment on their post.

  4. “I’ve overdosed on chocolate” is exactly what I feel as well. But then I realise if someone else was going through my blog, they would feel the same. So I am totally guilty of this myself. I only write about the positives. And its not because I am lying but its because I choose not to write the negatives. My world is definitely not always surrounded by blue skies and perfect sunset, but I choose to share when I experience it.

    1. Hello Supriya, thanks for commenting and for being so honest about yourself!
      As a matter of interest, do you write about the negatives in your life in a private place or just try and find other ways to ride them out.
      The choice of only writing about the positives is interesting to me. I don’t think I could do it, though I hope that my blog is tipped more towards positivity than negativity.

      1. Nope, dont write about negatives elsewhere either. My current blog is about my settling down process and the techy stuffs of home automation we are implementing on it. Anything during THAT process goes in the blog – of course. I have also started to share my other personal interest a bit … This was a natural next thing. But when I share my personal I watch what I put out there. A general rule of thumb for me (that I read in a blog somewhere) that clicks for me is – If it’s a topic I won’t discuss with my neighbour, it won’t go in my blog either. And a big part of it includes negatives. When I say “negatives” – I mean those feelings that have the potential to offend anyone. Eg – Abortion – will not discuss with my neighbour. But why my petunias are so frail – yea, I will discuss that. Personal choices of topics of discussion.

  5. Heave up? Hope for some other effect. there are things that do, but it depends on what I’ve been drinking…and how much.

    1. Hi Miss A, many thanks for taking the time to comment. I really like your honesty. The idea of watching a sad movie to help you to ‘let it all out’ sounds like a very useful approach, especially if it allows you to write again.

  6. Even though I am essentially an optimist, the Pollyannas can upset me more than they help. They fluff things off. “You’re in pain? Oh, take an aspirin. Everything will be fine.” No, it won’t. On the other hand, the doom and gloom sayers are just as bad. I like the realists. When I am “down,” I remember all the good things in my life, and then take steps to rise about the bad stuff.

    1. Hi EP, there’s lots to be said for the realists alright. Maybe, it’s that the world is divided in 3 ~ optimists, realists and pessimists! Thanks for reminding me about them.

  7. Hmm. When someone gives you a good ole dose of positivity are they actually living by what they say? Can they show you how it will effect your life?

    Reality is the kicker. Life may suck, but dwelling on how much it sucks will only make you feel like it sucks even more. It’s like a perpetual cycle. You have to break it.

    1. Hello Armenia, thanks for dropping by with such pertinent questions and that emphasis on the ‘reality.’ I agree that breaking the cycle is crucial but I wonder if writing a dose of positivity is actually adding to another’s sense of despair. Maybe it’s all in the way the writing is framed?

      1. ” writing a dose of positivity is actually adding to another’s sense of despair. ”

        Actually I have had this happen. My freshman and sophmore year of of college I would have these quick bouts of depression that I never let last longer then a day.

        What kept getting me depressed was actually the “positivity” of some of my friends and the people around me. It was primarily about everyone around me being happy and in a “relationship”. The happier everyone else seemed, the more shitty I felt.

        It was odd. Imagine being in a large group of people, but still somehow being alone. I kicked that depression, but I still find it interesting as to the effects of your environment around you.

        1. Thanks for sharing this experience. I can see exactly what you mean and it was that element of positivity that unnerved me a bit, especially if writing very positive stuff as a means to haul oneself up but not actually declaring that that’s what one was doing.

  8. Reblogged this on Love and Happiness: All the Time and commented:
    There are definitely two sides to this; some may say there is an over saturation of positive and uplifting talk, while others may require and seek out more positive and loving anectdotes. In my opinion, I think more POSITIVE VIBRATIONS is MUCH needed. It is too easy to start down the negative path and after this weeks voting results, people have a tendency to claim “I vote so I will grumble,” and I have to wonder why grumble? I will take a conscious effort to remain positive and maintain a healthy and productive approach on life and my surroundings. I will maintain my social responsibility. It is all about positive changes!

    1. Hello, RD, thanks for the Relblog and your interesting comment.
      I’m with you all the way about being constructive; however, maybe there are times when it is fundamentally important that the negative aspects of society are highlighted ~ for example, child abuse, so that positive action can be taken to improve the situation.

  9. I think for me it’s the same as saying is believing….writing is believing! I’m writing about the rising phoenix! I am the rising phoenix! 🙂

  10. I’m pretty much all over the map. Usually a piece will start as a random musing that pops into my head and I quickly expand on it, analyze it to determine what it is actually about, and then do some minor refinement to better hone the feeling of what I believe it meas. I usually don’t have a clue what I’m writing about or what the emotion of the piece will be when I first start. Sometimes I find it ends up being about what I’m feeling at the time, other times I discover I’m relating to something from weeks, months, or years ago. I have noticed that when I am feeling down or angry I will almost always write in that emotional realm but not always about what has me in that mood at the time; when I am in good spirits the final outcome is almost unpredictable.

        1. Incidentally, I used to think I could find inspiration only when I was down. But when I dug up stuff I wrote from the past, I couldn’t help but think if someone else read it, they would get the impression that I was always depressed or angry, which isn’t me by a long shot. So Lately, I’ve been trying to write more on a positive chord.

          1. I’ve been thinking about the issue of finding inspiration. I’d have tended to see it as being more likely to emerge when in better rather than worse form. How are you finding the change?

            1. I surprisingly found inspiration to be the same either way. I suppose I always assumed a therapeutic need for expression would be greater than the pleasurable want, making dark or somber material easier, but I’m finding that not to be true. Writing for pleasure instead of therapy is somewhat new to me, so I’m still experimenting and learning.

  11. I tend to steer away from my blog when I’m feeling down. (Even though this year’s entire posts are about being grateful for the little things which we have that others don’t.) Instead, I write prose or poetry. It doesn’t have to be positive or uplifting. But the very act of writing enhances my mood and creates a feeling of achievement.

    1. Hi David, how interesting that you steer away from the blog when down. Does the Gratitude Series have a supremely uplifting effect. It certainly conveys that to the reader (well to me, anyway!)

  12. I like to post positive stuff to counterbalance all that gloom and doom put out by the media all the time. But I do follow a few blogs where people are expressing their grief, anguish and hurt, and I’m glad that they have a place to share these things openly and that the blogging community is there for them and can sometimes support or cheer them in some small way.

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for writing. I agree that the media is pretty much full of gloom and doom but somehow ‘social media’ seems to be the direct opposite and I refer especially to Facebook here I suppose.
      Yes, it’s good that people who have hurt in their lives have blogging as a means of connecting with people. That’s one of the huge pluses of blogland, I would think ~ the supportiveness within it.

  13. Both I guess. I sometimes write it out and stay in that space for a while to process it. Sometimes I BEGIN writing the conundrum and work my way toward a solution – (those seldom get posted – but the end portions do)
    Mostly I write a bit and then I end up with a poem that kinda expresses the moment or emotion.
    But I tend to ask a lot of questions in my ‘articles’ and then proceed to try answer them for myself.
    AND – every so often I ‘vent’ and tell the world exactly how peed off I am with its ways. 😉
    Good to process I think hey (for me) sometimes – quoting myself a neat little ‘saying’ lifts me a bit – but I find I am usually down for a reason…and I need to know that reason to move beyond it. Even if it JUST that I had a bad dream that threw me out – HOWEVER – life does into always allow for that time!! SO – a slow progression of ‘brain washing ourselves with lovely stuff is ok – sometimes. (but only until we can get to the reason we allowed ourselves to get sucked into a downer)

      1. The fact hat you agree is quite lovely. Thank you. I sometimes wonder really if that IS the right way to go – or if pushing it aside is better! I guess – it depends what else is going on in life. Problem is – it eventually comes out somehow doesn’t it.

  14. Wonderful question I had not considered. I think I tend to write in either humour or melancholy, or sometimes, and more preferably, in a silvery alloy of them both. It is not my aim to be depressing, but rather dolefully hopeful, or darkly cheerful. I delight in the the quiet and cold; the silently pluvial grey days of life. Loving your posts, so happy to have pranced upon your blog. Jubilant cheers,

    Autumn Jade

  15. LoL… yes, it can sometimes feel like overdosing on chocolate 😉 I’m a dreamer-slash-realist, so do try to write with a “fluff-less” positive tone—both for the sake of upholding my own spirit and not dumping misery on others 🙂 ♥ ❤

  16. I hope someone corrected that tennis grip along the way Jean! Blogging by its nature is positive and that’s good. I for one don’t want to read about people’s troubles – especially when I can do nothing about them except make the right noises.

  17. Roy, glad to tell you that it was corrected soon after that!
    I’m interested that you see blogging as being inherently positive. I’m not so sure that fellow bloggers can do nothing about people’s troubles. They could, for example, share their experiences and what actions they took. I think this is far different than ‘making the right noises?’

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