ÄRLIG- Honest Positive Thoughts and Speech Help Mental Health
“Ärlig” is a Swedish word that is defined as follows:
There is a shift happening in my brain every day now. The shift is to think more positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts. I know that for myself, negative thoughts are generated more easily, and it feels like I am putting in a ton of effort to think of the positives, like churning my own butter. (Which I imagine I would get sore from and also lose patience with.) So much of my brain effort is spent on making my own buttery positive thoughts. (And we all know that butter makes everything taste better!)
Often every day, (while mindlessly scrolling some form of social media) I see quotes and memes saying that the negatives that you think are lies filling and corrupting your brain. Seeing these words of wisdom, I think that the idea of being more naturally inclined and drawn to think negatively, coincides with our ability to tell the truth.
I’m not calling myself a born liar or a habitual liar, and I am not a pathological liar. (My sibling would have you believe that I am a terrible liar because I smile too much which gives me away. Truth is he just knows my tells… And ruins any game involving lying for me.) I actually think that there are different kinds of lies.
Some lies are blatant lies. Have you ever watched a sitcom? Where the characters get themselves tied up in their lies and the humor comes from all the things they are willing to do to cover up the lie. Other lies are parts of the truth mixed in, but the details are a tad bit embellished or washed over to make the story more dramatic or to drive home a specific point. Then other lies are when nothing is said, and everything is omitted.
After thinking about the different kinds of lies there are, I thought about how I use each one myself as I think negatively. There are blatant lies that come when I am really struggling with depression and anxiety that look like sheer ridiculousness in the daylight. Easily dismissed and easily ignored. The embellished lies stick in my noggin a little longer because they are confused with reality and a little harder to sort out. I think these lies are the ones that generate the most poisonous negativity in my head because they are so cleverly crafted by Larry (what I have named my depression). Also, I think that these lies are also where self-limiting beliefs reside and the saying of “I can’t do that.”
I think these lies are the ones that make their way into the open too as they leave our mouths and gain sounds through the words that we use in conversation. How often do we lie to people around us to sugar coat what is going on? Or to protect people from maybe something they won’t like, but is bothering you? Doesn’t this play a role in undermining any relationship? It also makes me ask the questions: Why do I try to spare their feelings and not my own? Why don’t I trust them with my emotions instead of burning in my own fiery pit of “I’m fine.” The people that know me best aren’t china dolls and if they really care about me, they would want honesty instead of some embellished “I’m fine” truth that is in some wacko frilly font bedazzled in diamonds.
The last lie is to just omit the truth entirely and not say anything. This is not healthy or normal for humans. In my personal experience and observations, people want to belong somewhere and to someone. Whether that is a group of people or one person in particular. There are reasons why it’s proven that a family and/or friends are necessary for humans to stay healthy. (Granted everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences. Families look different to everyone and that is okay.)
As I have been trying to work on mentally healing and being more mentally healthy, I realized that bottling things up and not talking about things is NEVER a good thing. Sure, it is terrifying to let someone know if they have wronged you or hurt you, especially if it is a loved one. But I think if nothing is said at all, or addressed, the one that is going to suffer the most is you. Telling the truth of what is going on with your emotions and thoughts is respecting yourself and the person who you have the relationship with. I say this because it gives you a chance to talk things out in a loving manner (maybe after taking some time to cool off after the initial incident). This doesn’t just apply in relationships with others, but with yourself. Working through the truth and accepting the truth is a huge step in balancing good mental health because it helps you accept that you and others are not perfect and maybe there was a point you might have missed.
Such misunderstandings happen all the time from lies to yourself and lies to others and I think this happens more often than we realize. Choosing honesty creates positivity because relationships between others and yourself are healthier. At least from what I have noticed.