River Holistic

The dark side of positivity

The Dark Side of Positivity

The Dark Side of Positivity

The dark side of positivity
Picture of Claire Kenny
Claire Kenny

Founder and Owner

The Dark Side of Positivity:

How Toxic Positivity Can Negatively Impact Your Life

In today’s society, positivity is often touted as the key to happiness and success. We’re encouraged to “look on the bright side” and “focus on the good.” While optimism can be beneficial, there is a darker side to positivity that is often overlooked – toxic positivity.

What is toxic positivity? It’s the belief that we should only focus on positive emotions and experiences, and that anything negative should be suppressed or ignored. It’s the idea that if we’re not happy and upbeat all the time, there must be something wrong with us. While this may sound harmless, toxic positivity can actually be damaging to our mental health and well-being.

The Dangers of Toxic Positivity

When we suppress negative emotions, we’re not allowing ourselves to fully process and deal with them. This can lead to a buildup of stress and anxiety, which can have negative effects on our physical health. In addition, when we’re told to “just be positive” in the face of a difficult situation, it can feel dismissive of our feelings and experiences. This can cause feelings of shame and guilt, as we feel like we’re not “doing positivity right.”

Toxic positivity can also be harmful in our relationships. When we’re only allowed to express positive emotions, we’re not being authentic with our loved ones. This can lead to feelings of disconnection and resentment. In addition, when we’re constantly bombarded with messages of positivity, it can be difficult to empathize with others who are going through a difficult time. We may feel like they’re “bringing us down” or not doing enough to “fix” their situation.

How to Overcome Toxic Positivity

The first step in overcoming toxic positivity is to recognize when it’s happening. This can be difficult, as it’s often disguised as well-intentioned advice or encouragement. When someone tells you to “just think positive” or “don’t worry, be happy,” take a moment to consider how you’re really feeling. Are you suppressing negative emotions? Are you feeling dismissed or invalidated?

Once you’ve recognized toxic positivity, it’s important to allow yourself to feel your emotions, both positive and negative. This can be uncomfortable at first, especially if you’ve been taught to suppress negative emotions. However, by allowing yourself to fully experience your feelings, you’ll be better equipped to deal with them in a healthy way.

It’s also important to surround yourself with people who allow you to be authentic and express your true emotions. Seek out friends and loved ones who are willing to listen and support you, no matter how you’re feeling. And when someone comes to you with their own struggles, resist the urge to “fix” their situation or dismiss their feelings. Instead, simply listen and offer empathy.

Finally, it’s important to remember that positivity isn’t the only path to happiness and success. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or frustrated sometimes. In fact, these emotions can be a powerful motivator for change and growth. By embracing the full spectrum of human emotions, we can lead more fulfilling and authentic lives.

Toxic positivity may seem harmless on the surface, but it can have a serious impact on our mental and emotional well-being. By recognizing when it’s happening and allowing ourselves to fully experience our emotions, we can overcome the negative effects of toxic positivity.

Remember, it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. And by embracing the full spectrum of human emotions, we can lead happier and more authentic lives.

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