You may have heard of being or staying positive, but can positivity be toxic? Yes, and if you are interested in learning more, then keep on reading because this article is going to dive into the topic of toxic positivity and the negative impact it can have on your mental health. So, let’s begin.
Oftentimes, you may have heard people telling you to stay positive or always be optimistic. Sometimes, even the slightest complaints usher in unwanted lectures about how other people have it worse and that you are far better than them. This notion results in people holding back their true feelings and emotions while wearing a smile on their faces. If this person happens to be you, then you might be falling into the trap of a dangerous trend called toxic positivity, which can be detrimental to your mental well-being.
How To Define Toxic Positivity
Sometimes, staying positive is not the right thing to do. Expert psychologists have concluded that toxic positivity is defined as pretending to be content and happy while simultaneously pushing down all the emotions, including sadness, despair, and anger. While this action may get you out of a few unwanted situations but in the longer run, it is quite damaging as your mind refuses to acknowledge the psychological discontent.
Every emotion you feel is valid! You can hold onto one while ignoring or suppressing the other. It is how humans are wired that they need to express their emotions, and if they don’t practice healthy emotional expressions, it could result in their emotions coming out more intense and more often. Since they were unable to express or acknowledge their emotions early on, the emotions continue to play a toll on them until they are no longer able to pretend, which could put them in a messy situation.
What Does That Mean For You?
Toxic positivity is often painted and glorified as a sign of strength and resilience, whereas showing emotions is deemed as a sign of weakness when, in reality, it is quite the opposite. Managing your emotions and expressing them shows not only your mature level of emotional intelligence but also that you can listen to your mental state. Toxic positivity strips people of their ability to open up about their feelings or pent-up emotions, which could lead to them feeling alone or left out.
Let this be a reminder that your negative emotions, such as anger and sadness, are just as valid as your positive emotions, there is no need for you to hold in your emotions and put yourself through mental trauma.
Promise yourself that toxic positivity is not the kind of positivity you want in your life.