In this post, we’ll be exploring toxic positivity in a nutshell.
What is Toxic Positivity?
First of all let’s briefly explore the positivity mindset. It’s an attitude that focuses on the bright side of life, while expecting positive results.
To put it simply, it’s a “positive vibes only” approach to life.
Toxic positivity refers to a toxic belief that no matter how dire a situation you’re in, you should have a positive mindset no matter what.
In a nutshell having a positive mindset has many tangible benefits including better health as well as increased lifespan. It becomes toxic when you’re rejecting difficult emotions in favor of a cheerful but falsely positive façade.
Toxic positivity takes being positive to an overgeneralized extreme.
What Are Some Examples?
Toxic positivity can take on many forms. For example, it could be a family member berating you for expressing frustration instead of listening to why you’re upset. They may say comments such as “stop being so negative”, “be grateful for what you have” or even “stop killing the good vibes”.
When you’re around others, you may not feel comfortable expressing any emotions that are “negative” and suppress them. As a result, you end up bottling up your emotions.
There’s even a culture and belief system revolving around toxic positivity. This is where negative emotions like sadness, anxiety, worry and disappointment are viewed as “bad”, rather than just a part of the human experience. If you suffer from mental health issues this mindset can make your symptoms worse.
How Toxic Positivity Hurts You?
In a nutshell, let’s explore how toxic positivity hurts you.
It’s an invisible force that can hurt you when you’re going through a tough time. It makes it hard to be able to share genuine human emotions and gain support no matter what. For example, you may find your feelings dismissed, ignored or outright mocked.
It’s an invisible force, because most people are unaware of what it is. Also, they may not be aware of how it affects them.
Toxic positivity can make you less authentic, which means you’re not being real with others. Also, it means you’re not being real with yourself. For example, you may avoid negative emotions as well as suppressing them.
Here’s a related post: “What Are Some Benefits To Being Authentic”
Why Is Suppressing Emotions Bad?
The more you avoid as well as suppress your emotions, the bigger they grow. When this happens, you have a need to suppress them further by ignoring reality.
Suppressing emotions leads to worse cognitive functioning overtime, including trouble with focusing as well as memory issues. It also leads to a build up of stress and anxiety that gets bottled up, worsens your negative thoughts and it explodes into an emotional meltdown.
Bottling up your emotions is not good at all and it takes it’s toll. It’s especially true if you have a mental illness such as bipolar disorder.
It’s a disorder that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs and lows. Bottling up your emotions makes bipolar disorder worse.
How To Overcome Toxic Positivity?!
Toxic positivity is a belief system where you feel a need to always put a positive spin on everything, even when it’s not positive. As a result, you find yourself bottling up your emotions because of the fear of being berated.
Here’s some good news, you can overcome this toxic belief system. Also, you can adopt a more realistic positive mindset.
Here’s How To Overcome Toxic Positivity In A Nutshell:
Become Self-Aware Of Your Toxic Belief System:
Being self-aware is about noticing things about yourself. It’s about noticing your feeling as well as physical sensations. Also, it’s being aware of how your thoughts and actions affect you and those around you.
When you become more aware of toxic positivity, you’ll notice how it affects your life. For example, you’ll be more aware of emotions and feelings that make you feel bad, instead of denying them. When this happens, you’ll feel relief when they’re not bottled up anymore.
Here’s a related post: “Let’s Explore How Self-awareness Leads To A Better Self”
Avoid Ignoring Or Stuffing Your Emotions:
If you’re feeling bad about something, don’t deny it and bottle it up. Instead, you should talk or write about how you feel.
Here’s an interesting fact! When you put your feelings into words, it reduces the intensity of emotions such as sadness, anger and pain.
Writing about bad thoughts and feeling is how this blog got started.
Learn To Manage Your Emotions In A Healthy Way:
There is a way to have a positive mindset that’s healthy. For example, how are you feeling at the moment?
If you’re feeling bad, whether you’re anxious, stressed, depressed or upset don’t deny it. When bad or negative thoughts are happening, learn how to manage them.
As mentioned before, your emotions can be managed by expressing how you feel by talking it out or writing it down. There are many other healthy ways of expressing your emotions.
A physical way of expressing emotions is through exercise. This includes running, walking, hiking as well as bike riding. Also, this includes sexual intercourse with a willing partner.
It helps too to engage in an activity that allows you to channel your negative emotions into something tangible. This may include a hobby that allows you to focus all of your energy or even sit and do nothing in a quiet place.
Here’s a dose of reality, you can be the most positive and upbeat person in the world and you’ll still have bad days. When you’re moving forward with a positive mindset, don’t feel bad for feeling bad.
When you’re being realistic about being positive, you’re able to manage and cope when things get tough in your life.
Stop Caring What Other People Think:
Toxic positivity is about always having a positive façade when you’re around other people. This is partly due to the fear of being berated for not being “positive”. When this happens, you become afraid of expressing yourself and you fear being judged.
When you let go of this toxic belief system and stop caring what other people think of you, you’ll feel a lot better about feeling bad.
Have You Had A Toxic Belief System That Affected Your Life?
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