How Do You Stop Toxic Positivity?
Positivity is the new black. Everyone’s talking about it and most people seem to be obsessed with being positive all the time. But this relentless focus on positivity is actually quite damaging. The constant pressure to remain upbeat all the time can cause us to repress our negative emotions and that cannot be healthy. Research shows that constantly suppressing your negative emotions can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues in the long run.
Focus on balance, not positivity
The problem with the idea of constantly striving for more positivity is that it’s very black and white. It treats all negative emotions as bad and all positive emotions as good.
To achieve a more balanced life, you don’t need to constantly strive for more positivity. You just need to learn to accept and embrace your negative emotions. You need to learn to allow yourself to feel them and then to use them to fuel your positive emotions.
Learn to recognize the signs of toxic positivity
One way to stop toxic positivity is to learn to recognize the signs of it in your everyday life.
There are a number of signs to look out for that indicate that you’re experiencing toxic positivity.
- If you’re always upbeat and positive without fail, then you’re probably engaging in some toxic positivity. It’s okay to feel down sometimes, and it’s okay to express these negative emotions.
- You want them to always be upbeat and cheerful, and you don’t want to deal with their negative emotions. You can’t just “think positive” to cure all of life’s problems.
- If you’re trying to be someone you’re not, then you’re most likely engaging in some toxic positivity. You’re trying to live up to an ideal that isn’t really you and that can be really damaging. You’re repressing your true emotions and they can end up coming out in more destructive ways.
Create a safe space for your emotions
Another way to stop toxic positivity is to create a safe space for your emotions. This means you need to give yourself permission to feel down and to express your negative emotions. You need to create an emotional safe space in your life where you can feel sad when you feel sad and where you don’t feel pressured to always be upbeat and positive. Also it’s important to surround yourself with people who respect your emotions and who aren’t trying to force you to repress them.
Be mindful and aware of your current mood
Another way to stop toxic positivity is to be mindful and aware of your current mood. When you’re feeling down, or when you’re experiencing negative emotions, try to be mindful of those emotions. Really try to pull them out of the shadows and into the light. Rather than ignoring them or trying to push them away, really focus on them and let them flow through you. This can help to release some of that toxic energy and to really get to grips with what’s causing those emotions.
People are obsessed with positive thinking nowadays, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore our negative emotions. Pushing your negative emotions down can cause serious mental damage, so it’s significant to embrace them and use them to fuel your positive emotions.
This article is written by a therapist from Sensera – a self-help app that provides daily CBT audio sessions and exercises. The app helps people deal with a variety of mental issues (anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems). Download Sensera now to become happier!