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Overcoming Toxic Positivity

Just think positive!


This is the mantra preached by life coaches, teachers, guides, and nosey neighbors worldwide. Just think positive, and everything will be okay. However, being positive all of the time is both impossible and simply unhealthy.


Bad things happen. You can’t be positive all of the time, but how to combat toxic positivity?

Recognize Your Emotions

Understanding your emotions is a pivotal part of overcoming toxic positivity. Too often in our society, we are encouraged not to express our feelings, and instead, we repress them in exchange for productivity. We keep going, ignoring the stress and anxiety until everything comes crashing down around us.


Accept your emotions for what they are and learn how to work with them instead of against them. Your emotions are tools to help you navigate the world. So, take a moment, find a quiet place, and recognize what you feel.

Develop Healthy Emotional Coping Skills

When we think about coping mechanisms, it’s often the unhealthy habits that first pop into our heads: drugs, alcohol, or acts of violence. However, there are many ways to cope with your emotions constructively to benefit your mental health. A few examples include:


-Meditating

-Writing

-Painting

-Working Out

-Building Something

-Talking to Someone

-Cooking

-Cleaning

-Pottery

-Coloring

-Solving a Crossword

-Dancing


The options are endless. Developing healthy coping mechanisms to work through your emotions can help you deal with difficult situations and avoid long-term emotional damage. So, if you’re feeling angry, depressed, or just a little down, take a moment to switch the direction of your mind.

Reflect On the Source

What is the source of your emotional distress? Recognizing your emotions means understanding the things in your life causing constant pain. Once you know what those things are, you can start the necessary work to remedy the situation for the better.


If there are people that cause you emotional distress, consider reducing or even eliminating interactions with them. If it’s a particular situation, take yourself out of it, whether it’s a job or an unnecessary obligation. While it may seem rude to ignore someone, protecting your mental health is vital to your overall health.

Say What You Need

Many people in our society are afraid to say what they need. They’re scared to ask for help, terrified of appearing weak.


It makes room for positive things to come into your life. It invites the people who care about you to show appreciation for you. It brings new opportunities and allows you to rest.


Humanity was built on top of people helping each other, to make each other better. So, ask for help.


Positivity can be good on occasion, and it can bring hope in a time of hardship. Having survived countless difficulties, I know better than anyone what positivity can get to my life. However, I have also honored my grief, anger, and my sadness so I can heal.


Don’t let too much positivity poison your life. Allow yourself room to heal to better appreciate the moments of joy.