How many times have we heard that we need to think positive? And that’s regardless of the circumstances. Yes, the intention may even be to give better, but what is behind this attitude can be very dangerous.
Happiness and positivity play a very active role in society. In fact, they appear as a goal that many want to achieve. However, not being shaken by issues that occur in our lives is obviously not the answer. After all, it’s hard to imagine anything good coming out when we silence our emotions or those of others.
And to better explain this situation, the expression “toxic positivity” emerged. Apparently, it seems something even illogical and contradictory, however, we will see the negative implications that this attitude can have on people’s health.
What is toxic positivity?
The term “toxic positivity” arises when there is an exaltation of the positive and there are attempts to repress the negative. It basically consists of imposing on ourselves or others a falsely positive attitude. That is, it seeks to generalize a happy and optimistic state whatever the situation.
Toxic positivity is our society’s way of saying that it’s only right to be happy. In this way, unpleasant feelings like sadness, anger and fear are wrong and must be eliminated.
One of the biggest representatives of toxic positivity is the “Good Vibes Only” movement, which is very popular on social media. In this sense, he highlights only the good things in life, while hiding or even denying the existence of problems and anything else negative.
The idea behind this movement is that we can have more health and quality of life if we eliminate negative feelings and thoughts. However, as we will see, removing this aspect can be quite dangerous.
Is it possible to be positive all the time?
We live in a world where unpleasant situations happen and it is not possible to be happy or even think positive all the time. It is often difficult to even see a positive side in the midst of a bad situation.
We have to keep in mind that human beings are endowed with complex emotions. In fact, our ability to think and plan often depends on “bad” thoughts to function properly. So don’t worry: it’s okay not to be okay all the time.
What is the problem with toxic positivity?
The problem is that all this denial of the unpleasant aspects of life ends up weighing you down at some point. Negative feelings that end up being repressed for a long time can resurface with much more intensity. In this sense, it is as if the mind accumulates such feelings and releases them when it can no longer take it, resulting in an explosion of unpleasant feelings.
The repression of the negative aspects of life ends up bringing even worse consequences later on. More important than repressing such feelings, the ideal would be to learn to express them properly, that is, to know how to express feelings such as anger, sadness and fear in a way that would not be harmful.
Blocking or ignoring negative emotions can have health consequences. All repressed emotions end up being somatized and often end up appearing in the form of some disease.
Toxic positivity is a problem for society, as it excludes and derails a series of emotional expressions that are completely natural. In this way, it acts so that people have feelings of inadequacy and end up harming the situation even more.
Such an attitude ends up causing the person to close down and repress their emotions, not putting them out in an ideal way. However, because of this, individuals end up developing some mental health disorders, and this could be avoided if there was acceptance and understanding of the situation.
When being sad, expressing your sadness is of utmost importance for mental health. Accepting negative feelings and talking to someone about them, adopting a non-violent, non-aggressive way of communication, can also help a lot.