Toxic Positivity in an age of Nowhere

Positivity is a fad all around the place. Instagram, Twitter, the daily newsletters and what not – all have only one single message to convey – stay positive. Is that a bad message now? Bad enough to have an article against it? Well, no. And well, yes.

Positivity is important. Being hopeful is important. They are important to have the strength to move on. They are important to have the strength to carry forth with what lies at hand. If a person loses hope, then there is seldom a lot that can be done. This idea is quite agreed upon by psychologists as well as general health experts. But then what does the topic of this article convey? Positivity is something that drives a person forward. Then there is a situation where positivity becomes the only emotion a person knows. And most of the human race would agree that they are pushed into this state. If any other emotion – sad, angry, aghast or tired – tries to come, the person is told to let go of it and stay positive, to try to be happy about what lies with him or her or them. This is toxic, say many psychologists. The person is forced to accept positivity even when he/she/they are trying to cry, trying to be angry or trying to express any other emotion.

Expression is very important for mental health. There is no tool as strong as expression for the human mind. That expression can be verbal, through music, art, dance or in any other physical or art form – as long as it does no harm to another being, that expression is good and, important.

Toxic positivity can lead to the locking of emotions, mental degeneracy or probably depression, anxiety and a host of other issues. Psychologists argue that no emotion is ever fully suppressed. Suppressing of emotions locks those emotions deep in the brain, only to come out stronger and probably more harmful in situations of trauma or a sudden exposure to a stimulating environment.

In the present, all of us are struck in a nowhere – a world of our own in our houses or offices or work spaces with limited human contact. This has statistically led to an increase in cases of extreme isolation, anxiety and depression and a host of other mental health problems. This is certainly not a time to be positive all the time. And certainly not a time to try to do something positive. The important thing is to strike the balance. Give all your emotions a moment. And yet, try to do something positive each day. It is alright if you cannot. The contentment is to understand that you tried.

How To Avoid Toxic Positivity And Use Positive Thinking Healthily
Stay positive and away from becoming toxic positive. (image courtesy : Women’s health magazine)