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Sunday, March 07, 2021

Here’s why you don’t have to stay positive all the time

When positivity is pushed to an extreme, it becomes toxic

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
February 9, 2021 8:15:56 am
positivity, toxic positivity, happiness, life positive, motivational, indian express newsToxic positivity is a tendency to react to our own or others' suffering with reductive statements of positivity. (Photo: Pixabay)

This TEDx video is about societal standards, and how they are making us stay positive all the time. It can be toxic.

“Millions of people across the world are suffering in silence. According to WHO, today, depression is the leading cause of disability. One in four people suffer from mental illness and 50 per cent of these mental illnesses start at age 14.

“Mental health is not a continuum, it is not black and white. A Harvard psychologist did research with over 70,000 people and she found that third of us either judge ourselves for having so called bad emotions like anger, grief or sadness; or, we actively try to push those feelings aside. We also do this to the people we love. When positivity is pushed to an extreme, it is toxic, and psychologists have started to call that ‘toxic positivity’.

“Toxic positivity is a tendency to react to our own or others’ suffering with reductive statements of positivity and it’s really bad for us for a few reasons. First, it instantly shuts down the emotional conversation; that unique opportunity for seeking help is gone. Second, it demonizes the bad emotions like grief, sadness or anger. Lastly, it sets the unrealistic expectation that we need to be happy all the time. By living in a fake-positive state, we don’t get to experience the real positive emotions. Toxic positivity ultimately blocks people from seeking help.

“There is no good or bad emotion. Every single emotion has a function. Those who acknowledge and validate their emotions, progress way better than those who live in denial. Emotions are not directive. While you can acknowledge them, you don’t always have to choose to react to them.”

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