How to get rid of toxic positivity

Categories : Wellness

You’re scrolling through Instagram and you see a friend post a photo of her happy self with her friends on a video call, a glass of cocktail in hand, with the caption ‘It’s Quaran-tini time with the ladies! #GoodVibesOnly’. You feel bad about yourself because you’re also stuck at home, unproductive and on the verge of breaking down.

Sounds familiar? All of us have experienced this before.  You’ve probably seen tons of quotes on Facebook and Twitter asking everyone to see the silver lining and seize this pandemic as an opportunity for a positive change. 

What is toxic positivity?

We mean, we love positivity–who doesn’t? But there are times when positivity becomes too much. The concept of toxic positivity focuses only on the positive, with you forcing happiness to yourself and to other people no matter what. It can be detrimental to your mental health, as it denies and dismisses the reality and any negative emotions you’re feeling. In this pandemic, we might be unaware that we’re down with toxic positivity.

Embrace your emotions. It’s okay to not be okay. Happiness cannot be forced; ignoring your problems is never a good thing and is psychologically impossible. Acknowledge your feelings: you’re allowed to be sad, you’re allowed to be angry. You’re allowed to actually feel things. When you deny your negative emotions, you’d end up feeling worse. 

It’s okay to not be productive. You know that week off from work when you got a chance to just chill at home in your PJs, watch Netflix, and stay up late? Well, this is not it. Your mental health is more important than productivity this season. 

It’s alright to voice out your concerns. We are experiencing a pandemic, not a staycation. We keep on hearing from other people that we should be grateful because of what’s happening but if you’re not.  

Check on your loved ones. Set up a conference call with friends, call a family member. This is a season where everyone is truly experiencing ups and downs, with the uncertainty of when it’s going to end.

Accept that you are more than what you’re feeling. Emotions only comprise a tiny part of us. How we can cope is to think that they’re just emotions. You will be fine, but if you want to express your sadness, it’s okay. You don’t have to hide that. We can feel what we have to feel, but at the end of it we have to think about the reality, and that’s how we can accept it. Please stay safe. Take care of your body, but do not forget to also take care of your mind. 

We will all be okay.

If you think you need help, check out the list below: