When we say, “good vibes only”, of course we mean well! After all, we’re purely asking for positivity – what’s so wrong about that? You’ve probably seen the term ‘toxic positivity’ going around social media lately. To clear up your confusion, it can be defined as the use of positivity to dismiss other genuine emotions. Anger, sadness, and even jealousy – these are human emotions that we all experience and should allow to run their natural course. When we don’t, and instead deny, minimise and invalidate these genuine feelings, it can cause mental health conditions, as well as physical stress.
How should we approach tough times then? With acceptance, validation and most importantly, compassion – towards ourselves and others. Surpass having a victim mentality, and take a step back from toxic positivity, by seeing moments and situations for what they really are. Remember that suffering is only temporary, and give yourself and others hope. Here’s how you can change your thoughts:
- Instead of thinking, “I can’t fail!”, remind yourself that failure is part of growth and success.
- Instead of thinking, “Why am I so negative?”, remind yourself that it’s okay to feel bad sometimes.
- Instead of thinking, “I can’t give up!”, remind yourself that not all battles are worth fighting for.
- Instead of thinking, “I need to get over it”, remind yourself that even though it’s hard, you believe in your strength.
When others trust you enough to open up about their struggles, don’t close the door on them! By attempting to “fix” their feelings with false positivity, they might start to isolate themselves and feel even more ashamed about their emotions. Try these words of assurance instead:
- Avoid saying, “some people have it worse”, try saying, “That sounds tough, but I’m here for you“.
- Avoid saying, “Think happy thoughts!”, try saying, “I understand that it’s hard to be positive right now. How can I help?“.
- Avoid saying, “it is what it is”, try saying, “You’re not alone in this“.
- Avoid saying, “everything happens for a reason”, try saying, “I’m sorry this happened. I hear you, I see you“.
It’s okay to have negative feelings! As humans, we all experience these emotions. Start approaching them with validation and hope, and showing yourself and others more compassion. Real vibes only!