Dr. Sunayana Shukla

Faculty of Commerce & Management

Kalinga University, Raipur

Having a positive mindset is one of the greatest strengths one could have, but the truth is, life is not always positive, isn’t it? In life, we go through various ups and downs; sometimes we are filled with emotions such as joy, happiness, and love; other times, we might experience intense negative emotions such as hatred, anger, and grief. Maintaining a positive attitude in all situations does not imply that you ignore or deny the emotions you are experiencing at the time. As humans, it is natural for us to experience all sorts of emotions, be they negative or positive. The “good vibes only” approach to life can sometimes lead people away from the solution and land them in “denial mode.” It is important to understand that it is not the negative emotion that creates a ruckus, but the identification we derive from those negative emotions. Toxic positivity is when people feel intense negative emotions but force themselves to ignore or distract themselves from those feelings and emotions.

Examples of toxic positivity

  • Let’s say someone is experiencing and expressing disappointment or sadness over something. In this situation, if someone says that “happiness is a choice,” this suggests that experiencing sadness is the other person’s fault because he or she is not “choosing” to be happy.
  • Someone experiencing trauma/panic attacks does not need to be told that “everything happens for a reason.”

Signs of toxic positivity

  • Brushing off problems rather than facing them
  • Hiding your true feelings behind feel-good quotes that seem socially acceptable
  • Minimizing other people’s feelings because they make you uncomfortable
  • Shaming other people when they don’t have a positive attitude

It is not true that great achievers, saints, and billionaires never experience negative emotions. They simply know how to face them, accept them, and deal with them. They don’t let their emotions rule them. as simple as that.

There are a few things to keep in mind in order to better manage your emotions and combat “toxic positivity.”

  • Be aware of your emotions. It’s okay not to be okay. Whatever the emotion—guilt, shame, jealousy, or criticism—don’t berate yourself for feeling it.
  • Acceptance creates peace. Once you are at a place of acceptance, you will respond to the situation in a much better way. Remember, your response is the “only” superpower you possess.
  • Use “mindfulness” to accept and dissolve those emotions. “Mindfulness” is the most powerful tool to rise above your emotions.






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