Toxic Positivity

“Think positive” sounds like a nice piece of advice to give to someone going through a difficult time. We mean well when we give it but actually it can sometimes be more harmful than helpful.

Imagine going through a really difficult time. Your emotions are everywhere, uncontrollable. Maybe you’re feeling hopeless because you just lost your job and finances are tight, bills are due, the kids need new clothes, a window in the house is leaking, and the car has a check engine light and is making a funny noise. Everything is falling apart.

Your friend takes you out to buy you coffee. You’re sitting across from her, telling her your story, baring your soul and revealing your deepest fears.

And the first thing she says: “You have to think positive. Look for the silver lining. When a door closes, a window opens.”

How do you feel? Better? I doubt it very much.

Why? Shouldn’t thinking positive help make you feel better? Isn’t this sound advice?

Instead of hearing this response from your well-meaning friend, what do you really need in this moment?

You need to be heard. Validated. Seen. Felt. Understood. You don’t need advice. You don’t even need them to fix your problems. In this moment, you just need to be “gotten”.

Now, the same goes for the conversation inside of you. Have you ever felt a certain way and then deny to yourself that you feel that way? For example, have you ever felt anxious and thought something along the lines of “only positive thoughts allowed here”? Have you ever felt angry and thought something like “nice people aren’t angry; I shouldn’t be feeling this way”?

This phenomenon with another person or inside yourself is called toxic positivity. It is the belief that one should keep their mindset positive even in the worst situations. Being optimistic and positive has benefits but toxic positivity rejects the presence of difficult emotions in favour of a false cheery facade . When emotions are rejected, they can’t be felt. When they can’t be felt, they can’t be processed. When they can’t be processed, they can’t be healed.

I recently read somewhere: “Healing starts the moment we feel heard”.

And we can’t feel heard if we aren’t honest about how we feel with ourselves and with others. The first step to healing is to acknowledge how you really feel.

If you are ready for the next steps in healing (or need help with the first step!), I’d love to work with you! I am a certified Clinical EFT Practitioner and I’m excited to share with you this empowering, research-proven self-help tool to help you release stress and work through difficult emotions so that you can live with more freedom and less struggle, no matter what challenges you are facing.

You are carrying more stress than you need to. Let me show you how to let it go.

Interested? Questions? Schedule a free 30-minute discovery call, here.

Here’s to conquering stress.

With heart,


The Stress Experts

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