The strong don’t cry or crying is a display of weakness is a mistaken belief. Life’s not always going to be a bed of roses and it’s fine to experience your deepest emotions. A dose of positivity does help, but only if you first allow yourself to heal by acknowledging your feelings.
We all know the undeniable power of maintaining a positive disposition towards life. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try life can knock you down any moment with a heartbreak, death of a loved one, or other tragic incident. At this time, the ‘positive vibes only’ approach may not always be possible. Though well-intentioned, the problem is that it forces you to feel in one-way and makes you feel guilty about displaying negative emotions.
After a traumatic event, feeling sad, lonely and helpless are natural; however, the problem is putting on a façade that you’re okay when you’re not. This is due to the belief that one should always have a positive attitude no matter how difficult a situation is. Hiding your negative emotions invalidates your true feelings and this when your obsession with positivity turns toxic.
In this excerpt, we explain you the dark side of extreme positivity and ways to overcome such unhealthy outlooks in life.
It’s okay to experience negative emotions
As humans we experience a range of emotions — anxiety over the unknown, anger over injustice or grief over loss. Suppressing negative emotions can bottle up your feelings that could erupt like a volcano in uncontrolled ways.
Recognize that experiencing different emotions are a part of the healing process and true strength lies in facing and validating your emotions rather than shunning them aside. Those who’ve poured out their emotions have been able to cope up with losses in a much healthier manner than those who masked their feelings.
Avoidance of suffering is a bigger suffering
To force a positive outlook is to encourage a person to keep silent about their struggles. Not opening about your struggles is another big struggle altogether. These dismissed emotions can further intensify your sufferings.
When your world has turned upside-down, it’s better to be brave and honest than put on the ‘all is well’ façade. Bringing your scariest fears or memories in the open helps you examine them in better light, reduce their power to haunt you and get help if necessary. In addition, being real and speaking about your struggles is an act of courage and you never know how someone can derive motivation from your shared experiences.
Face your problems instead of Facebooking a perfect life
Social media flooded with motivational quotes ‘look at the bright side or be positive always’ is tuning a lucrative source of toxic positivity. Good picture portraits aren’t always a true reflection of what’s on in life, as most users share only the good side of their lives, while omitting the bad.
Failures or rejections are a part of success and not its opposite and psychologists assert that fear, anger and sadness are natural responses to tragedies. Instead of fabricating a perfect life online, work through your negative emotions, heal internally and emerge more confident. When you embrace your painful, imperfect yet beautiful life, you break free from the vicious circle of toxic positivity.
The bottom line is to get through difficult situations by normalizing conflicting feelings knowing the phase shall pass. It’s okay to feel sad and yet look forward to the future, as those who have passed through droughts better appreciate the beauty of the rains.
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