What Is “Toxic Positivity”

Toxic positivity describes using positivity to mask painful emotions and experiences. It is an attitude people adopt to avoid feeling negative emotions. With toxic positivity, you wear a positive outlook even on your bad days. You also expect those close to you to be all smiles even when their world is falling apart.

Why Is It So Harmful for People to Have a Mindset Like This?

When you avoid feeling negative emotions, you are less likely to deal with them and grow emotionally. Emotional growth is a predictor of success. Positive positivity also cultivates feelings of guilt. When you don’t respond to your suffering with positivity, you might start thinking something is wrong with you.

What Are Some Key Ways You Can Avoid It?

To navigate toxic positivity, I advise you totell yourself it is completely fine to harbour negative emotions. Never assume there are no negative emotions when you can feel them. When you feel your negative feelings and managing them, you are likely to become successful in life. Also, feel sorry for others when they are suffering. Listen to their story and support them if possible.

Julia Davis

Mental health expert
MS, University of Latvia

I am deeply convinced that each patient needs a unique, individual approach. Therefore, I use different psychotherapy methods in my work. During my studies, I discovered an in-depth interest in people as a whole and the belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and the importance of emotional health in physical health. In my spare time, I enjoy reading (a big fan of thrillers) and going on hikes.

Ieva Kubiliute is a psychologist and a sex and relationships advisor and a freelance writer. She's also a consultant to several health and wellness brands. While Ieva specialises in covering wellness topics ranging from fitness and nutrition, to mental wellbeing, sex and relationships and health conditions, she has written across a diverse range of lifestyle topics, including beauty and travel. Career highlights so far include: luxury spa-hopping in Spain and joining an £18k-a-year London gym. Someone’s got to do it! When she’s not typing away at her desk—or interviewing experts and case studies, Ieva winds down with yoga, a good movie and great skincare (affordable of course, there’s little she doesn’t know about budget beauty). Things that bring her endless joy: digital detoxes, oat milk lattes and long country walks (and sometimes jogs).

Anastasia Filipenko is a health and wellness psychologist, dermatolist and a freelance writer. She frequently covers beauty and skincare, food trends and nutrition, health and fitness and relationships. When she's not trying out new skincare products, you'll find her taking a cycling class, doing yoga, reading in the park, or trying a new recipe.

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