From Toxic Positivity to Authentic Happiness: Alex’s Journey of Self-Discovery

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Alex is the kind of guy who always looks on the bright side, who never lets anything get him down, and who encourages everyone around him to do the same. Alex has always prided himself on his positive attitude. But lately, Alex has been feeling this constant pressure to be positive taking a toll on him. He’s feeling like he’s not allowed to have negative emotions, like he’s not allowed to be anything less than 100% happy all the time.

The Concept of Toxic Positivity

This is what’s known as toxic positivity. It’s the idea that we should always be positive, no matter what, and that anything less than that is somehow unacceptable or wrong. It’s a way of thinking that can be harmful, because it puts pressure on us to ignore our negative emotions and to suppress them instead of dealing with them in a healthy way.

According to Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, positivity and optimism are related but distinct concepts. Positivity refers to a general orientation towards the good things in life, while optimism is the belief that good things will happen in the future. While both positivity and optimism can be beneficial, it’s important to recognize the difference between them and to find a healthy balance. Toxic positivity, on the other hand, is a distorted form of positivity that involves ignoring or suppressing negative emotions and experiences. It’s a way of thinking that can be harmful, because it puts pressure on us to always be positive and to deny our true feelings.

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The Impact on Mental Health and Other Aspects of Life

For Alex, this toxic positivity has been a real concern. He’s been struggling with anxiety and depression, and to a large degree, he has denied his feelings even to himself because he feels like he’s supposed to be happy all the time. He’s been trying to push through on his own, to just keep smiling and keep telling himself that everything will be okay, but it’s not working. Recently, Alex was even caught in a lie at work for fudging his department’s numbers. They weren’t bad, in fact, they were the same as the previous year’s mark in a more challenging market, but they also weren’t up to the projections he’d set. He was not in danger of losing his job, he just felt he needed to show better results to keep his team encouraged and motivated. He’s starting to feel more and more overwhelmed, and he’s starting to think that maybe there’s something wrong with him. As we’ve seen from this example, toxic positivity can have serious consequences not only on mental health, but also on other aspects of life and business. Here are a few ways in which toxic positivity can lead to negative outcomes:

      • Lying or cheating to maintain the appearance of positivity: When we feel the pressure to be positive all the time, we may be tempted to lie or cheat in order to maintain the illusion of positivity. This can have serious consequences on our relationships and reputation, as well as potentially leading to legal problems.

      • Ignoring or minimizing problems: By only presenting the best side of life, we may be less likely to address or acknowledge problems that we are facing. This can lead to difficulties in finding solutions and can ultimately cause problems to escalate.

      • Failing to seek help when needed: When we feel the need to be positive all the time, we may be less likely to seek help when we are struggling. This can prevent us from getting the support we need to address problems and can ultimately lead to further difficulties.

      • Suppressing negative emotions can lead to an unhealthy coping mechanism: By ignoring or suppressing negative emotions, we may be more likely to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse or avoidance behaviors, to deal with our feelings. These behaviors can have negative consequences on our physical and mental health as well as our relationships and work performance.

      • Creating unrealistic expectations: By only presenting the best side of life, we may create unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others. This can lead to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as planned, as well as causing difficulties in relationships.

      • Losing touch with reality: By only focusing on the positive aspects of life, we may lose touch with reality and become disconnected from our true feelings and experiences. This can prevent us from learning and growing and can ultimately lead to a lack of authenticity and fulfillment.

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    Break the Cycle

    If you’re struggling with toxic positivity, know that you ain’t the only one. Growth-minded people commonly encounter this problem, but it is something that can be overcome. The first step is to recognize and acknowledge that it exists, and to be willing to seek support. Whether that means talking to a life coach or therapist, talking to a trusted friend or family member, or joining a support group, it’s important to reach out and to start the process of growth.

    Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to have negative emotions, and it’s okay to express them in a healthy way. It’s okay to take care of yourself, and it’s okay to set boundaries. And it’s definitely okay to be authentic. By embracing our authentic selves, and by finding a healthy balance between positivity and realism, we can live more fulfilling and meaningful lives.

    Unlock your full potential and create the life you desire.

    Our team at enLiven Wellness Life Coaching is here to help you bring your vision into focus and take control of your future. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back any longer. Contact us now to schedule a consultation and start working towards a happier, more purposeful life. Take the first step towards a brighter future and reach out to us today.

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