Toxic Positivity: No One Can Be Happy All The Time
Updated: Mar 19
Toxic positivity is a loaded term. The word toxic is used a lot in the media and can have different meanings. In this case, I am describing constant positivity as congestive and false. When you see influencers promoting the idea that their lives are so prodigious, solely because they are always happy, that is an example of toxic positivity.
The truth is, no one is happy all the time. Happiness does not solve all of one’s problems. Nor is it the only feeling one needs to be having a full life. It is not only impossible but unhealthy to be experiencing one feeling all of the time. There is no textbook way to live; life is a balancing act. If you are not in a place where you can find light in every aspect of your day, that is entirely normal, especially in today’s world. Social media can create this reality where joy comes easily, fully, and consistently to everyone. Feeling invalidated because you’re sad or being “unproductive”, is a sign you are facing toxic positivity. Misery loves company, and toxic positivity only heightens the walls of isolation one builds when they are feeling down. The only thing worse than feeling miserable is feeling alone in that sadness.
So what can you do to cut toxic positivity out of your life? The best solution is to ignore it. Look out for people who promote positivity without any real depth. It is okay for others to be happy; it becomes harmful when people show that happiness comes easily, and is the only feeling that validates a day. Phrases such as “it’s an easy mindset change” or “just choose happiness” can be false and overwhelming if used on their own. Feelings are fluid, and happiness lies on an infinite spectrum. If you have days where you are not feeling 100% your best, that is okay. All your feelings are valid. All your days are worth living, even the “bad” ones.
-Solace Yee (TeensFor Hope)
Image "Broken Brain Hug" from https://juggleglass.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/mental-health-art-from-the-ward/amp/