admin No Comments

Overcoming Toxic Positivity

“Get over it” they said
“Stay positive” they said
“Just be happy” I told myself.

In today’s world of “look for the silver lining” and “happiness is a choice”, it is easy to get carried away into thinking that no matter how challenging a situation is, we need to maintain a good vibes only outlook. Today, I wanted to draw your attention to the
concept of Toxic Positivity, with the hope that this encourages you to nurture a healthy outlook and mindset.
Toxic Positivity is an obsession with staying positive. In an article on healthline, Dr. Jaime Zuckerman, explains toxic positivity to be “the assumption, either by one’s self or others, that despite a person’s emotional pain or difficult situation, they should only have a positive mindset or — ‘positive vibes.’”

Toxic positivity is less about having a positive perspective, and more about putting on the facade of being positive. It involves brushing aside emotions and quickly adopting a positive outlook, irrespective of how one truly feels.
Most of us have been guilty of toxic positivity at some point or the other, either by inflicting it on ourselves or by receiving or giving it to others. We can recognise this toxic positivity, when we hear phrases similar to the ones at the start of this post, voices that encourage us to brush our emotions aside and focus on the good. You might even recognise it, when there is a feeling of mismatch between your real emotions and those that you are portraying. You’ll spot it in a fake smile, or in an ingenuine comment. Psychologists will tell you about risks and dangers of brushing negative emotions aside or pushing them deep within, and exchanging them for a false sense of positivity.

As a coach, I believe in the power of self talk in cultivating a healthy mindset. A mindset that allows you to acknowledge how you might be feeling from within and then work through them productively. Self talk is the internal dialogue we have with ourselves that tend to influence our thoughts and beliefs which ultimately influence our actions and in turn our reality. Here are some alternative phrases you can use,when you catch yourself trying to put on a front of staying positive in the midst of a difficult and challenging situation.

Toxic Positivity: “Get over it”
An Alternative: “You’ve been through difficult times before, I believe in you.”
Toxic Positivity: “Stay Positive.”
An Alternative: “Let’s try and spot some good in here .”

Toxic Positivity: “Just be happy.”
An Alternative: “It’s okay to feel negative emotions, but what can I do to feel better.”

admin No Comments

One More Kind of Social (Media) Distancing

Doesn’t it sound wonderful to be able to travel the whole wide world from the palm of our hand? In the trying times that we are living in, especially so! A lot of people would argue that the pandemic has been easier to deal with due to digital technology keeping us connected. And rightfully so. But at what point should we stop and start observing the damages it lays on our minds and bodies?

I recently watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix and felt inspired to write about the impacts social media has on our lives. Data harvesting, digital cloning, persuasive advertising – the list is long. We end up comparing ourselves to others, feel anxious when new notifications don’t pop up, and eventually depressed as a result of all factors combined.

However, I noticed that while there is a lot of education about how social media is impacting us, not a lot of people are talking how to get out of the comfort zone of social media and move towards finding a more fulfilled reality. How does one find the support to make that shift? How does one even begin? Finding a starting point is always the hardest.

Quitting social media cold turkey is not an option. However, reducing our reliance on these platforms might be a smarter approach for working towards rebuilding ourselves and leading more effective and purposeful lives.

First things first, understanding how your social media accounts make you feel will make a world of difference. If a news outlet is constantly putting out fear-inducing content, check in with yourself if it makes you anxious. If it does make you anxious, unfollow that page. You will always have the option of going back to them and having a quick peek without them cluttering your news feed with nerve-racking content. You can call it a spring clean, the Marie Kondo way, or maybe even the first step towards finding your Ikigai.

How about creating a strategy that works for you? Does setting time limits make you feel better about your social media usage? Or replacing social media time with other, more fulfilling activities is an approach you prefer? This step will require introspection. But performing the smallest action towards change will create a world of difference in the long run. This small action will induce fear, which I have spoken about in depth here.

When the need to be perfect in the eyes of others loses its hold on you, you automatically allow room for self-growth. Perfection often induces the feeling of being judged, which in the long run makes us anxious and fearful individuals, looking for approval because various reasons, comfort with the self was never a priority.

Some introspection and inward focus is definitely required to trigger a thought process of love, compassion and respect for the Self! These are areas that we have been conditioned to ignore. Finding a balance between staying connected with people through technology and using that technology to ‘sell yourself’ on social media will give you the room to explore the self.

A mindful approach towards using these platforms will bring happiness and keep your inner self at peace. By limiting your use of these platforms, you will finally have time to focus on personal growth and professional success.