Mental Wellbeing: Positive Toxicity

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2021)

Part Three

The term positive toxicity may appear to give two very opposing meanings. When we think of positive we think of something in a happy way, whereas we think of toxicity as something negative.

Positive toxicity is where a person or a situation always makes out to be happy, joyful and wonderful. It can also be when others say ‘to look on the positive side’, ‘to appreciate what you have’, ‘to remain optimistic’. Whilst both of these aspects can be positive, they can both have a negative impact. They can make you feel that others have a better life than you do, they have more opportunities than you do, they are happier than you. They can also make you very critical of yourself for not appreciating what you do have.

It is important to take a moment and reflect on what makes you happy, what you are grateful for and what you appreciate. It is important to remember your own beliefs and values. Not those of others. Or what others believe are important. Or what others try to suggest are important.

It is important to recognise and validate your own emotions: whether these are more positive or negative. It is completely normal to experience both happy and sad emotions. It is completely normal to have ‘down-days’. It is completely normal to have days where it feels as though nothing will cheer you up. You should accept these days or moments in time as they come and go and put yourself first rather than trying to listen to those who push their positive self, positive quotes or positive feelings towards you.

Take time for yourself, process your own emotions and remember it is totally normal to have happy, positive and cheerful days, and also days where you will feel less cheery, unhappy or sad.

Take a moment to consider if that person you know who always posts positive things on social media, always has everything going well and consistently acts positively is really and truly happy. Don’t compare themselves to yourself.

Maintain positivity but don’t have this imposed on you.
Maintain positivity but don’t read too much into those people with ‘forever-positive lives’.
Maintain positivity and accept your emotions will vary.

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Kimberley is a Primary School Teacher in Torbay with a specialist area of Wellbeing and Personal Development. Kimberley works closely alongside Torbay Teaching School Alliance and the Department for Education to provide schools and the local community with the best possible learning and development opportunities.