In the age of social media, positivity is everywhere. Feeling pressured to be positive, we forget to understand our negative emotions, which is called negative positivity.
What is negative positivity ?
Negative or toxic positivity refers to the repression of negative emotions. It is the concept that we should stay positive, that life is good etc. In the long run, repressing our emotions can be toxic for our mental health and can lead to depressive symptoms.
Social networks have encouraged this way of functioning. We constantly see friends, family and complete strangers being happy and optimistic. We have therefore become shy and reluctant to communicate a negative feeling, a “bad vibe”.
If you feel your emotions you will understand them
When we deny an unpleasant emotion, we only reinforce it. Not trying to express or understand it is to be afraid of it. This creates anxiety and encourages withdrawal. We feel misunderstood and neglected and we blame the world, but we simply cannot express a feeling that we consider “too strong” for us.
Like joy, negative emotions are felt and shared. It is by expressing them that we understand them. This is why it is important not to let the negative go, even if it means feeling bad for a while, so that we can move on.
When we talk about our feelings, we are looking for validation from others. A kind of guarantee, a feeling of being supported. If you do not feel able to solve this problem on your own, do not hesitate to seek help from a health professional.
How to accept negative feelings ?
1/ Acceptance of negative emotions: Accepting difficult emotions means facing them and reducing their intensity. Think about how nice it is to take the weight of a bad day at work off your shoulders by talking. Expressing it is the equivalent of removing it.
2/ Emotional sovereignty: It is important to remember that an emotion is neither good nor bad. Your emotions belong to you, it is up to you to live them in your own way. A situation that may hurt you will not be perceived in the same way by another person. Nothing forces you to feel the same way as everyone else, and that’s good !
3/ Staying yourself: Being positive is not always synonymous with toxic positivity. Emotion becomes toxic if it is rejected in favour of pretence. It is therefore necessary to be oneself by welcoming one’s joys, as well as one’s misfortunes.
It is important to know yourself, understand yourself and accept your feelings rather than letting yourself be overwhelmed. If you feel that you are overwhelmed by this, seek professional help in order to help you.
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