Positive thinking has its benefits, but it can also be restricting and harmful. Although a certain amount of optimism is required for any successful undertaking, it is also necessary for a certain amount of realism. A conviction that positive thinking will solve all of our issues, or an overabundance of positive thinking, can stifle our personal and professional growth. Life necessitates more than just positive thoughts; it necessitates intervention.
When you think about the positive side of things too much, it can lead to toxic positivity, which is defined by the layers of repercussions that come from relying too much on your happy thoughts. While looking on the bright side can provide many benefits, it cannot provide all of them, and this is something that requires careful thought and understanding to recognize.
Toxic positivity is defined as the overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all circumstances, which is unnecessary and ineffective. Toxic positivity leads to the denial, minimization, and invalidation of the genuine human emotional experience.
When positivity is used to cover up or silence the human experience, it becomes toxic, just like anything done in excess. We fall into a state of denial and repressed emotions when we deny the existence of certain feelings. Humans, unfortunately, have flaws. We become envious, irritable, resentful, and greedy. Life can be frustrating at times. We reject the validity of a real human experience by claiming to be “positive vibes all day.”
There are a number of serious drawbacks to relying so heavily on our optimism. While thinking happy can be beneficial to our mental and physical health, it can also be harmful. It’s critical to find a happy medium that works for us, but that can only be accomplished by understanding how positive thinking can undermine our overall happiness.
- Your emotions are being suffocated.
Toxic positivity has a negative effect on our psychological flexibility, which is a crucial skill that helps us to access our psychological resources when we need them. This flexibility necessitates equal use of optimism and pessimism, resulting in a balance that allows us to properly perceive and process the reality of our circumstances despite the stress of daily life.
2. You have excessively high hopes.
Many papers inspire you to dream big and think big, but research shows that this is a formula for disaster. We are more likely to feel secure in our ability to attain lofty goals, and therefore more entitled to them, if we set them for ourselves. We have a tendency to coast when we feel entitled, which can lead to our aspirations fizzling out or slipping away. Many who have a negative attitude about their goals are more likely to succeed. Is it that their pessimism drives them to work harder? It’s possible. The reality, on the other hand, is unmistakable. Excessive optimism can lead to unattainable goals.
3. It will have a negative impact on your health.
As everything else in life, our thoughts and their success or failure are subject to moderation. When it comes to our bodies and how we fuel and care for them, some research has shown that negativity is more motivating. You’re more likely to pay attention to your health if you’re worried about it or upset with any part of it. When you’re lost in a world of hope, though, you’re less likely to take care of yourself as well as you can.
4. It would make you feel even worse.
Sticking to a positive-only mentality is more likely to worsen your mental problems if you already have chronic health conditions, psychiatric depression, or anxiety. We must confront and cope with our emotions while we are ill, injured, angry, afraid, or wounded in order to completely return to happiness. Staying in the world of happiness and butterflies can only cause you to drive these emotions away and shut them down. When you’re struggling with real issues, forcing optimism can just make you feel worse.
Just like we can retrain our excessively negative thoughts, we can retrain our overly optimistic thoughts to find a balance that works for us and our goals. The trick is to get to know and understand how your emotions function in both good and bad situations. Seeking true harmony, in a nutshell, means getting to know yourself.
It is unrealistic to expect everybody to be happy all of the time. Stop adding up your good times and comparing them to your bad ones during the day. Some days have more bad feelings than others. There are days when the atmosphere is more neutral than others. Happiness cannot be calculated by a comparison of interactions because it fluctuates and shifts. We will find true happiness when we learn to let go of the count and start being honest.
Many articles on positivity say that there is a perfect ratio of happiness to negativity that must be preserved at all times, but this is simply not true. Human emotions are complex and dynamic, shifting and evolving as events in our lives unfold. While there is a delicate balance to be struck, it differs from one individual to the next and from one situation to the next. We must abandon the count and learn to embrace our feelings as they are if we really want to experience true happiness.
Instead of manufactured happiness, let your feelings, whether positive or negative, direct your decisions and responses. Avoid assuming that a certain amount of positive things must happen in order for the poor to be balanced. Like our emotions, our experiences have both positive and negative aspects. That’s not even taking into account who we are or where we’re going. That’s about the way it is.
While thinking too positively can be detrimental to our mental wellbeing and control, thinking too negatively or pessimistically can be detrimental as well. Positive thinking can be a powerful strategy when used correctly, but pessimistic thinking can also be helpful when we’re working hard to achieve the things we really want out of life. It all comes down to striking a healthy balance and embracing the emotions that come with daily life.
The power of positive thinking has a lot of anecdotal proof to back it up. If you picture yourself thriving, you’re more likely to succeed; nevertheless, pessimistic thinking keeps us grounded in reality and working hard for the things in life that offer us meaning or intent.
So find a mix that works for you. Keeping a thinking journal and capturing both positive and negative thoughts during the day is a good place to start. Take note of your emotional responses to those ideas, and strive to strike a balance (between the positive and pessimistic) that will help you achieve your goals. When our positive and negative emotions are appropriately balanced, they create a full image of truth that neither could create alone.
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much positivity. When we rely on positive thinking too much, it can lead to avoidance in our lives, as well as self-victimization and internalization of baggage that isn’t ours to bear. It’s possible that your positivity has become toxic, and it’s time to make some changes if you’ve found yourself overthinking, overdoing, or avoiding awkward circumstances throughout your life.
Check out my related post: How to surround yourself with positive people?