If you’re ever tempted to call yourself “a glass half-full kind of person,” be sure you’re not actually just an optimist. There are two kinds of people in this world: those who see the world as a place where they can strive toward their goals and get what they want, and those who see it as an obstacle preventing them from doing so. The former attitude is healthy; the latter will lead you down a dark path of self-doubt and self-sabotage.
Toxic positivity is when you’re only positive about things that are easy to be positive about, like the good stuff in your life. It’s also when you’re only willing to be positive about the good things—and not the bad. For example, if you have a friend who always posts photos of their kids on Facebook and never posts anything else even though they don’t have kids, that’s toxic positivity. Or if you know someone who refuses to talk about their struggles but loves sharing their successes and achievements with everyone else? That’s toxic positivity too!
Avoid the “fake it till you make it” mentality. One of the most common things I see in people who struggle with depression is that they’re afraid to admit that they are struggling, or even worse, they’re ashamed of how they feel. Even though everyone goes through periods where they are depressed and sad, we place a lot of importance on being happy all the time. We have an idea that if we show our true feelings to other people, then we will be considered weak or vulnerable.
We need to realize that showing weakness doesn’t make us any less human; in fact, it only makes us more relatable and real! Not only should you never feel guilty for feeling down sometimes (especially as someone suffering from mental illness), but also realize that your feelings aren’t something you should hide from others either. In fact, sharing with others could help them understand what’s going on inside your head better than anything else could!
There is nothing wrong with being upbeat, but be sure you are open to processing your true emotions as well. Be aware of what you are thinking. Be aware of what you are feeling. Be aware of what you are saying, doing and reading/watching/listening to each day. The bottom line is that positive thinking will never be enough to make you happy and fulfilled. You need to examine your thoughts and feelings, so that you can see what’s really going on inside you—and then do something about it.