Jumping for Joy: Mindfully Ditching Toxic PositivitySep 29, 2023
I admit that I really love motivational quotes, and the idea of “good vibes only”.
Sometimes that relentless positivity can go too far - and end up being toxic positivity.
When there’s toxic positivity, we don’t feel safe to feel our own feelings. It’s like anything other “positive” gets dismissed. This way of thinking totally undermines valid emotions like fear, anger, sadness etc. Toxic positivity is one dimensional and suffocating.
To always “be positive” is exhausting. It’s quite toxic to ignore the full range of human emotions. We know that illusion of eternal sunshine is completely unsustainable.
Here’s where mindfulness comes in handy. At its core, mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgement. So, we can let whatever emotions are arising to come and eventually…to go. When we’re mindful, we’re not bypassing or negating our feelings. Rather, we’re honoring all our feelings as a part of the human experience.
I try and practice moving through my days mindfully. I give myself permission to feel and notice with curiosity, rather than my default of hyper judgment about myself. And I want to emphasize that this is a practice and a skill – there is no destination per se. On this journey, what I’ve learned is that life is a mixture of highs and lows, and that is perfectly OK.
And you know what I sense so much of the time? Genuine positive vibes. Not in every moment, but when I practice that skill of not needing the “bad” emotions to be suppressed, there can be a sense of flow.
Fully engaging with life can feel vulnerable, raw, and is also incredibly rewarding.
Mindfulness is the simple antidote to toxic positivity. And authentic joy often arises from this practice. Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, so we shouldn’t pretend like it is either.
Let’s explore the richness of our emotional spectrum and move away from the reductive idea of toxic positivity. I hope you'll join me inside my group programs to explore this skillful way of living more in depth.
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