Forced Positivity: A Relentlessly Restless Mind

Nowadays it has become a trend to demonstrate a positive outlook towards life no matter what. You open any social media platform and all you see is people achieving heights, people demonstrating a perfect life and routine, and a bubble of positivity despite all odds while this may make you suffer, you tend to do or try to do the same things, exhausting yourself deeply in the process.

Everywhere you see, you are getting a similar message; “Positive vibes only”, “Carpe diem”, and “Happiness is a choice; choose it every day”. While all of this is extremely motivating it is also self-deprecating.

In my career, I have seen multiple patients and their families negating psychiatric concerns. They are ready to believe that once the patient maintains a positive outlook toward life and focuses on improvement, his disease will go away. It is hard to make them come to terms with the reality.

What is Forced Positivity?

You might be wondering if we have heard about positivity but forced, that is something not talked about. Forced positivity is when someone despite truer emotions deems that one should have a positive outlook. Though having an optimistic approach is beneficial negating all emotions in the name of being positive all the time is toxic. Hence, when one is in a state of sadness, or despair; a person with forced positivity would unconsciously render null what he is truly feeling, making himself more vulnerable and prone to outbursts.

Forced Positivity

What does Forced Positivity Look Like?

What are the long-term effects of forced positivity?

Let’s look at it this way, what happens when you are exposed to a toxic substance for a longer duration of time? Both your body and mind will start getting affected. Similarly, when you are exposed to or are harbouring toxic positivity, it will slowly drain your mental capacities and lower your physical shields as well.

My patients, with a similar outlook towards life, have caused more harm for themselves than good. I strongly believe that having a positive attitude towards life can do wonders, but nullifying everything regarding that can be damaging and devastating.

Now, come to think of it, are you too practising forced positivity?

At The Hermitage Rehab, a renowned luxury rehab center in India, the counselors, psychiatrists and therapists are currently working on the toxic positivity that we are surrounded by, in our society. We need to work on this and make our society a place to live freely. There is a need of meditation in this fast moving working culture where people don’t have time to get relaxation. If anyone close to you going through any kind of mental stress due to toxic positivity around themselves, don’t hesitate to take professional help. 


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