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Toxic Positivity

Express Don't Suppress

In the spiritual community there has been an emphasis lately on keeping your frequency up and one of the aspects of this includes "staying positive." Yes, it's beneficial to keep a positive mindset however, I would like to address a reoccurring issue in the spiritual community and possibly else ware called "Toxic Positivity. Toxic positivity refers to the excessive and counterproductive emphasis on optimism, positivity, and happiness, to the point of invalidating and dismissing negative emotions and experiences. This can create a pressure to suppress or ignore our true feelings, and can also prevent us from providing appropriate empathy and support to others.

One of the main issues with toxic positivity is that it undermines the reality and complexity of human emotions. Emotions are a natural and important part of our human experience, and they serve as signals to help us navigate our environment and respond to different situations. Emotions such as sadness, anger, or anxiety, for example, can help us identify and address problems, and can also provide insight into our values, boundaries, and needs.

Another issue with toxic positivity is that it can create a culture of shame and stigmatization around negative emotions and mental health. This can prevent people from seeking help, and can also create an environment where people feel unsupported and invalidated in their struggles. It is important to honor our own emotions and to support others with their emotional states as well.

Honoring our emotions means acknowledging and validating our feelings, allowing ourselves to experience them fully, and taking appropriate actions to address them. This can include self-care, seeking professional help, or addressing the root causes of our emotions. It also means being honest with ourselves and others about our emotional states, and being open to feedback and support.

What toxic positivity might look or sound like:

Honest Emotional Expression:

"I have been feeling low lately, I don't know what's wrong, I just feel down in the dumps lately..."

Toxic Positivity Response:

"You're brining me down. You need to pull yourself up by your boot straps and move on with life. You have a great life!"

Supporting others with their emotional states means being empathetic, non-judgmental, and respectful of their feelings. It means listening actively, validating their emotions, and providing practical and emotional support as needed. It also means being aware of our own biases, assumptions, and limitations, and being willing to learn and grow in our ability to support others.

What a supportive and authentic interaction might sound like:

Honest Emotional Expression:

"I have been feeling low lately, I don't know what's wrong, I just feel down in the dumps lately..."

Supportive and Authentic Response:

"I hear you and am here for you. Is there anything I can do to support you?"


"That sounds tough. I'm so sorry you're going through that right now."

When we suppress our emotions instead of process them, it can also cause great harm to our internal systems and be a huge source of stress. One of the side-effects that can happen by suppressing our emotions is the creation of a shadow-self. The shadow-self with all of your suppressed emotions will then exist in your unconscious mind wreaking havoc in your life. Often times, our shadow self will be triggered when we're around other people who exhibit emotions or traits that we've suppressed because those emotions or traits have been labeled as bad. By allowing ourselves and others to express and process emotions in an authentic way we are able to work through the stress or issues we face in life. Therefore, we grow. The trick is to allow ourselves to move through the emotional state and not stay stuck there.

In conclusion, toxic positivity is a harmful and unrealistic expectation that can prevent us from honoring our emotions and supporting others with their emotional states. By acknowledging and validating our feelings and providing empathy and support to others, we can create a more supportive and healthy environment for ourselves and for others.

If you feel like you have difficulty expressing your emotions or if you have suppressed emotions and are struggling with your Shadow self, come in for a Reiki session. If suppressed emotions are preventing you from living your life to the fullest, we recommend making an appointment with a psychotherapist or LCSW.

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