Toxic Positivity

hands holding a note saying "think positive"

Toxic Positivity: What It Is and Why It’s Not Helpful

Positivity can be a good thing, but toxic positivity not so much. So, what’s the difference? I’d say that positivity is about finding the good that exists despite the bad, while toxic positivity is pretending that the bad can’t/doesn’t exist or trying not to allow it to exist. The element of invalidation is another thing …

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The “Toxic Person” Label and Mental Illness

The internet is full of talk about toxic people. Searching for “toxic person” yields 295 million hits on Google. That’s a whole lotta toxicity. If someone is abusive, you deserve to a) be free from them, and b) call them toxic or whatever else you might choose. But those 295 million online hits aren’t all …

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Should you avoid negative people? - "Good vibes only" painted in watercolours

“Should” You Avoid Negative People?

Along the lines of “choose happiness,” you may have seen the message “good vibes only,” or something along the lines of getting rid of negative people from your life. But where do people who aren’t well fit into this? To be clear, I’m not talking about people who are negative about you. If someone is …

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Happiness is not a choice – group of emojis with happy face marked unavailable

Happiness Is Not a Choice

“Happiness is a choice.” It’s a message that you probably come across fairly often. While it’s probably meant to be motivational and positive most of the time, if you start to poke at it a bit, it has some fundamental flaws. I believe that happiness is not a choice, at least not when something like …

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It gets better... or does it? With chronic mental illness, you can't be sure

It Gets Better… Or Does It? – Dealing with Chronic Mental Illness

On a fairly regular basis, I see messaging along the lines of “it gets better,” or some variation thereof. While the intention behind it is good, I’m not convinced that it’s useful, because it’s not necessarily true. There’s a U.S.-based non-profit organization called It Gets Better that provides support to LGBTQ+ youth who are being bullied. …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich

Book Review: Bright-Sided

Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America by Barbara Ehrenreich was recommended by a fellow writer on who, like me, has chronic treatment-resistant depression. The book looks at how expectations of positive thinking, with no room for anything else, are actually harming our society. The author doesn’t use the term toxic positivity, but she’s …

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How Well Does Positive Psychology Apply to Mental Illness?

The basic idea of positive psychology is a good one. Who doesn’t want to feel happier and the other positive emotions that go along with that? The essentials of positive psychology According to, positive psychology focuses on the positive aspects of life, including: “Positive experiences (like happiness, joy, inspiration, and love)” “Positive states and …

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Do thoughts vibrate? What the law of attraction says vs what science says

Do Thoughts Vibrate as the Law of Attraction Claims?

I regularly read or hear someone talking about vibrational frequencies and how thoughts vibrate and all that jazz. This is often in relation to the so-called law of attraction. This concept doesn’t stay in the metaphorical realm; instead, it’s not uncommon to see quantum physics being used to justify these kinds of ideas. It annoys …

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Identifying emotions - image of Plutchik's emotion wheel

Identifying Emotions

What exactly are emotions? Well, there’s no easy answer to that; it depends on who you ask and what their theoretical perspective is. But regardless of how we define them, how do we describe them? That can be easier said than done. There’s even a psychiatric term, alexithymia, for difficulty identifying and articulating emotions. Several …

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Is the law of attraction real? Or is The Secret a whole lot of nonsense?

Is the Law of Attraction Real?

At first glance, the idea of the law of attraction is very appealing; you get back from the universe whatever you put out into it, because like energy attracts like energy. According to the film The Secret, it’s not only thinking about what you want to get back; you need to really pour some emotion …

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