Daily Mirror Newspaper in Srilanka- Quoted on Toxic Positivity
14th October,2023 - Quoted in a SriLankan newspaper Daily Mirror on the Hidden Hazards of Toxic Positivity
“We’re conditioned, from a very young age, to label certain emotions as good or bad. So, while happiness is good or desired, other emotions such as sadness, guilt, jealousy and anger are considered negative or undesirable. This is an erroneous classification, no emotion is good or bad. The expectation that a human being will always remain in the realm of joy is unnatural. As part of the human experience, we should experience our full range of emotions,” explains Dr Nahid Dave, a psychiatrist at Thought Matters
Dr Dave elucidates that in the relentless pursuit of perennial happiness, individuals inadvertently sidestep emotions branded as negative, often unaware of the potential pitfalls this approach engenders. “They seek instant gratification to shut out these [negative] feelings, which can result in food and substance abuse,” she adds.
Rather than pushing away unsettling feelings, embracing and recognising them is crucial. From there, one can decide the best reaction, suggests Dr Dave. Furthermore, she emphasises that the prevalence of toxic positivity is often fuelled by social media platforms, especially when these feeds showcase an endless stream of 'perfect' days, painting an unrealistic picture of constant happiness.
Be mindful about who you follow. Learn to di
fferentiate between what you are watching and what emotions you are feeling. At the same time, be mindful about your own body’s emotional cues. As an exercise to be more present, at the end of each day, think about which emotions you strongly felt and the people or situations that triggered that emotion. Note this down in a diary and then think about whether you would like to respond differently to those individuals or scenarios. Be conscious about not invalidating your emotions; just notice them,” says Dr Dave.