Can Positivity Be Toxic?

Can positivity get toxic, really?



Positivity is great and all but toxic positivity ignores the fact that a person is suffering. It is saying “be positive, be grateful, other people have it worse” when someone is in pain. It says to pretend to be okay when someone clearly isn’t. It masks the problem.

You’ll get over it!

Look on the bright side!

It could be worse!

Everything happens for a reason!

Just keep smiling!

Stop being so negative!

These are some examples, out of many, of toxic positivity. And I’m sure you have used one of these phrases, or something like it, before. I for sure have. Saying it to yourself might help to cheer you up but saying it to another person can be harmful. It can even be harmful to you if you’re burying your problem. An analogy I used to explain this was like taking painkillers for a malignant tumour that’s causing pain without actually dealing with the tumour; it’s only going to get worse.


I have been at fault of toxic positivity multiple times, like many people, maybe even on this blog, because as a society, we don’t address mental health well. We weren’t really taught how to encounter mental health issues in a proper way and we’re told be happy, be positive constantly. But it needs to stop.


I either read about this or heard it in a podcast, but I came to understand negative emotions aren’t bad. Anger isn’t bad. Envy isn’t bad. Sadness isn’t bad. We divide emotions up into good and bad; happiness is good, sadness is bad; we’re taught to suppress and avoid the bad ones. But we have the ability to experience these emotions for a reason! They’re not there for no reason! Toxic positivity sees these emotions as bad. In fact, personally, I believe no emotion is bad at all. We need to embrace them and channel them in a healthy way. A clinical psychologist, Dr Jaime Zuckerman, says, “Avoidance or suppression of emotional discomfort leads to increased anxiety, depression, and overall worsening of mental health.”


So how do we be non-toxic positive?

  1. Address your raw, real emotions. Don’t bury it. Don’t try and find a way to be happy without actually dealing with your anger or frustration or stress or sadness. If you’re feeling stressed about a workload, make a schedule and divide your work up into smaller pieces making it seem less stressful or daunting, for example. Or if you’re feeling sad or angry from a conflict with someone, talk to that person face to face or through text or a letter, etc, whatever you feel comfortable with. Brainstorm a solution to the problem you’re having – the solution could be simple or complex, getting someone to help you might be useful too.
  2. Find a way to cope with it inside of faking a smile and saying “be positive”! This could be through:
    -Listening to music
    -Channelling through art (painting, writing, playing an instrument, etc)
    -Meditating, yoga and breathing exercises (the one to the right has helped me before)
    -Vent in a journal
    -Dance it out! Or even just do a workout
    -Go outside on a walk or somewhere nice and calm
    -Watch a film in which you can relate to so you don’t feel alone or find comfort
    -Talk to someone about how you’re feeling
  3. Don’t shame other people’s negative emotions. Everybody experiences emotions like anger, stress, sadness, frustration, etc; it’s a very normal thing. We shouldn’t look down on people experiencing these emotions and judging them or shaming them will only make it worse for them! Instead, change your perspective on emotions and understand that it’s a normal human reaction and behaviour, helping us to tackle our everyday lives and problems.
  4. Step away from social media. Social media is a breeding ground for toxic positivity where it’s spread by people, who aren’t really aware that it is toxic. Taking a break from it could be beneficial to you and make you feel a bit free and more in control of your emotions instead of being fed quotes and posts that won’t help you.
  5. Spread awareness about toxic-positivity! Point out toxic positivity to people and correct them for it. I’ve put a table of correct things to say in place of toxic positivity below to make it clearer what is right and wrong. Non-toxic positivity accepts a person’s emotions and suffering instead of just trying to move past it and ignoring it.

Alternate phrases to avoid toxic positivity #CoolGuide | Mental and emotional health, Emotional health, Positivity

I hope this helped to make you familiar with what toxic positivity is and why it is bad.



“Depression Superpowers”?

I have recently discovered a podcast on Spotify called Depression Talks with Immanuel and in one of his episodes, he speaks about so called “depression superpowers”. That, of course, sounds absurd. How can this burden of a disease be considered something as glorifying as a superpower. But upon further investigation, Immanuel is somewhat right.

Although depression is a horrible condition, it does have its positives, which I, too, have learnt over the years. In fact, after my first ‘encounter’ with depression, I was obviously relieved to have come out of it but also in a way grateful for having gone through it because of the ‘positives’ I gained from it. And that’s what I’m going to talk about here.


Depression increases empathy, which is something I noticed was quite significant for me. Before depression, I wasn’t as empathetic as I am now. I now feel connections with people struggling with extreme emotions and issues in their life, even if I haven’t been through it myself. The level of empathy I have now is very intense, which is a big change from how I used to be. Of course, as you get older, your empathy will grow from when you were younger and naïve but I know, for certain, depression has enhanced that for me. It means I find it very easy to put myself in someone else’s shoes, experiencing their emotions and thoughts. Obviously, you can never fully understand what internal or even external struggle someone is going through but being extremely empathetic can for sure make it easier. It also makes it easier to understand you never really know what someone’s going through and to be kind, which leads me on to my next point.


I understand now that we never ever really know what someone’s going through, even if you think you really know that person. I have become cautious over what I say to people because I know even the smallest thing can trigger a whole load of emotion in someone, which we may not realise from them concealing it. I can admit that before depression, I could be quite judgemental and close-minded and depression has in a way moulded me to become a better person when it comes to thinking about other people, and for that I am actually grateful.

Questions, Questions, Questions

Anyone with depression knows the ongoing daily questions that can dart through every corner of your mind. Why am I here? What’s the point? Does anyone even love me? What’s my purpose? And from first glance, those questions seem very negative, and for the most part they are. But every single one of those questions can be a positive question. It forces us to think deeply, involving logic and empiricism (and this is even used in CBT). What’s my purpose? This can seem very negative, questioning whether they should give up, etc, but this can be turned into ‘Yes, what is my purpose? What is something I can do to make my life feel fulfilled, etc. You don’t need a purpose to be alive but by asking questions like these, we can in turn think deeply and evaluate our lives. Another example is questioning if people really love you. There will, of course, be people that love you, but the question can simply evaluate all your relationships, judging what’s right and wrong with it, helping to possibly change it for the better. Asking so many questions also makes us more analytical.

Analytical Thinking

Sharon Begley in her Newsweek article, The Upside of Depression, explains that our brains are always on a treadmill. Most of the time anyway. Sometimes we can be paranoid and overthink far too much, thinking “So and so hates me, I’m awful, of course they would hate me….” and thoughts like these tend to cycle through our heads constantly, which apparently help us to think about the origin of depression in the first place. It can even lead to Eureka moments. A 2007 study reported people feeling depressed before doing challenging maths problems tend to score higher than those who are happy.

Healthier Choices

This is something that happened post ‘first time I was depressed’. Through the experience, I have done a lot of research on how to better myself and making healthier choices like eating my vegetables, stretching, working out, etc. I’m not amazing at it now but I am certainly better than before. Depression in a way has forced me to change to be a healthier me.


I’ve noticed amongst many depressives, including myself, that we tend to be very appreciative over small things, whether that be outwardly and vocally very appreciative or internally silently-thinking appreciative. Here’s a list of things that I really appreciate about life:

  • Sound and smell of rain
  • Flames
  • How the moon changes phase everyday
  • Cat yawns
  • Warm glow of sunset
  • Icy spiking air of mornings
  • Smell of coffee
  • Cloudy skies
  • Sunny skies
  • Snails 🙂
  • Faces you can find in tree trunks

Similarly, it has made me more optimistic, which is kind of funny for a depressive. A little bit ironic. Even though I can get trapped in negative thinking, I also like to look at the good that can come from ‘annoying’ things such as lots of noise = people in my life, or having to clean up = I have a home and room for me to live in. Gratitude is a feeling that can’t be forced but trying hard and learning to look on the bright side of things can feel rewarding.

Not Going With The Flow

Immanuel talks about this in his podcast but he found many people, who do not struggle with depression, who live their routinely lives of waking up early, going to work, coming home, being with their family, going to sleep, and repeat, are actually very happy in their lives. And that is great and I am happy for people content with their lives. However, depression has made me very stubborn to that kind of lifestyle, constantly in need of change, not going with the flow that most people are accepting of. And although this can actually make me more depressed when I am set in a routine for the meantime I can’t get out of, it has made me explore and experiment with different hobbies and experiences that can change up my day and has made me a happier and more interesting person.


Following the previous point, depression has definitely made me more ambitious. Hitting rock bottom, I didn’t care about my future and dreams and ambitions, but because it is rock bottom, there is only one way to go – up – and with that, I grasped onto many ambitious ideas and hopes for the future like travelling to different countries (it’s how my bucket list came to fruition) and it’s how I decided what to do at university, too. Depression has made me want to feel more fulfilled with life and be more adventurous.

Depression had also forced me out of my comfort zone. I feel a lot more courageous and expressive, now than ever.

There are many other things that have come from depression that can be deemed as positive for people. You may not agree with everything I said here but I’m sure there are other things you can think of that have risen from depression that has helped you and your life.

Depression, of course, is a life-taking disease, and I do not mean to glorify it here, I just want to highlight some key positives and so called ‘superpowers’ that I have gained from it.


This blog started when I was deep into depression and didn’t understand it and to be honest, I didn’t really know what I was talking about. Now that I feel deep in again, I know it’s different because I do understand it better. As I said, I was happy when I came out the first time, I was thankful. But back then, I couldn’t compile words wise enough to describe the effects of depression and how they have actually bettered me but I have come a long way from the cringe-y, close-minded person I used to be.



For The Past Year…


I’ve been thinking about writing this for months now because a) I wanted to be honest and truthful and issues like this one were part of the reason I made this blog and b)  It’s so so so hard to keep in and c) the community on WordPress can be so nice and non-judgmental so I think this is the best place to write this.


Since 2014, I’ve always been self conscious. However, back then, it was just about feeling insecure about the way I look. It was something I tried to overcome. I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and not give a damn about what I saw.

Unfortunately, as months passed, that self consciousness evolved (bad word choice) and it began to involve my personality too. I began to hate what I was like inside and out. Because of this, I somehow started to see and notice the negative sides of things more than the positive. I realized how horrible and annoying I was.


I used things like video games to distract myself. I would’ve used writing but generally, I write about my problems and personal stuff.

People were saying I was gaining weight but then again, in my family, a tiny unnoticeable addition of fat to your thighs is considered being fat. So my parents started to call me fat and my sister joined in.

My parents were always complaining about me being lazy and unpractical (which I guess was true) and they were putting so much pressure and stress on me, telling me I had to gets As and A*s, when I was and am only getting Cs and Bs and very rarely As.  My sister’s new nicknames for me were stupid, ugly and fat.

The people, who I felt were there for me, weren’t. People like my cousin, Talisman (code name). I’ve never been so close to someone before and now, it seems like we’ve just been school friends for a few months.


The one thing that made it worse, was that everybody was oblivious. My parents always asked why I was different, nowadays. Not once have they considered that there may be something bothering me.

At the beginning of 2015, everything seemed so pointless. People didn’t even notice when I wasn’t there or even when I was there. I felt so worthless and as much as I feel sick and scared of saying it, I just wanted to end it all. And it seemed like that was the only thing that could make the horrible people, always picking on people, stop doing the mean things they do.


I was terrified of writing this because I thought there would be readers that might think I’m doing this for attention.

I didn’t write this for you to pity or feel sorry for me. I didn’t write this so that you could all write nice comments to cheer me up.

I wrote this because 1) I really needed to let this out and 2) I know that other people, with the same problems, might see this and they won’t feel alone.


For ages, I didn’t take advice from anybody who hadn’t been through the same thing. I told one friend and she was so so amazing! She did look at me in pity at times, which sucked, but she’s so supportive and a great company.


I started watching Shane Dawson a lot more because I know that he went through the same things and to this very day, watching his videos cheers me up.

I also started to try and find hobbies that nobody I knew did and I wanted to get good at it. And those things have helped me.


Another reason I’m writing this now is because I feel a lot better than I did about a year ago. I feel like I’m recovering and I really hope I am because 2015 and 2014 have been two of the worst years for me.


I have a feeling I’m probably going to take this down because I’m so scared someone’s going to think that I’m just talking crap and over exaggerating or something like that but  honestly, I’m really not. It’s really hard for me to post this because I know that you’re going to think of me differently, now.

Nothing’s changed! I’ve felt like this even before this blog so I’m not going to like stop blogging or whatever. My posts will be the same. And so on. And please please don’t think of me differently!

This was just something I wanted some of you to know. 🙂



Inside Out Tag #5Emotions

So there is a new Disney film coming out on June the 19th, called Inside Out. Inside Out is about tumblr_ncttm9g9j91r9us6no3_500a girl, called Riley, who goes through emotions, such as disgust, anger, happiness, fear and sadness. Click the (—>) link (<—)if you want to find out more because I suck at explanations.


So the Inside Out Tag is about talking about what makes you feel those five emotions, I mentioned.
So let’s start with disgust. 🙂


What makes me feel disgusted is at how our world is today. The amount of litter and pollution that I see is terrible. I remember we were doing PE on the fields and practically no matter where I turned my head, there was always litter. The worst bit is, the bin was right next to the litter. I know I’m lazy but I’m not that lazy that I can’t be bothered to throw something away in the bin, when I’m right next to it. It’s disgusting. Really disgusting. XD


Anger is an annoying emotion but as I have to talk about it, one thing that makes me angry is ignorance. That sounds cold but it just really irritates me. And when I say ignorance, I mean like really really ignorant people. I can’t really give you an example because not many people, I know, are ignorant and I usually hear really dumb comments from people I’m not close with so yeah…


Happiness is a nice feeling, isn’t it? 🙂 Something that makes me happy is spending time with my family and friends. I like having big family gatherings because my cousins are really cool, even though they’re in their early/late thirties. They act and look like twenty year olds so who cares!? My cousins are also super funny and they like playing games. Not like hide and seek. Games like word association, charades, and this game where you have to guess the celebrity on your forehead…I’m not going to get into too much detail but if you know the game, good for you. 🙂 Hanging out with my friends is cool and fun too. We had planned a picnic today and moments like that makes me smile for ages, inside and out.

Fear was something I was looking forward to write. You probably know I’m a huge huge fan of horror. Horror games, horror movies, horror books, horror tv shows, etc. Surprisingly, horror films don’t scare me. In fact, to prove that point, until I watched The Conjuring, I hadn’t been scared or shocked by a horror film since I was eight. That’s why The Conjuring was my favourite horror film…until I watched Insidious. Insidious actually scared me and I LOVE IT!!!!! So the emotions, fear, comes from watching particular horror films, for me.


Hmm….sadness? I get sad when I think of my cat. I guess I was really attached to my cat but that’s because she was my friend rather than a pet. I also feel sad when I think about life without certain people. That’s sad. 😥 But it’s good that I’m sad about things like that because it means that I have a heart. 🙂


So that’s the Inside Out Tag! Hope you liked it.


What makes you disgusted, scared, happy, sad and angry? Comment below!




Phobias and Fear:

A quote that I really like is “Fear doesn’t shut you down. It wakes you up.”

And I totally think it’s true because without fear, the world would be a chaotic, terrible place. Imagine people unafraid of hurting others or ruining everything. Fear controls that. And law…but the law wouldn’t be there if people weren’t afraid.

This is just me and maybe for you, but whenever something scary happens or I am face to face with something I am scared of, I feel almost alive and excited. In fact, whenever I am scared, my body reacts the same way as to when I am excited about something.

10315-Dream-Without-FearEven when I know a spider is on my hair, I feel this kind of weird tingle through my body, almost like I’m cringing – which you do when you’re scared (duh!) – but it’s more like the feeling you get when you’re so excited for something to happen. That moment, where you’re squealing with happiness and joy. Yeah…that’s how I feel when I’m scared. Maybe, that’s why I like horror movies.


I always like talking about fear. I like asking people what they’re scared of, even if it’s a personal, sensitive question. You know how people are like what’s your favourite colour or whatever when they meet someone in person for the first time…I like to ask what their worst fear is. And it’s actually a habit, I’ve gotten into. I just tend to get people to answer questions out of the comfort zone. I’m weird like that.

However, this post is kind of like that. I’ll say all the fears I have and you comment yours, or at least one of yours, if you want to. It’ll be awkward if no one comments… XD


So here are mine:

  • Spiders! Not small spiders and not really daddy long legs but spiders like the ones you get in autumn, with the speckled bodies just freak me out.
  • Small spaces! I feel like I won’t be able to breathe but I’m starting to handle it. It’s not just that, though. It’s partly because I hate and am scared of the inability to escape. It weakens you and makes you vulnerable.
  • Open water. But hold on! I don’t mind some open water areas. It’s just when you can’t see any land, and you can’t see anything underneath you and you know that the water goes on and on for miles below you. However, I have been in deep, deep water areas, but it was different because I could see the land. I would’ve said it could just be the fear of being lost but I’m not afraid of getting lost. In fact, being lost can be quite fun, sometimes.
  • I’m scared of people, I love or am surrounded by, dying or betraying me, and it being because of me. It’s very strange and doesn’t freak me out like spiders because it’s not an every day thing but when beings, I love, die, it takes me a long time to get over it. But then again, it strengthens me on the inside.
  • Embarrassment and people judging me is kind of a small fear but in the past months, it’s definitely eased down.
  • Fear of failure. This isn’t just because I really want to achieve all the things I’ve hoped for in the future, even if it’ll be tough, but it’s also because my family is full of gossip. If I got a fail in one of my GCSEs, they would treat me a little, differently. I’ve seen them do it to other people and it kind of makes me feel ashamed of them, but I still understand.

I’ve been writing this for an hour, and I can’t think of any more fears I have… 😦 I can’t just have six! Oh well…


I said I’m scared of ghosts! But is it possible for a fear to vanish, right after a few months? The last time I wrote that post, I shared a room with my sister, so I wasn’t used to being alone in the dark overnight. I literally got my own room, a few weeks after I wrote that, so I’m totally used to sitting on my bed in complete darkness, and watching a horror movie about ghosts and paranormal activities. Maybe it was just a phase. Although, I feel like I have seen a ghost or ghosts, before, but it could’ve just been my imagination going mental.


Do you have any of the same fears as me?



Firstly, happy birthday Emma Watson!!! (Even if she’s never going to read that XD )


I’ve been doing a lot if exercise over the holidays.

I’ve been doing a lot of exercises to help the abdominal muscles, arm muscles and stamina. Sounds weird, coming from the girl, who everyone sees as the person who can’t be bothered to run for the bus. The first week of exercise, I can already see a big change. I’ve grown slightly taller, can run for a longer amount of time, I actually have visible muscles on my arms and I’ve lost weight.

If I can do it, you can!

However, I thought it would help with something but it made it slightly worse.


I think I have anger control issues. I get angry, easily, way more often that a normal, “average” person would. And it’s hard to control. I clench my fists and I get all hot inside. I don’t do anything about it and if I talk to someone abut it, they might think I’m crazy or that I need help.

When I started watching Daredevil, I noticed that Matt meditated to release emotions.


I’ve started to meditate. I say start but I’ve been doing it for a while – four or three years, maybe. I used to go to these meditation sessions, early in the morning. They helped a lot. After that, I did it whenever I wanted and didn’t have a daily routine like you should. I’ve only just started taking meditation seriously. And it’s helped me SO MUCH. I’m not just saying that.

I relax, so much that I almost relax too much I can’t breathe. I sit up straight, on a soft surface and breathe in and out. I imagine my breaths are like a boat, travelling on a wavy ocean. Every time I exhale, the boat is between and lower than the waves. When I inhale, the boat is at the tip top of the wave. It’s not a storm. It’s calm.

Then I lose track of time. I usually have a timer to tell me when to stop. I started off with five minutes per session. I was so caught up with the calmness, I actually forgot what I had to do after the session and where I was. The five minutes felt like half an hour. NO KIDDING!

The professional meditators usually say that you should imagine you’re in a calm place like a beach at sunset or a forest at sunrise. I imagine myself in a forest and it made me feel lost. A good kind of lost, if such a thing.

I’m definitely doing it for ten minutes now and right after, my body feels so relaxed and calm. I don’t have any good words to explain it, right now…


Have you ever had problems like this? If so, what other techniques do you use to help it?



Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Won’t Hurt Me?

“Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words won’t hurt me?”

How many times have you heard that?

I’ve heard it a lot! Especially by my friends. I have never actually thought about it until I found Youngandtwenty’s Sticks and Stones post (amazing blog, btw) and it made me actually realise that the quote can be very wrong. In fact, super wrong. Not all the time, but most of the time. It depends on the type of person you are, however.

imageSomeone can punch you, the pain will eventual fade away. It could last a couple of minutes or a few months but treatment for physical pain is easy. As for mental pain from words can cling onto you for ages. I mean, physical pain can as well but it’s easier to get rid of, in most cases. The brain is the most complex thing that has been studied known to man. So mental pain can be difficult to fix.

This is personally with me, but if someone punched me, I honestly wouldn’t care much. If someone said something negative about me, which I’ve had quite a few occasions on, it makes me feel really down. I guess I have been growing more and more sensitive as the years go by but some of the things that people have said about me, kind of still hurts today. Not as much, but it does hurt. That goes with embarrassing myself too. XD

I don’t really know if that summed up what I wanted to say but I guess that’s it for now! Basically, what I tried to say was words can hurt more than sticks and stones breaking bones.