Gratitude involves making a conscious effort to reflect on life’s gifts and cultivate an appreciative mindset towards them. On the other hand, toxic positivity demands that you only view experiences in a positive light, no matter how tragic the circumstance. By knowing the difference between gratitude and toxic positivity, you can maintain a realistic view of life’s events, both positive and negative.
While gratitude and toxic positivity can seem similar, they come with different intentions. When you are grateful, you appreciate what you have while simultaneously recognizing that your life is not perfect.
Toxic positivity denies the existence of negative feelings, extolling a willfully ignorant positivity instead. By ignoring negative emotions, you are unable to process them.
Gratitude makes the best of a sometimes unfair reality. Toxic positivity is living in a fantasy world. When we face difficulties in life, It is essential to give ourselves the space to experience uncomfortable feelings and process them in a healthy way.
Gratitude allows you to feel a full range of emotions. You accept that there are problems and imperfections in your life, and you don’t censor your feelings surrounding them. You can acknowledge what is wrong and then expand your awareness of what is right.
Toxic positivity can put you in the false mindset that everything is perfect. Eventually, however, we all have to face the consequences of reality. With a balanced perspective, gratitude helps us get unstuck to be mentally healthy and aware of how our life really is.
Stopping Toxic Positivity
If you are feeling sad as a result of a profound loss, acknowledge how you feel. Practice mindfulness. Take in your surroundings and what all five senses are telling you. This will allow you to focus on the moment and decrease your desire to create a false reality.
There is only so long we can force ourselves to feel something we do not. Practicing gratitude can make a difference in your mental health.
Gratitude acknowledges that our lives are not perfect, but we still have many things to appreciate. Toxic positivity causes you to only focus on the positive emotions, ignoring negative ones. Mindfulness can teach you to stay in touch with your feelings and still have a positive outlook. At Alta Loma, we understand how emotions can play a role in our outlook on life, and we are here to help you. Located in Georgetown, Texas, we can provide you with individualized therapy, coping skills, education, long-term care, and more. Call us at (866) 457-3843 to learn more.