“Be positive!” How many times have we heard these two words from people with whom we’ve shared our troubles? You see, there’s nothing wrong with being positive in life. According to studies, having a positive outlook in your daily life makes handling things better and is highly recommended because it leads to happier and healthier living.
Today’s generation of young adults are engrossed with the idea of self-love, self-care and mental health and are active in promoting positivity online. However, the same generation experiences higher rates of depression and anxiety. Despite more people being well-informed on how to offer support, their ways or use of language often doesn’t give enough reason for a vulnerable person to come forward with their struggles. Instead of helping someone realize that they can overcome the anxiety that cripples them, they are told that “their problems aren’t big enough” and to be grateful for other things in life. Instead of receiving comfort, the vulnerable person receives blanket statements or affirmations that sound more like toxic positivity than genuine empathy.
Now, in today’s world of positive culture, a person is more likely to feel the burden on his/her shoulder. They will feel that their struggles aren’t validated and are merely the product of their pessimism. They will be guilty for not being strong enough to handle things. As a result, instead of overcoming whatever problems they are facing, they are pushed further into their deepest sorrow.
Learning to validate someone’s pain and properly addressing it is a highly undervalued skill. Anyone can say phrases that they think might help uplift someone but it will show if they genuinely don’t care. It’s not like people are looking to others for solutions to their problems, but most do need someone to ease their negative feelings by helping them realize that there is hope and that this too shall pass. Helping someone realize that their emotions matter, regardless of what the reasoning might be is extremely important… It’s important to open up their eyes to see that they in fact have a choice to let go of the things that they cannot control and to stop blaming themselves. This will encourage them to accept where they are and talk their heart out instead of just bottling it up inside.
One must learn that there is no wrong emotion – That everyone is capable of feeling several different emotions, from happy to sad and everything in between and often also all at once. It is common for any one person to feel hopeless and tired every now and then. The thing you must never forget? It’s perfectly OKAY to feel whatever you’re feeling and to never be ashamed for being overwhelmed by stressful situations.