Episode 5: Toxic Positivity: The Pursuit of Unhappiness and a Better Way

Episode 5: Toxic Positivity: The Pursuit of Unhappiness and a Better Way

Episode Description:
Toxic Positivity: The Pursuit of Unhappiness and a Better Way explains what toxic positivity is and the damage it causes, particularly for those who have experienced trauma. We discuss why traditional positive thinking rarely works and how forced positivity can actually do more damage.

We go discuss how getting to the root of negative thinking, learning to understand its origins, and befriending our thoughts and emotions is a more sustainable path to lasting peace and happiness. We discuss an easy five-step process for dealing with negative thoughts and emotions that can bring peace, healing, and happiness.

Breakdown of Episode: 
0:00 Intro to Episode and Theme
5:58 Intro to Toxic Positivity
9:32 What is Positive Thinking?
15:30 What is Toxic Positivity?
20:00 Getting to the Root of Negative Thinking 
31:48 Why Chasing Happiness Doesn't Work
37:25 What You Can Do Instead: Five Steps to Processing Your Emotions

 Bulleted List of Resources

Mayo Clinic: "Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-Talk to Reduce Stress" https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950

This source describes the positive health benefits of positive thinking and putting positive thinking into practice.

Guideposts: "Is There a Such Thing as 'Toxic Positivity?'" by Holly Lebowitz Rossi
This source gives definitions and examples of toxic positivity so you can identify it in your own life.

"The Trauma Prayer" by Pat and Jim Banks from House of Healing Ministries
Trauma Prayer-Jim Banks
This source is a powerful prayer that helps you to heal the roots of trauma.

"Vanishing Time in the Pursuit of Happiness" by Sam J. Maglio, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review
This article discusses how desperately pursuing happiness will make you more unhappy, if there's fear behind the pursuit. It also discusses how the desperate pursuit of happiness actually reduces "feelings of time availability" and feelings of happiness.

"Forget Positive Thinking: This is How to Actually Change Negative Thoughts for Success" by Melody Wilding in Forbes Magazine
This article discusses using self-talk to help you reframe your thinking, and how this reframing can create more authentic success with your thought patterns.

"Four Ways to Avoid Toxic Positivity and Lean into Emotional Acceptance" by Haley Goldberg
This article discusses how accepting your emotions, applying self-compassion, trying something called "deep acting" to be more authentic, and journaling allow you to create happiness and positivity in sustainable ways.