Showing posts from April, 2021

Living With Anxiety

Because I have anxiety, a lot of my time is spent managing fear responses. Fear is at the root of anxiety, and when you've got generalized anxiety, you find that you are afraid much more than your peers during your day to day existence. Being afraid is uncomfortable, but deescalating your responses to fear is downright exhausting. I always think people can see it when they look at me. What's actually pretty shocking, though, is that most people would never know that I have clinical anxiety. Despite the battles that rage in my head, I usually appear calm and pleasant on the outside. People very close to me know my tells, but for the most part, I carry this burden silently. I actually hid it from myself for a long time. Actually, I didn't know until I was 34 years old that I had anxiety, at all. I knew I was sort of high strung, but not that I was caught up in a cycle of fear and poor coping mechanisms. I've always been what I would call fearful, or nervous. I would fear

Toxic Positivity

I firmly believe that having a positive outlook is a choice. It is a choice we must make each morning to manifest gratitude and keep the goodness of our lives in focus. Last year after a battle with my own mental health that left me at the proverbial bottom, I swore to deliberately choose joy each day since climbing out of the depths. What happens though, when we force positivity? When we narrow that sunny focus to the point of excluding reality? I'd argue that, like with all things, positive thinking to excess becomes counterproductive at best and, well, toxic at worst. Toxic positivity, I'll admit, sounds like an oxymoron. Being too positive doesn't fit the usual profile of detrimental thought patterns. But if we examine it further, it does. Simply being optimistic is healthy.  Forcing ourselves to wear rosey-colored glasses in perpetuity, however, is not. Denying ourselves the opportunity to feel negative emotions as they arise organically leads to a compounding of suppr