The answer is yes!

Of course, there is nothing wrong with being positive and having gratitude, these can be great tools in life and success that we encourage our clients to use all the time. However it can become toxic if it is used to invalidate someone’s feelings or if it is being used as a way to hide from or refuse to acknowledge the truth of situation or real issues.

I recently heard Tony Robbins use the analogy of a garden, explaining that saying affirmations is great but if you have a garden full of weeds and dying plants, it requires weeding and watering. You can’t fix the garden by affirmations alone, you need to assess the state of the garden now, so you know the resources you will need to fix the garden.

The same goes for everything else in life, health, business, finances, relationships etc. You can’t fix it if you are not prepared to look at it and acknowledge where it is now. Positivity only helps if it is matched with a willingness to be real coupled with action.

This can be particularly challenging with health issues, we really need to be present and accept where we are right now before we can do the work of improving things. If you skip this step you will just go around and around in circles and wonder why you are not achieving your health goals.

Gratitude is a great practice, we know it rewires our brain in a healthy way and it is important to notice what blessings you have in your life, as we tend to attract and see what we look for. However it is also OK to have moments in life when it is hard to find gratitude, especially when you are in the middle of or recovering from a traumatic event.

In our efforts to be positive and comfort people, we often remind them of why they are “lucky” in these moments. This is failing to acknowledge that person’s real situation and pain and not helpful at all. I have heard of stories where grieving parents who have just lost a child are told “you are lucky you have another child”!

Our society which in general is uncomfortable with with difficult emotions have created a bunch of meaningless platitudes to use in these situations. These platitudes usually begin with “at least” or “you are lucky”. Don’t ever use platitudes, if you don’t know what to say, be honest and tell them you don’t know what to say or simply don’t say anything at all, just listen and be there. I discuss this more in the video below.

These are the kinds of things we discuss in our Stress Less program where we look at stress in a holistic way including nutrition, self-talk, boundaries, energy management and much more.

Find out more about our Stress Less program by clicking here.

Fiona Kane is a Nutritional Medicine Practitioner, Mind Body Eating Coach, Holistic Counsellor, Professional Speaker and writer on Health and Nutrition and the founder of Informed Health.ontent goes here







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