Telling your friends to “cheer up” can be harmful

Monday, May 22, 2023

Toxic positivity is a term used to describe the idea that we should always look on the bright side of life, even when things are not going well. While it’s nice to have a positive attitude, toxic positivity can be harmful, especially when it comes to mental health.

When we tell someone who is struggling with mental health issues to “just think positive” or “look on the bright side,” we may unintentionally be invalidating their experiences and feelings. This can make them feel even worse and prevent them from seeking help.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about one in five adults in the United States experience a mental illness each year. That’s roughly 51.5 million people. With such a large number of individuals struggling with mental health conditions, it’s crucial that we provide them with the right kind of support.

Instead of telling people to “cheer up” or “just be positive,” we need to acknowledge their feelings and offer them empathy and understanding. Studies show that social support and empathy are crucial factors in recovery from mental health conditions.

Better Ways to Support Those with Mental Health Conditions:

  1. Listen and Validate

When someone opens up to you about their struggles with mental health, it’s essential to listen to them without judgment. Let them know that you hear and understand them. Validate their feelings and acknowledge that their experience is real and difficult.

  1. Offer Practical Support

Offering practical support, such as helping them with everyday tasks, can be very helpful. For example, you could offer to do their grocery shopping or cook them a meal.

  1. Encourage Professional Help

Encourage them to seek professional help. Mental health conditions are medical conditions and should be treated as such. Encourage them to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.

  1. Be Patient

Recovery from mental health conditions takes time. It’s essential to be patient and understanding. Don’t pressure them to “get over it” or “move on.” Everyone’s recovery journey is different.

Recent News

Maryland Wellness Presents: From Our Hearts, To The Community: Clothing & Grocery Donation on June 12th

Maryland Wellness proudly presents “From Our Hearts To Your Community,” a complimentary clothing and grocery donation initiative. This effort, in collaboration with Sowing Empowerment and Economic Development (SEED), is our way of expressing gratitude and giving back to those in need in our Lanham community. We invite you to meet our team, enjoy our coffee…

Read More

Maryland Organizations & Partners, Come "Spring Into Wellness" with Us On May 23rd

We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to all our partners and organizations across Maryland for an evening that is dedicated to the significant topic of wellness. This event serves as a gathering and a platform for everyone to gain a deeper understanding of our services and provides an excellent chance to forge valuable relationships with…

Read More

Celebrate With Us at the Spring Fling Event on March 30th in Baltimore

Baltimore, get ready for an unforgettable experience at our Spring Fling event. 🐰 Maryland Wellness is throwing a fun-filled, no-cost event on Friday, March 30th, 2024 at 4128 Hayward Ave. Baltimore, MD 21215 from 12:00 PM-3:00 PM! This memorable event will be packed with fun activities, free pizza, raffle draws, karaoke, Easter baskets, and free…

Read More

“Maryland Wellness is great!!! The staff really helped me and my daughter get settled into our new home and school. I’m a single mother and I struggled with transportation and housing. With the help of my counselor, I was able to get to my destinations and became stress free about my housing!”
– T.D., Waldorf
“I do nothing but give praise to this establishment. My first time there, I was very nervous, but that quickly changed once I was greeted by the amazing staff in the front office. I can never leave that place with a frown on my face. I would recommend this facility to anybody in need of mental and drug counseling. They are the best I have ever experienced, and that is no lie.”
– D.J., Baltimore
“I have received positive feedback from clients that have been referred to your organization.”
– Partner
“My PRP worker has been very helpful and has taught me how to better myself and take care of my children. She also helped me do the things I needed to do to regain custody of my son.”
– T.M., Waldorf

Subscribe to Maryland Wellness Updates