There are many ways in which toxic relationships can affect your overall wellness and deplete your energy levels and it is important to notice when there are people in your life who bring this negativity into your space, and to consciously make an effort to invite in positive people instead.
There is clear evidence to show that there is a distinct link between toxic relationships and overall stress and health as well as research to suggest that people with good friends have lower inflammation levels and blood pressure compared with those with poor relationships.
Noticing Toxic Relationships
It is sometimes hard to be aware of a toxic relationship, especially when it is with someone who has been in your life a long time such as a parent, a sibling or a best friend. We often say things such as ‘Oh that’s just what she’s like’ or tell ourselves ‘Well, that’s the way it’s always been’, but that doesn’t mean we have to put up with it. As our awareness grows, we start to notice the ways in which people affect our emotions and begin to see when a transfer of energy (either positive and negative) takes place. When we have pinpointed the people are in our lives who are toxic, it’s time to navigate the waters of improving or removing the relationship. This is where it gets a little tricky, but trust me, it will be worth it.
Navigating The Relationship
Opening up a channel of conversation is the first step towards improving or removing your relationship with the toxic person or people in your life. It is important to try to remain positive and compassionate yourself when you begin to have conversations with toxic people, as it’s all too easy to slip into a place of judgement and negativity when you are surrounded by people who talk and act in that very same way. People are not born toxic; it is their upbringing, past relationships and life experiences that have shaped them into their current state. So, by remaining present and positive you are much more likely to be able to have an open and honest conversation than if you go in there, all guns blazing, highlighting the ways in which you feel they are toxic and negative.
One thing that helps when navigating these murky waters is to speak to someone impartial about what is going on. They should be able to help you define what is and isn’t acceptable in a relationship, to help you be honest and objective about role you play in the relationship, and to give you a positive pep talk before you have a conversation with the toxic person in your life.
Once you have managed to talk through your feelings, you’ll have more of an idea of whether the other person is open to changing your relationship for the better, or if it is time to let go.
You might not realise how much of an effect a toxic relationship had on your life until you are out of it so you may be surprised to feel as though you have a new lease of life and a whole host of energy that you can pump into things that make you feel good. It is at this time that you want to surround yourself with positive people who have similar interests and values to you. Research has shown that negativity is contagious and the negative opinions of others affect us and influence our behaviour. It is therefore vital that you don’t fall in with more negative and toxic people at this time, and focus on cultivating relationships with those who will have a positive effect on your life.
Many entrepreneurs believe that surrounding yourself with positivity is one of the keys to success, and businessman Jim Rohn once said “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”. It therefore seems obvious that replacing toxic people with positive influences is going to have a major effect on your life. These five people can be absolutely anyone, from parents and friends to co-workers and mentors. All that is important is that they lift your spirits, fill you with energy and don’t judge or undermine you in the way that toxic people do.
At this time, it might mean you have to go through the process of seeking out new relationships, which can be tricky, especially as an adult, but having people in your life who you feel deeply connected to will improve your overall mental wellbeing in more ways than you can imagine. Joining classes, networking or going on a retreat can be great ways of meeting positive people in a relaxed and open setting.
Having a support system means that when you are having a difficult time you have people around you who you know and trust, and who will be there to support you. This ensures that personal issues don’t spiral out of control and you are able to talk through your problems before they feel like a mountain to climb.
Being surrounded by positive people also allows your passion and motivation to grow as you will be encouraged and supported by people who have your best interests at heart. You will then be in the right mind to create a positive life for yourself filled with things and people you love.
Let us know in the comments below your thoughts on toxic relationships and your top tips for surrounding yourself with positive influences.
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