There are many kinds of toxic relationships, and I don’t just mean with people. We often have very toxic relationships with the most banal, everyday things. Money, food, our body – these toxic problems can sneak in and take hold of us, and before we know it – we feel like we are a slave to something.
Feeling stressed or down but can’t pinpoint why? Often issues can be subtle but profound, and can affect your mental health without you even directly realising it.
One study looked at more than 10 000 people and followed them for more than 12 years. It found that the study subjects who were in “negative relationships” had a higher risk of developing heart problems (even heart attacks!) than those who were in healthy relationships.
So here are 5 things you really need to ditch today because you have an unhealthy relationship with them. If your life is feeling a bit toxic at the moment, then check these things and how they might be impacting your wellbeing.
Your toxic relationship with unhealthy food
I am a huge fan of “unhealthy” food and I think too many people are confused about what makes something healthy or not; check out my post The hidden calories and fat in “healthy” smoothies. Growing up, I was overweight and nearly obese. My father (who was slim) was always telling me that it’s only the “wrong” foods you need to worry about, and that you can’t have too much “healthy food” – which is completely wrong for many of us. For some of us, portion control is everything.
I wrote in my post above: Too often, people blast themselves with grains, nuts, milks, seeds and oils thinking that they are doing their bodies a favour when really, they should be moderating their intake to bring their weight under control. Read this article called It’s possible to have too much healthy food. So, if you love unhealthy food, don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn how to incorporate it into your diet so you never feel you’re missing out.
Your toxic relationship with “that” friend
We all have people in our lives who don’t actually add much to it, but we feel that we ‘owe them something’ or have simply known them forever and so feel bad cutting them off. But just because you’ve known someone for a long time doesn’t mean you need to stay in touch if the way that they are makes you feel stressed or sad.
Perhaps they’re never happy for your achievements and always find a way to bring you down. Maybe they take you for granted or use you for their own gain, or maybe their behaviour embarrasses you. Perhaps you’ve just grown apart and don’t have anything in common anymore, and so don’t add anything to each other’s lives. If spending time with a person feels like a chore, stresses you out or makes you feel down then it could be worth cutting that person from your life for the sake of your mental health.
Your toxic relationship with money
We can all feel the pinch with money at times, however if you’re living paycheque to paycheque and constantly in the red and struggling with money it can massively affect your mental health. If you’re in debt, you could consider selling any assets you have to pay down balances, or speak to a debt advice company.
If you’re in a position where you can save even a little each week, having a financial buffer can give you peace of mind and allow you to feel more secure. Set a budget and stick with it to give you control over your money. Remember, the most important thing to do is to acknowledge the problem and to act on it. Burying your head in the sand won’t solve the issue – so you have to tackle to problem; even if it’s only at a very slow pace. Money problems always snowball if they are ignored.
Your toxic habits with your partner
I love my husband and after three years of marriage, I would hope that we have become better communicators, but I am not really sure. There are a few topics which we always seem to clash on, and the result is that we tend to avoid these important issues, which is not good for anyone. Healing a toxic relationship with your partner is essential if you want to stay together.
But sometimes we all need a little extra help, so turn to the professionals in that case. For ongoing issues or things you can’t seem to resolve, counselling could be the answer. If there’s any kind of abuse, violence or unpleasantness then it’s time to leave; contact a local charity for help and advice if you’re concerned for your safety. Do not take any chances.
Your toxic negativity about your job
When you spend forty hours a week in the workplace, being unhappy in your job will mean a huge proportion of your life that you spend feeling down. See if workplace issues can be resolved if that’s what the problem is. Otherwise, consider doing some part time study and/ or training so you can eventually get promoted or change careers.
There is really nothing worse than feeling like you are wasting your life. A crappy job can do that to you. Our careers take up so much of our time and energy. If you have formed a toxic relationship to your job, then you really need to take action. Here are 5 Rewarding Career Changes for You to Consider.
Your toxic relationships can be healed
Yep, they can – and by YOU. Remember that you are the master of your own destiny and you have the final say on how people treat you. Make a pact with yourself to ditch these unhealthy relationships and see how your life improves.