Toxins are a hot topic right now. It seems like every time we turn around we are being told that something new is bad for us! It is hard to ignore these warnings and you may be doing everything in your power to avoid the “bads” (BPA’s, chemicals, etc.) and do the “goods” (yoga, detoxing, massages, etc.). But, how often do you think about the emotional toxins that are present in your life? Let’s look at what is responsible for causing these emotions and how can prevent ourselves from emotional toxins. With the right strategies, living toxin free can be so easy!
What are Emotional Toxins?
Emotional toxins are uncomfortable, distressing emotions that run rampant through our lives creating stress in our minds and bodies. Stress is the biggest emotional toxin. Here are just a few of the areas of the body that are affected by stress: brain and nerves, muscles and joints, heart, stomach, pancreas, intestines, and the reproductive system. Stress is responsible for causing inflammation in the body, which can lead to for a variety of diseases, including infertility, heart disease, cancer, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s, accelerated aging, and premature death. Yikes.
The goal is to fill our life with more Eustress (healthy stress that contributes to your growth and increases your performance level) and less distress (a symptom of chronic stress caused by a combination of pressures, people, events, beliefs, money, and emotions in your life). How do we achieve that? The first step is to understand 5 Emotional Toxins that are created by Distress and are stealing your health, happiness, and well-being.
Emotional Toxin #1: Worrying
Unfortunately, no matter how much we worry, we usually cannot change the outcome of whatever we are worried about. The ugly truth about worrying is that the more that we worry about things going wrong, the more likely they are to actually go wrong. There are two main parts in our brains, the thinker and the prover. We are all biologically programmed to want to be right (isn’t it nice to know there is actually some reason behind it?). So, any time we have a thought, the prover part of our brain begins to look for evidence that we are right. Knowing that our brains are this powerful, can you imagine how successful and happy we would be if we replaced those worrying thoughts with hopeful ones? When you focus on the present moment, a worry free life is possible!
Emotional Toxin #2: Blaming
Our lives would be so miserable if we genuinely believed that we are victims to everyone else’s choices. Blaming is totally normal and we all do it, but it doesn’t make us feel better! Unfortunately, blaming someone else usually only creates even more toxic emotions because then both people in the situation feel angry, hurt, and resentful. Taking responsibility for our own actions in our relationships can really help create positive connection and happiness.
Emotional Toxin #3: Complaining
Complaining is the equivalent of walking around in life wearing Debbie Downer glasses every day. The more that you focus on the negative and “problems” in your life, the more these problems have power and influence over you. Complaining significantly impacts our relationships because it has the potential to bring the other person down as well. Here is the good news, complaining is a habit that can easily be broken. It is something that you can absolutely change and if you do change it, you will reap the benefits in both your personal and professional life.
Emotional Toxin #4: Avoidance/ Procrastination
Avoidance and procrastination seem like a great idea in the moment. Unfortunately, what most people experience when they avoid things is what I call “ruining the lazy.” You think to yourself, “This is so awesome. I am going to go do what I want all day today and I will deal with that other stuff tomorrow.” Except, what you find out is that you really can’t relax because in the back of your mind you are constantly thinking about your to-do list. Hence, you are essentially “ruining the lazy”. By just getting things done in the moment, you get to experience the sense of completion followed by freedom from whatever you were trying to avoid.
Emotional Toxin #5: Mind Reading (a.k.a. making Assumptions)
It is so easy to communicate only with ourselves. We come up with an idea, or a reason why someone may be acting a certain way or something specific may be happening. Then we convince ourselves that we are absolutely 100% right and then we attack the other person based on our assumption alone. How many times can you think of where you got yourself all riled up about a certain encounter or interaction with someone, only to be completely wrong about the situation? Then you realize that you ended up spending all that time obsessing over what it might be when you could have just waited to find out what it actually is.
Here is the good news! Ridding yourself of these yucky emotional toxins, doesn’t mean you have to stop doing these things. All you have to do is create new, healthier habits! If you have any questions/comments about this article, please email Ashley@crucialhabits.com.
Dr. Ashley Arn is a Love & Relationship Expert and Co-Owner of Crucial Habits, with her husband Dr. Michael Arn. She specializes in helping people create habits that lead to lasting love, passion and happiness. Dr. Ashley works with clients one-on-one, over the phone/online, through group coaching, and is the author of multiple relationship programs including “Meet & Marry Mr. Right”. More info about Dr. Ashley can be found at www.crucialhabits.com