What makes us unhappy? Chances are it comes down to at least one of these three underlying causes: a toxic person, a toxic mindset, or a toxic lifestyle. When you get into the cycle of consistently having negative people, thoughts, and lifestyle controlling you, it’s difficult to move to a truly happy place. Here are three reasons why you need to rid of the toxicity in your life:
1. Toxic PeopleHaving toxic people in your life is incredibly draining. The Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany conducted a study and found that your brain’s reaction to these negative people results in a massive stress response. Here are three types of friends that may be causing stress and unhappiness in your life.
- “The friend that doesn’t reciprocate”—This is the friend that you are always the one reaching out to meet up, doing favors for, and being there for her. Because that’s what friends are for. But it gets old and upsetting when they just don’t prioritize you in the same way.
- “The friend that’s always the victim”—This friend always seems to have stuff happen “to” her, and she never considers that her actions have an impact on these circumstances. She is always negative, and there is always a crisis.
- “The friend that wants to feel better about herself”—This is the friend who guilt trips you for not going out on a Tuesday night and makes fun of you for always being “lame.” This person puts other people down to make up for her own issues.
2. Toxic MindsetSure, there can be a lot of toxic people in our lives, but it’s important to realize when we are being toxic to ourselves. We may be treating others in an unfair way, because we are unhappy. Are you still angry with your ex for leaving? Do you still resent your parent for not being there? This hatred can turn into a toxic cycle of unhappiness and depression. In the words of Frozen, let it go. Seriously. It’s difficult get to that forgiving mindset, but when you truly decide to stop holding resentment, the feeling is indescribably uplifting. Chances are, when you decide to move on without bitterness toward that person, other areas of your life will be positively affected by this change. Not to mention maintaining a high level of toxic emotions can lead to serious health risks. According to Better Health Channel, this inner stress can even cause heart attacks and stroke.
3. Toxic LifestyleThis may be the trickiest of all three to overcome, but can make such a profound difference in your happiness. A toxic lifestyle consists of habits and routines that you do habitually, but you know that they are unhealthy and causing you a lot of unhappiness. Scenario: Your friends only like to hang out at the bar and don’t have many other interests or hobbies other than drinking, so that’s where you spend the majority of your free time. You’d like to do other things, but it seems too stressful to meet new friends. Solution: This is a tough situation, because you’re comfortable in your current situation. The important thing to realize is how much happier you could be finding friends with aspirations similar to yours. Join as many groups as you can that interest you, and find out whom you click with! To end the cycle of a toxic lifestyle, the most important thing is to truly recognize exactly how unhappy it is making you. Next, you need to decide what is going to make you happier. Finally, you have to make steps for yourself on how to achieve those goals.
Everyone deserves to find inner joy. Once you surmount the toxicity in your life, the opportunities for happiness are boundless.