7 Ways to Cleanse A Toxic Mindset

Have you been feeling trapped lately? Worried that you're always heading in the wrong direction, or that you can't seem to do anything right? These feelings are toxic and harmful, but sadly are common. whether it be from the never-ending winter, the endless pile of homework, the growing to-do list, or the feeling of something missing, we’re all searching and seeking where to go from here. If you know something is lacking from your life, but you don't know what, here’s a list of things that may be holding you back:

 

Anxiety

Depression

Addiction

Abuse (emotional or physical)

A relationship (with a parent, a friend, a significant other)

Fear

Doubt

Stress

 

This list is brief, but might be just what is keeping you trapped in a cage of worry. The following is seven ways to free yourself from the confinement:

 

Talk to someone:

You don't necessarily have to find a therapist, but go to someone you trust. You don't even need advice, you just need someone to listen. Having an outside perspective on the situation may give you new ideas and insight.

Stop caring what BLANK will think:

Fill in the blank with me - my mom, my dad, my grandma, my grandpa, my boyfriend, my girlfriend, my sister, my brother, my professor, my friend, my coach, etc etc. Worrying what BLANK will have to say about your newfound decision to free yourself.

Acknowledge the fear:

What keeps you up at night? Is it the fear of a failed relationship? The fear of missed opportunity? The fear of not having/being enough? Acknowledge whatever fear weighs the heaviest on your shoulders, and tackle it first. Find the root, where the fear began, and unravel the doubts behind it. Try to discover what scares you the most about it - and see what happens. 9 out of 10 times, our brain tricks us into believing that what we want is scary and impossible, but with enough logic (and courage) we know that simply can't be true. Embrace the fears, one at a time.

Form a healthy habit:

When I first began feeling stuck, my salvation came from the gym. I would run while listening to loud music until every negative thought was gone. However, there are so much more than just treadmills at the gym - you could lift weights, ride a bike, shoot some hoops, walk the track, or do yoga. Experiment and see what works best for you.

Find your stress release:

What activity takes your mind off of the stress? It could be baking cookies, reading romance novels, listening to live music, meditating, writing poems, or going to social events (yes, even college parties!) Discover the thing that makes you feel free and do as much of it as you can.

Stop the behavior:

When you feel yourself begin to slip, reach for the nearest branch and hold steady. Call your best friend, turn on the music, repeat your mantra, and whatever you do, don't overwhelm yourself. Stop the negative behavior in its tracks, even though this is much easier said than done.

Surround yourself:

My biggest fault is convincing myself that just because I was an introvert, I didn't need friends. Especially in college, this thinking can be dangerous and bring more harm than good. People need other people, and make it your mission to seek out and surround yourself with strong, brave men and women who will support you. Going to social events gives you a reason to get dressed and get out of the house, and you may even meet people who feel the same way as you.

The change won't come overnight, and doing all seven of these tasks at once won't do anything but add to the stress in your life. Take one step at a time, kick the toxic habits/people from your life, and I hope you (and myself included) find what we’ve all been searching for.