Cutting "Toxins" From Your Life

Every year is a time to start fresh and also a time to reflect on the past. Every year comes with new goals and resolutions, and one of mine was to focus on my wellbeing and rid my life of anything toxic. Toxic habits, toxic environments, toxic thoughts, and toxic people. When it comes to ridding your life of these “toxins,” you have to start off by first identifying the source of the issue. Is the source your own internal mindset or is it your external setting? A new year means out with the old and in the new, so try your best to be mindful and open-minded when “letting go.”

 

First and foremost, if you feel like your mental health is declining when spending time in a certain atmosphere or around certain people, that is when you know you need to step back and reevaluate what’s in your best interest. You have to remember that as hard as it can be to let people go, it’s a natural course of life to drift away from old friends, and you can’t let your friend group define you. As you reach adulthood, it is perfectly normal for friend groups to evolve or change as you all grow up and mature. As one quote goes, “Some people come in your life as blessings, others come in your life as lessons.” Remember, change is scary but it can bring plenty of good surprises too.

Second, change up your regular routine and try something new. If you’re used to grabbing lunch with the same people, try branching out to a classmate and see if they’re down to go to Gilbert’s together. You never know what could end up developing out of just one simple invite. Pay attention to how you feel when you are around these “new” friends compared to any older ones. Do you feel more listened to? Appreciated? Validated? Think about how the friendship makes you feel; does it feel more rewarding because it is not just one-sided or manipulative? It flows naturally instead of making you feel as if you’re walking on eggshells or have to do or say the right thing. If so, that’s a good sign and you should continue to see where the friendship goes! In the case that it makes you realize any warning signs in older friendships, consider drifting away.

Third, some red flags to look out for when you want to make sure anything toxic is gone from your day-to-day life, reevaluate your conversations with particular people. Do you tend to spend time with people who make you feel less than? Do they prioritize their own needs constantly before ever considering yours? Personal habits, thoughts, and people you want to keep in your life are ones that lift you up and inspire you to be the best you can be. They shouldn’t make you feel insecure or excluded and they shouldn’t gossip about you behind your back.

 

One of the last things you need to do before you truly “let go” is to remember that the longevity of a relationship doesn’t always equal quality. The sooner you learn this lesson, the happier you will be in the end. Dr. Suess was right when he said “Be who you are, and say what you feel. Because those who mind, don’t matter. And those who matter, don’t mind.” If you feel as though you have to change yourself and your personality just to fit in with a certain atmosphere or crowd, consider your long-term happiness. You don’t want to feel like an outsider who constantly has to “put on a face.” You deserve to be surrounded by people who make you feel comfortable and empowered in your own skin. You won’t be able to truly grow and flourish until you rid your life of “toxins.”