Have you ever noticed how the people you surround yourself with the most can affect your moods and overall health? As a mental health advocate, I understand how this can be because I suffered from mental health issues most of my life. Now that I’ve overcome the majority of those issues, I realized how much my moods, mental states, and overall health improved dramatically after letting go of toxic people in my life. Of course, we all know that living a healthy lifestyle involves certain things like eating healthy food, drinking water, exercising, sleeping, and avoiding drugs and alcohol, but how do our social relationships impact our eating habits, stress levels, substance use or abuse, and overall health and behavior?
You see, one major "Aha" moment I recently had in life was realizing that everything is cause and effect, and since the cause triggers the effect, you cannot totally eliminate the effect without eliminating the cause. Think about it; there are people who struggle in life, and they turn to certain resources for help such as therapy, hospital programs, rehabs, detoxes, etc., but their problems still keep coming back.
Why is that? It’s because they keep going back to their same old lives that made them miserable and unhealthy in the first place; same jobs, same households, same friends, same habits, and same old ways of thinking. In other words, they were trying to eliminate the effects without eliminating the causes, and since the causes were still there, the effects kept returning. My goal is to teach people how to utilize mental health, addiction services and similar resources properly, and help them remove some of the root causes of their mental health issues and/or substance dependencies.
Here are 6 tips for removing some of those root causes; these are the things that worked for me personally:
- Know that it’s never 100% a person’s fault when they end up a certain way, but eventually, it’s that person’s responsibility to do something about it. Early in life, we have such a lack of control because we’re born into our families regardless, and they influence us greatly unless we gain outside perspective. We don’t know any better that young. It’s important to gain an outside perspective if your initial one is inadequate, that way you fix yourself, and you don’t repeat what was done to you.
- Get out of that job you hate. You depend on your job financially, and you spend a good amount of your time there, so make sure you’re doing something you enjoy, making sustainable income, and having positive relationships with coworkers. If not, it's time to move on.
- Get out of an unhealthy household. Much like your job, you spend a majority of your time at home. Home is supposed to feel safe, if not, it's time to move out!
- Cut ties with toxic people. If you have unhealthy relationships, friends, family members, etc. who constantly hurt you in some way, you need to cut ties with them and find better people. No matter what, nobody has the right to hurt you.
- Always wish people well. Holding onto resentment is unhealthy, and it hurts you more than anyone else. When people hurt you, it’s usually for reasons that have nothing to do with you. They could be fighting a similar or worse battle than you. If you can’t help them, protect yourself by cutting ties, but wish them the best in life, and hope that they find happiness.
- Build your ideal support network. Build a balanced support network consisting of about 40% professionals, 30% sponsors, 20% support groups, and 10% friends and family. Mostly people with the right guidance and wisdom to help you.
Social detoxing is just like any other kind of detoxing; you slowly get rid of the unhealthy and replace it with the healthy. It can be painful to let go of certain people in our lives, which is why we need to meet people who can support us and guide us to recovery. I had to utilize a lot of resources to help me recover. Another major key factor to my recovery was discovering my true passions in life, and expressing myself to the fullest.
Once I did that, I began attracting better, like-minded individuals into my life who I was more compatible with. I made many new friends this way to replace the ones I had to part ways with, and aside from my support network, I am able to socialize and have fun. Just like my slogan goes: “Find your passion. Find your community. Find yourself.” For more information on my work, visit http://www.iamjacktravis.com/
Please share any of your experiences in Comments below, you never know who else you might help by sharing.