There are so many toxic habits that can hold us back in life, some of which we might never have considered!
It’s not just things like smoking, drinking excessively or poor eating habits. Toxic habits also arise in our everyday behaviours, gestures and thinking patterns! Most of us mightn’t even recognise our toxic habits because we spend so much time living on autopilot. Everything simply becomes automatic, so much so that we don’t think about how we’re living.
But you have the power to change these toxic habits! Will it be simple? Probably not. But will it be worth it? Totally!
Twenty Toxic Habits You Need To Quit.
1. Stop pandering to perfectionism.
Possibly one of the most frustrating habits I have is striving to be perfect. But, repeat after me, perfect doesn’t exist! No one person on this earth is considered perfect, whether they believe they are or not. It holds us accountable for unachievable ‘goals‘ and ‘expectations‘ and ultimately controls how we feel about ourselves. Perfectionism is a dap hand at diminishing our self-esteem and prevents us from enjoying the simple things in life. I’m never more stressed or judgemental of myself than when I’m allowing my inner perfectionist to thrive.
Kick it to the curb! We’ve no room for life-ruining, unachievable perfectionism here.
2. Fix your sleeping pattern!
3. Stop being jealous of the success of others!
4. Take the time to learn from your mistakes!
5. Don’t focus on what you can’t control.
You can’t control the weather, the election results, or inflation. So you try to micromanage every little thing in your life from your partner’s schedule to your kid’s social life. But it’s important to remember that you can’t shape every circumstance in your life or others to exactly how you want them to be. That’s not how life works. And if we try we’re only doomed to feel like a failure, even when it’s entirely outside our control.
Trying to keep every little thing under control creates unnecessary anxiety and stress. Instead, recognise that while having everything under control feels good, it’s not achievable all the time.
6. Stop living in the past!
While it’s important to self-reflect and learn from the past, we shouldn’t live there. But it can be hard to bring yourself into the present when you’re so used to living in the past. I spend hours trying to sleep only to replay scenarios in my head that are long since gone. There’s nothing I can do to change the situation, yet I still dwell on it. It’s the typical trait of an overthinker and it’s taken me years to find a method that works for me.
If you struggle with something similar, start by writing in a journal either before bed or during a time of the day that works best for you. When there’s too much going on in your head, use the pages as a ‘brain dump’ and let go of what you’re thinking. Not only does this act as a release, but it can also be very cathartic and help us see things in a different light.
7. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of feeling sorry for yourself when everything seems to be going wrong. But, as comforting as it is, it only prevents us from finding a solution to moving forward in life. Instead, try to sit with your negative thoughts and change them with realistic ones. Are you catastrophizing the situation or thought? Is there really no way you can change or move past things?
There’s a lot to be said for those who get knocked down but keep getting up again. They’re resilient and not only take a punch but move forward while doing so.
A great tool to help us break out of our self-pity party is to practice gratitude. While it might sound ‘corny’, if practised persistently, gratitude is an amazing way to help us see the bigger picture.
8. Don’t ignore your mental health.
No one likes to embrace the difficult emotions in life, but we can’t avoid them forever. Ignoring feelings like fear, stress and anxiety only give way to more destructive coping mechanisms. Instead, reach out for support whether it’s to a loved one or a professional. Through doing so you’ll learn of different ways to cope when you’re struggling with your mental health. You may also find that nurturing your mind may also alleviate any physical symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
9. Don’t forget about your physical health!
10. You can’t please everyone, so stop trying!
11. Stop giving away your control to others!
There are so many ways we give away our power or control to others, some of which we’ve mentioned here. It can be things such as taking responsibility for other people’s problems and emotions. Or you may not be setting clear and direct boundaries, leaving you wide open to be walked over. And for some of us, it can be as simple as living by what others think of us instead of listening to our inner voice.
12. Stop belittling yourself and your achievements!
13. Set clear and direct boundaries!
Boundaries serve many functions, but first and foremost they enable us to recognize and stick to our own limitations. They tell others how we want to be treated, what’s good and what’s not, therefore protecting us from harm or mistreatment.
They also create a healthy separation both physically and mentally between yourself and those around you. Boundaries set aside space for yourself, your privacy, and your own feelings, thoughts, and needs. They enable you to separate work from your personal life, the needs of others from your needs, and your self-care from others. Overall, they allow you to be yourself rather than becoming an extension of someone else. They leave you free to be who you are instead of what others might expect from you.
14. Stop avoiding alone time!
15. Stop being afraid of change!
16. Stop comparing yourself to others!
When we compare ourselves and our lives to that of others, we don’t recognise all the good things we have. Instead, we home in on what we aren’t doing or what we don’t have in our lives. Comparison is the thief of joy and the older I get, the more I can see it as being one of my key toxic habits. While I mostly have it under control now, it ebbs and flows depending on how I’m feeling mentally.
For a long time, I was fixated on moving on to the next big thing. I wanted a house, to get married, to have a good job, and to make lots of money. And this was all because that was considered the ‘done‘ thing where I grew up. It wasn’t until I let go of that thinking that I began to really live my true, authentic life. And, guess what? It’s nothing near where I thought I would be as a teenager or even as a young child.
17. Don’t give up after the first try!
18. But don’t expect immediate results!
19. Stop waiting for the right time!
If current events have taught me anything, it’s that tomorrow isn’t a guarantee. If you’re holding out for the right time, then there is no better time than the present. All you’re doing is putting off joy.
Instead of waiting to be better prepared or educated before starting something, accept that you can learn along the way. Don’t wait for the next big celebration to light those candles, draw a bath and treat yourself tonight!
20. Stop constantly worrying about every little thing.
One of my worst toxic habits is spending too much time sweating the small stuff. I spend a great deal of my time caught up in a tangle of anxiety and worry. Part of it is a diagnosed mental illness, while the other part is a combination of perfectionism, lack of boundaries and pandering to others. We spend one hundred per cent of our time inside our own minds, and constantly worrying makes it a very hostile place to be. Not only that, but it increases ageing, increases the risk of physical illness and exacerbates any current mental illness.
I’ve been trying to tell myself to stop meeting bridges before I come to them. Instead, I’m trying to hold back and wait before spiralling out of control. It’s easier said than done, but I find allocating a certain amount of time to worrying helps a great. For me, that means giving myself thirty minutes to write down what is worrying me, why, and possible outcomes. After that time I set it aside and move on to a coping mechanism such as playing video games, working on blog articles or exercising.
What other toxic habits do you need to quit!?
There are so many toxic habits we could do with letting go of that it was hard to narrow it down to just twenty. If you can think of any others I’d love to hear them in the comments. Perhaps they’ll make it into a future update or help someone else browsing the comment section.