We are products of our environment, and sometimes it's hard to remember that. Being able to remain mindful of your environment will help you grown, find happiness, and reach your highest potential. Analyze your life in terms of environment, this means people, places, and things. Are these environmental factors setting you up for success? are they beneficial to you? Are they helping you obtain your goals? if not, then they are holding you back. It's important to evaluate these things, after all, you have hopes, dreams, and goals in life, and they are obtainable. Surround yourself with the environment that is going to help you become the best version of yourself. It's okay to reevaluate these things, and make the necessary changes that are going to bring you closer to your goals, success, and to yourself.
When people hear this, they often ask what is a toxic environment? they are unsure how to identify if they are in fact living or working in one. A workplace may be considered toxic if for example there is a lot of drama and infighting, somewhere that due to workers internal battles with each other, higher-ups, policy, and personal battles have a negative effect of productivity.
Sometimes work places are considered toxic due to the employees or employers who are influenced and perhaps motivated only by their own personal growth or gain. Within these environments these people may use unethical tactics, overwork employees without thinking about them as people, be mean spirited, and even use illegal tactics to manipulate other workers. You may be able to easier identify this type of toxic environment by looking at things such as how often employees call out or are actually ill, high turnover rates, gossip and rumors flying around the agency, perhaps a narcissistic leadership, unfair unearned promotions due to politics within the agency, and either a lack of communication or negative communication. You may work hard with little to no recognition. How is it in the office, are others happy, smiling, laughing, or do your coworkers look like robots on autopilot.
In order to cope with this type of environment, aside from finding a new job, there are some tips and tricks to help you live a more positive life in a situation that isn't ideal. First, find friends, like-minded people who feel the way you do, so that you may have support, give support, and have each others backs. Second, keep lists to help keep yourself busy, this will help you focus on the work and why you are there. Next, have your healthy coping skills available and ready to use if needed. Practice self-care, take your breaks, eat healthy at work, and make sure you do something you enjoy after work. Go to the gym, walk your dog, cook yourself a great meal, watch your favorite TV show. Do something for you each day after work, this will help you remain more positive. It can be hard to do, but leaving work at work and home at home is going to be the best thing you can learn to do- I'm not saying it's easy, but it is possible. Lastly, develop an exit strategy. Can things get better? of course! however of the off chance that they don't have your resume updated and pay attention to the positions available in your field. If you needed to get out yesterday, take a contract position to fill the bridge between where you are and where you are going.
It is entirely possible that you are residing in a toxic living environment. This may look slightly different depending on the situation. Perhaps you live with roommates who are always negative, don't share the same values as you, have little or no respect for your shared space, and don't respect your boundaries (If you have set them). It could be friends who live a different lifestyle, but how do you cope with this, they are friends after all, right? it is also possible that your own family may be the ones bringing you down if you are living with them. Our family members, siblings, spouses, room mates, they can all take a toll on us if we are not living in the right environment.
How do we cope with these things? leaving or moving out is not always an option, so the first thing to do is communicate and set healthy boundaries within the living environment. It is important to make these boundaries, however you are also responsible for holding people accountable to them. If the boundaries can't be kept, it might be time to move. Be understanding and compassionate, forgiveness is after all the gift we give ourselves, not others. It does not mean validating their negative behavior or their inability to respect the boundaries set. Perhaps your relationship will improve if you step back and change your own living environment, if not, it's more than okay to say goodbye to these toxic relationships as well. Remember to surround yourself with positive friends, mentors, and healthy relationships, as they will lift you up and bring wealth and success to your life. If you can try to find the good in every situation, remain positive, and surround yourself with like-minded positive people, you will notice an immense change in your life. If you must continue to live in a toxic environment, set boundaries, focus on the positive, practice self-care, utilize your support system, pick your battles wisely, and be able to recognize the behaviors, and set yourself apart from them.
If you have ever had a relationship with anyone, family, friends, or romantic, than you have most likely also encountered both healthy and toxic relationships. A toxic relationship takes two, and is characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, frequently, physically damaging to their partner. Toxic relationships and toxic behavior may look different for everyone. A person who makes "jokes" that are hurtful, that you don't find funny, and that are about you or others you love is a form of this. Passive aggressive behavior is often part of a toxic person. You should not have to feel like you are walking on eggshells in any relationship. Toxic relationships are exhausting, you will find yourself working harder on the relationship than the other person involved. It is also likely that you may resent the person, they may manipulate you to feel as though you are wrong, or that you are the bad person. It is likely they will be able to make you feel guilt and shame, even if you do nothing wrong.
In a toxic relationship there is a lack of trust, nonstop narcissism, negative energy, a lack of support, and constant never-ending, unwanted drama. Staying in these relationships can make you feel insignificant, diminish your self worth, and make you second guess yourself. Toxic relationships can cause us to slowly begin accepting what was once not acceptable in a way, we lower our standards and begin to settle. It is uncomfortable, generally makes you unhappy, and you may feel stuck. You do not deserve to be treated this way or to have to go through this. You are not stuck, and it is important to identify these relationships and set boundaries or get out. You can love family and friends from a distance, but you don't need to condone them making you feel less than. If you need help getting out, ask for it.
TOXIC THINGS IN LIFE
Other types of toxic things in our lives include habits, thoughts, products, behaviors, and stress. It's not news that we all have bad habits, negative or self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, and some level of stress at some point in our lives. We are aware of toxic products, some of us continue to use them, while others move away to more natural, organic, and holistic products. The question is how do we change these behaviors to help us live our best lives possible? change isn't easy, and in order to make these positive changes, you must be willing to put in the time and effort to make the positive changes.
Stop seeking validation from others, stop comparing yourself to others, and stop being so hard on yourself. Each day you are doing the best you can. Don't dwell on the past, you don't live there anymore. Rather, focus on the present, remain mindful, and try to focus on the here and now. It's great to have short and long term goals, but don't get stuck in the future, it hasn't happened yet. It's also important not to take things personally, usually other people are projecting things that are bothering them and going on in their own lives- you don't need to take ownership of any of that. Let go of judgments and resentments, holding onto them won't get you anywhere but stuck ruminating in your own head.
Don't neglect yourself, your self-care, and your thoughts, feelings, and aspirations. No one has the ability to bring you down unless you give them the power to do so, this goes for places and things as well. It's okay to cut people, places, and things out if they are detrimental to your peace and happiness, most likely it's also necessary. We are in control of ourselves, behaviors, thoughts, and actions. Be mindful of how you react to situations, how these environmental factors make you feel, and ask yourself if it's beneficial or helpful to you. In being mindful, in re-framing our thoughts, and taking a step back to reevaluate things in life, we have the ability to make positive changes.
Recognize your own thoughts and actions. Remember you are not in competition with anyone else, you do not need anyone's approval, and that you deserve to be treated kindly with compassion and love. Leave jealousy at the door, don't hold onto unrealistic expectations, Don't be afraid of growth and change, only by stepping out of your comfort zone will you be able to achieve your goals and grow. Don't let fears, people, places, words, or anything else hold you back from your potential and the ability to live your best life. Trust yourself, trust your gut, make the positive changes you need for yourself, and your future self will thank you.