You are stuck and frustrated, sinking into the black hole of your circumstances. No matter what you do, you keep falling back into this quagmire of negative energies and thoughts, from which there is seemingly no escape. These emotions drain us of all vigor and enthusiasm, leaving us without the will to do anything to recover.
These are the emotions and symptoms we experience when we are stuck in toxic situations in our lives. Most of us are bound to experience these toxic feelings at some point in our lives, often in regard to personal or professional circumstances. Whatever the case may be, the effect is generally damaging on all fronts and can leads to severe depression.
However, this is not an unsolvable phenomenon. With the right set of strategies and mindset, we can not only tackle this malaise, but use it to achieve something remarkable in our lives.
These are seven actionable strategies which can wipe toxicity out of your life.
1. Critically analyze your circumstances. Zero in on the exact problem and study all sides of it. What are its causes and how can you influence things for the better? Once you have figured out the causes, you can begin to take action to free yourself from the situation. Do not procrastinate with this, no matter how difficult critical reflection might be.
2. Replace toxic things with positive things. Once you are done identifying the situations causing you stress, actively replace each element of it with a positive thing in life. If it's your social circle bringing you down, find new friends who will give you more positive vibes. If it's your workplace giving you a toxic atmosphere, start looking for a new job or maybe even start your own project. Concrete steps toward something better will create a sense of progress, which is essential to remaining motivated in pursuing holistic change.
3. Find a purpose higher than yourself. Adopt a broader perspective. There are far too many problems happening all around the world, and someone somewhere is suffering far more than you are. Count your blessings and know that even in your current state, there are people who would give anything to have your life. The special times we live in, where tragedies of global scale are the content of news feeds every day, we have no other choice but to rise above our personal selves and be a force of betterment to the world. We have only one life to live, so why not make it count?
4. Find a mentor. Find someone in your niche who is currently in a position you aspire to and actively seek their mentorship. Networking and learning from them will give your life the direction it needs. Remember, you can learn from everyone and everything; apply the Japanese mentality of Kaizen, or "good change," to build an adaptive mind that is always on the lookout for knowledge and experiences that can improve life each day.
5. Reward yourself and take breaks. It's important to reward yourself for your progress, however small. Acknowledging the little wins releases dopamine in the brain, which is associated with higher enthusiasm, vigor, and creativity. And when life gets to be too much, just stop whatever you are doing and take a break in the lap of nature. The therapeutic beauty of the natural environment around you recharges you in a way material things cannot.
6. Recovery is an ongoing process. Do not be disappointed if you don't see immediate change. Remember that being free of depression and toxicity takes time. The more effort you put forth into small incremental changes, celebrating your little victories as you go, the more you will move in the right direction.
7. Seek professional assistance. Professionals can often help us sort through the things we have trouble dealing with alone. If you cannot access a professional locally, you can visit a site like 7 Cups, where you can get free online therapy and counseling. You can anonymously talk about anything from broken relationships to career advice, or anything else that is bothering you.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. We have one shot at it, so try to live stress-free.
**Abhik Shome contributed to this article.