Self portrait - toxic habits you should stop

WHAT ARE YOUR TOXIC HABITS?

We all have them, they make us flawed, but I would love to know what your initial thought was when I asked for your toxic habits. Is it too much time on social media? Is it jealousy or bitterness? Or is it self-sabotage?

Well, I wanted to discuss ten toxic habits in this post, all of which, you should try to stop. As I said, we are all flawed but some of these habits are stopping us from reaching our full potential. So when you read this post, please recognise if you have any of these habits, and if so, think about how you can change them to better yourself.

COMPARING YOURSELF

I think we all do this, whether we admit it or not. We see someone else’s life and compare our own. Why am I not that successful? Am I not good enough to have that many friends? Why don’t I have that insane wardrobe? Whatever it is, we love to compare it. Whether it be exam results, jobs, clothes, boyfriends. But why do we compare ourselves? Is it because we are jealous? unmotivated? or are we just trying to tap into our own insecurities by belittling ourselves with someone else’s strengths?

Sound familiar… yep me too.

Comparison is the thief of joy‘, a very famous quote that we all probably know. Yet I think it is one that’s overlooked. Comparison really is only going to prohibit your own success and your own happiness. Instead of comparing your life with someone else, take inspiration from their journey. See their strengths and use that to motivate your own growth rather than just using comparison to spiral your thoughts.

AIMLESSLY SCROLLING SOCIALS

Incredibly addictive but can still have a toxic impact…social media. If you are going to scroll socials, scroll when you’re in the right headspace. Otherwise you could fall down a deep hole in social media and not come out feeling your best.

I’ve done it before. Found a gorgeous Instagram that led me onto another, and another, until I started to feel so consumed by negative thoughts that I had to stop. Social media isn’t always healthy. It was never built to be used 24/7 and I think we are so quick to aimlessly scroll before considering the real impact it can have on you.

Don’t let social media disassociate you from your real people, your real job, and yourself. Don’t let it fill a void in your life. It is there to provide inspiration, not to destroy yourself and your own ideas.

MAKING YOURSELF GUILTY

I will openly admit and say this is by far my worst trait. But who else is a people pleaser? Do you also feel bad for saying no? For not putting others before yourself? I feel you. Whether it be big or small, anything that could possibly make me feel guilty, I feel guilty about it. It could be someone stepping out of their way for me, me forgetting about something, or I might not have done something good enough. It’s toxic because it is constantly downplaying your worth. It consumes your thoughts and quite frankly, it keeps me up at night.

My best advice for stopping this is to not think so much. Easier said than done, I know. But live a little more spontaneously and try not to overthink it. Also practice being grateful, practice showing gratitude, and appreciating the little things.

Don’t let guilt consume you. It’s toxic, unhealthy and soul crushing at times. Focus on being grateful and maintain that positive outlook.

JEALOUSY

Not all jealousy is toxic, some can be a huge motivator for you or it could inspire your choices. The kind of jealousy I’m talking about it, is this sense of bitterness that translates into hate on another person’s life.

We all want what we can’t have. But why should we take that anger and jealousy out on someone who probably hasn’t done anything negative to you? We are all guilty of being jealous of a celebrity or even friends and family, but don’t let that turn you into someone who is envious and selfish.

Let yourself be jealous, but let it motivate or inspire you. To be better or to achieve that goal. Also realise that jealousy is completely normal, but you don’t have to turn it into direct hate. Be happy for other’s successes.

OVERTHINKING

Another favourite of people and that is to overthink. Yet another of my many talents and one I wish I was better at stopping. But we all overthink, some more than others, it sucks but we still do it. I think sometimes we try to punish ourselves by thinking too much. We try to think ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ rather then ‘I am’ and ‘I will’. It’s so easy to think about what never was or what never will be instead of actually trying to overthink the things that will better you. Concepts you find inspiring, dreams you have, the goals you want to achieve. They are what we should be overthinking. Not last night’s conversation with an old friend, or that one exam you handed in.

We tend to overthink the past or overthink the possible future, rather than just living in the now and taking each step as it comes. I know it’s something I’m trying to do more, and I definitely think it would help to detox your mind too.

BEING JUDGEMENTAL

A bit like jealousy, but we are guilty of being judgemental. We are quick to see someone online or in-person and judge their life, mainly based on appearance. But we still judge people we know, the choices they’ve made, the way they behave. I know I’m guilty of it. The reason it’s on my list of toxic habits though is that we shouldn’t be judging people based on their looks, or decisions or behaviour. We should be more open-minded and understanding. Plus, if it is someone you don’t know, why should their actions bother you. It only lets negative thoughts back into your mind.

I think that’s what this post is mainly about, getting rid of those toxic habits that let in negative thinking. Because if you can talk negatively about someone you do or don’t know, then how are you going to speak about yourself?

FOCUSING ON THE PAST

We all love playing ‘what if’ and ‘imagine if I did that instead’, but the fact of the matter is, we can’t change the past. The past can be used to teach us something, to create understanding or to inspire future decisions, but we shouldn’t focus too much on it.

This definitely would have made it onto my toxic habits list a couple of years ago because it can become obsessive. I used to imagine my life if I had made one decision different and it would send me into a spiral of thinking my current life wasn’t good enough. It encourages regret. It’s okay to regret things and to learn from them, but to obsessively think about them and start hating your current life because of it, that’s a toxic habit.

Think of all the things you’ve got now, what you’ve learnt up until today. Be grateful for that. There isn’t a point in focusing on something that can’t change, when you can change what happens next in your life. I’ve started to use the saying ‘if you can’t change it in five seconds, don’t spend more than five seconds thinking about it…’

BEING ANXIOUS ABOUT THE FUTURE

On the flip side, we are also so quick to overthink the future. Whether it is drinks with a friend, what university you going to or what you’re going to do when you retire. We are all so quick to think about the future and to let it frighten us.

I’m very much like this and it can be scary because some decisions can change your life’s path. But instead of feeling anxious about it, I try to see it as an opportunity to learn something. Whether it be about myself, my likes and dislikes, and what it is I want from life. The funny thing is, that when we actually end up living these thoughts, they are nothing like what we expected and so you just live each day as it comes anyway.

SELF-SABOTAGE

I know so many people who do this all the time. And that is belittling themselves so that they never got for what it is they actually want. The sabotage the opportunities they want most because they don’t feel good enough. It’s such a toxic habit because it’s only going to make you feel worthless, it’s going to feed on your insecurities and your unhappiness.

I’m not one whose all about manifestation, but you’ve got to just go for it and give it your best. Even though you might not feel good enough, you need to put your best foot forward. Inspire yourself to try harder, to see your strengths and to show them off. Otherwise, you’re going to go back into that place of not seeing your worth.

NEGATIVE THINKING

This is a recurring theme in the entire post, but it is the most toxic of all toxic habits. I used to be such a pessimist and it is all anyone would ever tell me. I’d see what could go wrong in every idea, I would focus on the regrets and I would encourage this feeling of guilt in everything I do. This only gave my mind more negative thoughts. The thing about negative thinking is that it’s addictive, it feeds on your insecurities and it convinces you that you don’t deserve anything better.

It’s not an easy thing to get out of and I’m definitely not out of it. But instead of seeing your flaws, see your strengths. See your journey as a process that is constantly evolving not something stagnant because of a chance you didn’t take years ago. It takes time and practice to stop letting the negative thoughts in, but I encourage you all to try and think more positively, because it really has changed my life.

I am so happy with this post and it could be one of my favourites I’ve written, so I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading. If anyone wants to have a chat about anything I’ve written in private, please email me or dm on Insta!
Lots of love,
Grace xx

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