• Guest Post: Tips for Healing Anxiety from Toxic Relationships

  • Today’s post is from guest Sylvia Smith who shares how to heal from a toxic relationship. While she approaches it from the relationship perspective, her tips can apply to toxic friendships as well!

    Toxic relationships are unfortunately widespread and can be damaging to your health both physically and mentally. These abusive relationships are usually rife with emotional abuse resulting in low self-esteem, constantly feeling bad about yourself and constantly anxious, angry, or fearful when you are around your significant other. These traumatic relationships can also lead to heart problems and other physical afflictions. So the question is, how can you heal from the anxiety arising from toxic relationships? We’re looking at the process of healing anxiety from a toxic relationship and how you can move on with your life.

    Recognize why your Relationship was Toxic

    Hindsight is 20/20, meaning that with a little time you will be able to look back on your relationship and see all the toxic signs that you had missed before. Common signs you were in a toxic relationship are feeling constantly judged, lack of trust between partners, always giving and never receiving back, unreliability, narcissism, and a hostile environment. Recognizing why you had anxiety from toxic relationship, what drew you to that person, and what made you stay will help you take precautions never to be put in that situation again.

    Make a List of Qualities

    Even in suffer from post-relationship anxiety, you may still love the person you were in a toxic relationship with. Making a list is a good visual reminder of what you do and do not deserve from someone you love.

    Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. In the left column list off the personality traits and qualities of your toxic relationship that hurt you and that you find unacceptable. Now in the right column write out all the qualities you must see in a new partner, such as patience and respect, before getting into another relationship.

    You may not be ready for a new relationship for a long time, but having a visual reminder of all the traits and attributes you look for, as well as the ones you will not tolerate, can be a helpful reminder to put your wellbeing first.

    Create a Healing Deadline

    Anxiety from a toxic relationship certainly isn’t something that is going to go away overnight. However, giving yourself a healing deadline is similar to giving yourself a goal to look forward to. Setting a timeline for your grief can help you make steps toward recovery. Give yourself time to grieve the loss of your relationship, then move on to time for self-discovery, and eventually, have a timeframe in mind for letting go. Even if you still feel relationship anxiety by your end date, you will still be able to look back at your healing deadline and see how far you’ve come since you first broke up with your ex.

    Surround Yourself with Positive People

    A mentally or physically abusive relationship can sometimes sever your ties with friends and family. Alienation is a common tactic used by abusers to cut off any support system you might have that would encourage you to leave. Now that you are single, recreating your support system is integral to healing from a toxic relationship. Surround yourself with positive people who want the best for you. Reconnecting with positive friends and family will help you establish new routines and gain comfort and love from those around you.

    Hold Off on Dating

    Coming fresh out of a toxic relationship can be damaging to your psyche. Now is not the time to be pursuing a romantic relationship, especially when your attraction to destructive personality traits may still be present. Now is the time to be single and rediscover yourself. Use your time to figure out who you are, what you like, and to learn to make yourself happy without anyone else’s involvement. Being single also provides you with less stress to deal with, which can help ease anxiety.

    Be Selfish

    Now is the time to think about you. Use your new single life to rediscover yourself and pursue the things you enjoy. Meditate, join a gym, take up a new hobby, go hiking, or do something in your community. Giving back and getting active are both great tools for healing anxiety from a toxic relationship. Journaling is also a great way to let out all the pain and anxiety that you’ve been feeling since the end of your relationship. Write down your innermost thoughts and reflect on what you want from life going forward.

    Learn to Love Yourself

    It is important after you’ve left a harmful relationship to build your self-confidence back up. You need the strength to say that a bad relationship is not the best you can do. You deserve amazing things. This is also why self-love is so important.

    When you love someone you want what is best for them. You would never purposely put someone you love in harm’s way, nor would you punish them. Similarly, when you love yourself and act as your own best friend you want to pursue good things, treat yourself well, enjoy your own company and you’ll be in a better spot mentally. The better you are to yourself, the more you will see that being alone is healthier than being in a toxic relationship.

    Pursue Anxiety Relief

    Anxiety causes stress, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, inability to socialize and more. This debilitating issue can affect every aspect of your life. Thus, it is important to learn how to ease anxiety caused by your toxic relationship. Ease your anxiety by getting enough rest, engaging in physical exercise every day, meditating, limiting your caffeine intake, and stay away from harmful triggers such as your ex’s social media accounts.

    Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.

  • Have you ever noticed that sometimes in military life it seems as though every time you turn around someone or something  just keeps getting in the way of your dreams?  It may feel like for every idea you have or action you take there is someone out there telling you it can't be done or how it won't work.  They may even share a suggestion as to how to do it "the right way". After church [...]

    Read more

    As we kick off Mental Health Awareness Month I want to begin with some insight that my son had over the weekend into how social media really steals the joy from our lives. He shares this piece of writing with me and I was struck by how it opened my eyes to the connection between social media and our military mental health. His excerpt highlights the reality of living with the challenges of [...]

    Read more

    I'm inclusive, I reach out to the newcomer, I'm supportive of all military spouses and I love my military life. I'm all of these things; UNTIL I'm not. And today it's been brought to my attention that without realizing it we have once again alienated the male military spouse. Don't see it? Neither did I...that is until today. This morning as I was sharing information on a free military [...]

    Read more

    Last night I attended an event that is part of a week long tradition among the Engineer Regiment. As part of military life and regimental week here on Fort Leonard Wood, military spouse events are as much a part of the weeks powerful lineup as the laying of the wreath ceremony, best sapper competition or the Regimental Ball. And this years Engineer Spouses Night Out didn't disappoint. [...]

    Read more

    Yesterday, after a week away on business, I had the opportunity to do some major people watching at Chicago O'hare. I was exhausted and keeping to myself as I traveled back to my military life when behind me I heard a young couple deep in conversation. I didn't want to eavesdrop, but I couldn't help myself, their conversation was so interesting. To sum it up - sometimes we have to dig really [...]

    Read more

    As a mother of someone in recovery my heart broke today. Not for my son, not for my military family, not even for myself but for every other son and mother out there who continue to fight the beast of addiction. My son was (is - if I'm willing to accept that) addicted to prescription meds and alcohol. Even after 3.5 years of recovery under his belt, I still have a hard time using addict or [...]

    Read more

    As I pour my second cup of coffee I am torn between cursing the fact that I've lost a precious hour of much needed beauty sleep and shouting for joy because spring forward means warmer temperatures are on the way. I should have thought about this whole time change thing last night when we decided ONE more episode (Netflix is like that) because I'm dragging today. And with a mile long to-do [...]

    Read more

    2 of page 31