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.
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.
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