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Signs You’re in a Toxic Emotional Environment

A toxic environment drains our emotional energy. It can leave us feeling stressed or anxious, deflating our overall quality of life and happiness. And before we dive into this further, this needs to be stated: everyone has bad days and conflict here or there.

This is a completely natural part of life.

But if you’re constantly dodging negativity or bullying in your home or workplace, this is a problem that you 100% want to address.

Yet, how do you know it’s even happening to you? Are you really working or living in a toxic environment? And if you are, what can you do about it? We’re about to find out.

Are You in a Toxic Emotional Environment?

Signs of a Toxic Work Environment

Mondays can be a bit of a drag, especially if you feel you didn’t get too much of a break or reset on your weekend. And yes, it’s perfectly normal to hate your job (and this is probably a sign you should start looking for a new one).

But, a toxic work environment is so much more than just dreading Mondays or hating your job.

In a toxic work environment, you might notice bullying, high competition, low morale, negativity, and a high turnover rate or co-workers taking tons of sick days. And all of this can greatly impact your mental health–even leading to burnout.

Here are a few more tell-tale signs:

  • Your workplace lacks good communication.
  • Your workplace or office has cliques and gossip constantly.
  • You have a micromanager as a boss.
  • Your co-workers aren’t inspired or motivated (and maybe neither are you).
  • There is no room to grow.
  • There is a high turnover rate.
  • You’re expected to work at all hours of the day and night.

Do any of these sound familiar?

If you checked off more than a few of these signs, it’s time to start figuring out how to deal with these toxic emotions so that your physical and mental health doesn’t take a hit.

Signs of a Toxic Home Environment

Dysfunctional families can leave a lasting impact on the individuals that are part of them. Often, family is supposed to foster caring, support, and protection. Yet, feeling fear, anxiety, stress, and negativity amongst your family members can be a sure-fire sign that something toxic is amidst.

So, what exactly indicates a toxic home environment?

  • You feel neglected and invisible.
  • There is constant pressure.
  • You might feel used or like you’re being taken advantage of.
  • You feel trapped.
  • When issues are brought up, it ends up being about them, or they play the victim.
  • Your boundaries are disrespected.
  • Others are convinced they are always right.
  • You’re constantly met with ultimatums.

In reality, these situations or actions above actually breed abusive behaviors and mental health destruction. It can really weigh you down, guiding you further from your life goals and from general life satisfaction.

Luckily, there is something you can do about all of this.

Read this next: How to Recognize & Recover From Burnout

How to Deal With Toxic Emotions

When it comes down to it, you can’t control others. The good news here is that you do have the power to control yourself (and this truly is an incredible power to acknowledge and use to the best of your ability).

Additionally, in some situations, it might not be entirely possible to up and leave your job right away. You might need to find a new one before quitting your current one due to financial security. It might also not be possible to just up and leave your family members or a toxic relationship.

So, let’s get down to exactly what you can do to deal with and process these toxic emotions so that they don’t constantly interfere with your life and what you want.

Step 1: Understand Your Feelings

It can be hard to fully comprehend how we feel sometimes or where these feelings are arising from. Thus, it’s important to truly get to the bottom of why you’re feeling the way you are.

To do this, write out how you feel. Then, add what might be causing these feelings. Sometimes, it’s a combination of factors. Other times, it’s just one problem or issue.

When you pinpoint the cause (or causes), you can alter your thoughts around them. At the end of the day, you control your thoughts, and your thoughts control your feelings. Thus, you are in total and complete control here.

Step 2: Make Changes Where You Can

Living your best life is truly about doing the best you can. This, again, often comes down to what’s within your control.

Maybe you have an option to say “no” to that extra work project. Or perhaps you can improve communication between you and your toxic family member.

A toxic environment doesn’t have to rule your life. You can make changes and make your life what you want it to be. Determine where you have this control, then use it!

Step 3: Let Out Those Emotions

Keeping our feelings pent up doesn’t do any of us any good. And recognizing what’s causing your emotional turbulence or making necessary changes can still be very stressful.

Thus, this all comes down to finding healthy ways to release these emotions so that you experience less frustration and less negativity. Try these:

  • Regular exercise
  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing
  • Progressive relaxation
  • Actively looking for “fun” opportunities in your life
  • Talking with a friend

These exercises and activities above can help you feel less overwhelmed and set you up for more positive emotions.

Ideally, everyone should have a list of go-to’s for themselves when they are feeling stressed, negative, or overwhelmed. This can help prevent you from falling down the rabbit hole of negativity and keeping the steering wheel in your hands.

Rid Your Life of Toxicity

Toxic emotions aren’t easy to deal with. But when you become an expert at not only shielding yourself from them but also finding ways to cope with them, you become unstoppable.

Don’t permit others to make you feel bad when you know you’re doing your best.

Lean into the positive, find useful ways to cope, and become better from it. Shed those layers and only let in the energy you want in your life. When you do this, you always win.

Read next: Why Toxic Positivity is Harmful for Your Mental Health

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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