Chronic toxicity is different than what most people consider to be “toxic behaviour.” Negativity is toxic, in the purest sense of the word. But what I want to talk about is the repetitive kind of negativity that slowly whittles away everything that makes you, you. It’s called chronic toxicity, and while the definition might come from a medical standpoint, it clearly applies to a few different perspectives as well.
Chronic toxicity is defined as, “the ability of a substance or mixture of substances to cause harmful effects over an extended period, usually upon repeated or continuous exposure, sometimes lasting for the entire life of the exposed organism.” Sound familiar? If you’ve experienced being in the company of someone who drains you, angers you, or pushes your mind to the limits of it’s stress regulators, then yes, this will sound familiar to you. And while many of us might be living with this constantly, what you might not be aware of, is how much damage this is really doing to you.
So let’s talk about it, shall we? Being around someone for a few minutes who is overly-negative is bearable. Mostly because it is only for a short while, and we can all relate to having a bad day and just needing to vent. Being around someone who is constantly negative, and with whom you are in constant contact with however, can start to change your brain, your physical health, and your desires. In essence, it can change you.
I know life isn’t always rainbows and sunshine; sometimes we face challenges which make us worry, stress, and fear the outcome. That’s one of the many blessings of life- growing beautiful flowers from the seeds of opportunity. It’s important to keep in mind, the seeds may look different for everyone, but what you grow from them is what you put your attention (and intention) into. Flowers or weeds, the choice is yours.
Will you let the chronic toxicity in your life change your goals, your dreams, your outlook, your vision, and your very being?
We all have a choice: follow or lead. Follow along the path of discontentment, or lead the way to a brighter tomorrow. If you are feeling like you are losing yourself, or if you are doubting your dreams- stop. Take a look around you. Who are you letting influence you so deeply?
There are a few steps to avoiding chronic toxicity in your life:
- Recognize the source. After your understand where it is coming from, you can work on the next step.
- Accept. Negate. Move on. Accept that the individual is feeling negative. Maybe they are going through something you have no idea about, maybe they are really suffering on the inside. Or maybe they aren’t. Either way, allow them to be whatever they want to be. Negate their behaviour with a smile, or a pleasant nod, or however you are comfortable expressing yourself in a neutral/positive way. Finally, move on. Remove yourself from their presence, and if you can’t, listen to headphones or immerse yourself in your imagination.
- Create your space. After you’ve done what you can to alleviate the chronic toxicity in your life, create your space. Give yourself 15 minutes a day to intentionally breathe, and reflect on the good things in your life. This is space and time for you, and you alone. This is when you can let go of all those icky feelings and negative lumps of goo. Consider it a chemical shower to wash off all the toxic vibes you’ve been surrounded by all day.
I recommend you watch this video by Prince EA. It’s a beautiful education on how the people we surround ourselves with can affect us.
By Raven Fon