Can toxic relationships affect your health?
Stress from a toxic relationship should have its own disease named after it, its that common. The hardest thing? Getting out of it. You become so emotionally attached to this person who is treating you badly that you feel like you're their only hope to overcoming the shitty person that they are, and so you put up with it in an attempt to help them. That burden, stress and emotional neglect can really take a huge bite out of your health and leave you with all sorts of nasty symptoms.
When you are with the person, or after you are with the person, do you feel any of the following most of the time (or more than half of the time?)
- Controlled or trapped and unable to get out
- Anxious in their presence
- Physically or emotionally drained of energy.
- Feel like you're the bad guy - because they are always blaming and turning things on you
- Like you are always giving without getting anything back, or the other person is always taking without giving back to you.
- Shunned, an outsider, or otherwise not accepted for who you are.
- Isolated from friends, family, or others who are supportive of you, because the person doesn’t want you to be around those people.
- Emotionally or physically unsafe or injured.
Don't get me wrong, this doesn't have to be your partner, spouse, husband/wife - this can be someone who challenges you emotionally on a daily basis - your daughter/son, your sister/brother, your boss - anyone who makes you feel like you're worthless, and makes you frustrated on a regular occasion could be the culprit of your health deterioration.
The science behind stress caused by a toxic relationship can have all sorts of impacts on your hormonal health, blood sugar, digestion - this can lead to weight gain that won't go away, acne, eczema, irregular periods, mood-swings, PMS - and all this can lead to more permanent issues such as chronic disease.
Stress that is caused over a long period of time can cause the inflammation in the body to become uncontrollable, leaving you feeling not only emotionally empty, but unhealthy, unhappy and out of touch with your body. I remember distinctly going through this myself, and I would blame every other reason for it. "The Pill" was a big victim of blame in my life. However, looking back and connecting the dots to why my health got out of control has really shed light on the events leading up to my health decline.
So how do you take back control of your health? I'll list a few options.
- Remove the toxic culprit - take a stride of faith, for your own health, and get rid of that person from your life, once and for all.
- Create boundaries, communicate, and let this toxic person become aware of how they are making you feel. It doesn't hurt to try it, although we may feel awkward, the outcome could be very rewarding.
- Find ways of managing the stress, take deep inhales and exhales, smile more often, meditate and practice yoga, and try and stay away from the toxic person as much as possible. Another idea is to write a gratitude journal daily about everything you are thankful for, even things as small as "I am thankful for my comfy bed I get to sleep in every night that keeps me warm" - it can also be as silly as "I am thankful for sun coming out today and making my day more productive" - make it relevant to your life and what you appreciate.
- Talk to somebody else about your problems, a therapist, a friend, a family member. Let that build up of emotion out in the wild.
- Re-create a friendship group/tribe that supports you and loves you for who you are. Surrounding yourself with negative, toxic people will only bring you down and eventually change the way you act, your attitude, your happiness, and your life.
I know its hard, but try your best to exit this toxic relationship. It is causing more inflammation, more problems and an increase in the potential of chronic disease. You deserve more and you know it. Take back the control and put your health and happiness first. You will see the results almost immediately after ditching the toxins.
Hope you enjoyed this article ladies. More to come.
Love as always,