1. Reset your energy.
Take a step back and think about the attention and focus you’re giving the things and people in your life. When you wake up, what’s the first thought that crosses your mind? Are you stressing about interactions/confrontations from yesterday? Are you thinking about the list of items you have to do and feeling pressured or overwhelmed before you even begin? Or are you reminding yourself that today is new?
Sometimes toxicity becomes pressing when we give it the space to grow in our everyday lives. Instead of allowing these negative emotions to suck your available energy, see if you can shift your focus from yesterday to the present moment. See if you can wake yourself up with a forward-thinking mindset, encouraged to meet your daily goals, rather than burdened by them. See if you can start each day completely over, removing any guilt, shame, frustration, or anxiousness from earlier moments to refocus on where you are right now.
2. Stop unproductive conversations in their tracks.
Take a look at your daily conversations—with yourself, coworkers, family, friends, even strangers—what are the topics you dive into? Are these idle chats, small talk, deep confessions? And when you speak, are you speaking positively about yourself and others? Or are you falling into debilitating inner monologues or gossip?
So much toxicity is removed from our lives when we acknowledge the kinds of conversations we’re having. When we note that something is going in a negative direction (i.e. complaining, talking down to ourselves, gossiping) our best and foolproof solution is to just stop. Stop right there in that moment. Stop saying hurtful things. Stop overthinking. Stop talking about people to just talk. When we note and halt our toxic conversations, we make room for more positivity, healing, and growth within our personal relationships.
3. Listen to your inner voice.
One of the most frustrating things about being human is that we each have a conscience…and yet we’re so prone to not listen to it. We’ll have a gut feeling and completely ignore it. We’ll feel a certain way and brush it off.
But when it comes to toxicity in our lives, we must listen to that inner voice. It’s crucial that we acknowledge when moments, people, relationships, thoughts, ideas, environments etc. don’t sit well with our hearts and minds. We have to pay attention to the energy we’re receiving, and the energy we feel compelled to put out in return. If we aren’t happy, satisfied, challenged, inspired, content, pushed, loved, or any other emotion that is inherently good and productive—then something is off.
One of the (in principle) easiest ways to remove toxicity is to listen to what you’re feeling, thinking, and experiencing and pull away from what isn’t sitting well or making sense.
4. Look within yourself.
Ask yourself this question: Am I the toxic person? Think about the aura you present to the world, the way you interact with others, the environments you find yourself in, the words that come out of your mouth, the actions that you present—are all of these things aligned to the person you want to be and become? Are you treating other people with kindness and respect? Are you giving your best self to the things and people in your life? Are you happy?
And don’t worry, you’re not expected to be perfect and positive all the time. But sometimes the best way to remove toxicity is to look within and see if, perhaps, you’re the one causing it to manifest.
If you find that you are the one complaining, talking bad about others, getting caught up in abusive relationships, chasing the wrong things—then empower yourself to change that behavior. Empower yourself to be simply better than you were yesterday, and then continue each day with that mindset until you feel renewed.
5. Let go.
This is easier said than done, but toxicity is removed when you accept that there are things/people/moments/circumstances/relationships that you cannot control. And this is okay. Come to terms with your (essential) powerlessness to the universe, but understand your central role in what happens to you. Know that you can’t change people or fate, but that you can change how you react to situations, how you move forward, and most importantly, how you let go.
In order to grow, oftentimes you have to let go—of the painful, of the things that aren’t building you, of the people and environments that are holding you back.
Let go of what you can’t change, can’t fix, can’t save and make room for ways you can become a better version of yourself by focusing your attention on other things. The process of letting go is not easy, but is extremely rewarding. When you let go, you choose to both remove toxicity and to heal.