How Toxic Relationship Affects Your Health?
Relationships can be one hell of a journey. Often, when reminiscing on past relationships we tend to dwell on the hurt we suffered. Other times we may attribute the best moments of our lives to the time spent with that person. We can agree that the balance between what we have learned and the pain we have felt was equal, and somewhat beneficial, to our growth as individuals.
Nonetheless, it can be deducted from all the stories we’ve heard about “relationships gone bad” that the effects of toxic relationships can negatively and permanently affect the health and wellness of the people involved.
When the love turns sour, should we choose to stay because we’ve become comfortable in that relationship?
The Impact On Our Physical Health
Our romantic relationships have a greater impact on our mental and physical health than we give them credit for. Often, the participants in toxic relationships are aware of the problems they face. However, they are often more than willing to “work it out” for the sake of not losing the love they’ve taken so long to nurture. In doing this, we condone the toxic behaviors of our partners. We may even try to convince ourselves that they do what they do out of love.
The focus, however, remains on the idea of comfort and its ability to manipulate us into believing we would be better off enduring mental and emotional abuse. It is necessary that we remain aware of the implications of unhealthy relationships so as to better understand their effects on our bodies and know just when we should let go of these relationships. Emotionally-abusive relationships are one of the leading contributors to stress and stress-related symptoms identified in millennials and there have been many studies conducted that have only proven the extent of the negative effects unsavory relationships have on the human body.
According to the Whitehall II study, participants whose first close personal relationship was negative were at a greater risk of a cardiac event, including a fatal cardiac arrest. Relatedly, the emotional abuse stemming from a toxic relationship could very well influence sleeping and eating disorders, substance abuse, as well as self-harm practices. Studies have shown its ability to also have lasting effects on the abused party’s mental state, triggering anxiety attacks and depression.
Toxic Relationship and Its Effects on Mental and Physical Health
Awareness of toxic relationship patterns is the first step to understanding the effects a toxic partner may have on your health. The range of ailments that may affect you as a result of a negative relationship varies. It simply doesn’t stop at headaches. According to an article published on Psychology Today by Susanne Babbel (Ph.D.), the effects of emotional trauma transcend beyond the mental. It can affect us physically.
Studies have found that the more anxious and stressed people are, the tenser and more constricted their muscles are. Over time, this causes the muscles to become fatigued and inefficient. Nonetheless, the pain caused by emotional stress and trauma as a result of toxic relationships doesn’t stop there. Individuals are at risk of suffering from a variety of physical and mental ailments at the hand of their partner’s toxicity.
How do we begin to get over lost loves, out of comfort zones, and open up to the prospect of physical and mental rehabilitation after being with someone who had promised you “forever”?
Understanding that we deserve more may be a difficult concept to grasp after being in a toxic relationship. Perhaps the hardest thing to do is to let go of that relationship and the person because of “history”. Nonetheless, there are steps you can take towards breaking out of this comfort zone.
How To Get Out Of A Toxic Relationship
- Step 1: Identify the type of relationship you are in. Ask yourself, when you are with this person, or after you are with this person, do you feel physically or emotionally drained? Do you feel bad about yourself? Do you feel emotionally or physically unsafe, or fearful? If your answer is yes, then consider disassociating and letting go of that person and that situation.
- Step 2: Create a healthy mental space within the comfort of your own thoughts. You may not be physically or emotionally prepared to leave the relationship or confront your partner immediately. You can begin to cultivate an awareness of your situation. This helps to strengthen your mental and emotional resolve.
- Step 3: If step 2 isn’t what works for you, don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help. There are perhaps thousands of other individuals who are facing the same problems as you. Talk to someone, express your pain, and find like bodies willing to help you grow.
- Step 4: Believe that you deserve to be treated with respect, love, and compassion. We choose to remain in unhealthy relationships for a number of reasons. One common one is underlying low self-esteem that makes some people believe that they don’t deserve the world. This kind of change in thinking, however, may not come easily. It may require professional support from an objective third party, such as a counselor or a life coach.
- Step 5: Separate yourself from the toxicity. This may be difficult to achieve but over time, the concept of letting go becomes a part of our routine. Holding on to toxic behaviors is inevitably detrimental to our health and the same goes for toxic people.
The effects of a toxic romantic relationship extend far beyond simply being emotionally hurt. It is up to you to take care of yourself. Never mind being told that love comes with never-ending pain. At the end of it all, letting go of a toxic relationship does not amount to losing anything. You can only truly lose that which added value and created boundless joy. Step out of that comfort zone, detox your love life, and love YOU just a little bit more.
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