10 Signs You Should Detox Your Life

10 Signs You Should Detox Your Life

By Tina Tessina, DivineCaroline

Many of my clients come in with complaints about personal habits that  feel  toxic in their lives. Just as you can detox your body when you’re  feeling  sluggish, it’s also possible to detox your emotional life. Here  are some of the  most common ways your life can back up on you, and how  to handle it.

1. Frequently late

The cure to lateness is twofold: learn to estimate time better, and  get more  organized, so you are not delayed by looking for last minute  items. Perhaps the  most important reason to cure yourself of lateness is  that it is rude to  others, and costs you their good opinion. If your  partner is late, stop  waiting! Set a reasonable grace period (eg:15  minutes) and then leave without  the other person, leaving a note about  how to meet you wherever you’re going.  That way, you are not forced to  operate on the other person’s time schedule.  You’ll be surprised at how  quickly he or she will learn to be on time.

2. Often angry or irritated

Being easily angered or irritated is a great way to punish yourself.  It  raises your blood pressure, and tends to create unnecessary problems  with  others. Anger interferes with clear thinking, and being irritable  makes it  unpleasant and difficult for others to work or socialize with  you. To reform  this habit, you must develop more emotional maturity.  Understand that your  anger is not seen as power by others, but as  childishness and petulance. It  will lose you far more than you will  gain. Learn to slow down, and reduce your  overly high expectations.  Allow others to be themselves, and don’t expect them  to march to your  drum. Counting to 10 works wonders, as does taking three deep  breaths  when you are upset.

Taking up yoga, meditation, tai chi, or another calming pursuit will  teach  you patience. Strenuous physical activity is a great way to burn  off excess  anger. If none of these work, see a therapist or join an anger management  group.

3. Unsure of ability to do something

Insecurity and feelings of incompetence are definitely stressful,  but they  may also be useful. Find out if you really are unprepared for  the task ahead.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or ask for help. It’s  OK to be a beginner,  even if you’re an expert in other things. If you  don’t try to pretend you’re  better than you are, you will get more help  from others. Take it slowly, and  allow yourself to learn as you go.  Above all, be supportive to yourself, and  don’t subject yourself to  harsh internal criticism.

4. Overextended

Frequently becoming overextended can be a sign of  grandiosity—overblown  expectations of your abilities—or of trying to  control everything. Reduce your  expectations of your own  accomplishments, and allow others to help you in their  own way. In the  long run, being a team player is usually more efficient than  trying to  do it all alone and becoming overwhelmed.

5. Not enough time for stress relief

This is an extension of being overextended, and may be a sign that  you  always come last in your own life. Learn to schedule time for  yourself to relax  and to play. If you write personal time on your  schedule the same way you do  appointments with others, you’ll be more  likely to actually do it. Join a class  or group that meets regularly for  a relaxing activity such as dancing,  stretching or meditation, or  schedule a regular massage, manicure or facial, so  you’ll have a  guaranteed place to relax.

6. Feeling unbearably tense

If your anxiety is this high, you may need therapy.  Anxiety and panic  attacks are among the easiest things to fix in  counseling sessions. You are  probably running non-stop negative  self-talk, which keeps you anxious about  everything. Try affirmations  and/or prayer to counteract the running commentary  in your mind. Learn  to breathe deeply from your diaphragm when you feel  anxious—it slows  your heartbeat and calms you down.

7. Frequently pessimistic

A negative attitude is a result of negative self-talk, and of a  negative  attitude probably learned in childhood. There are many  self-help books which  will guide you in learning to change the nature of  your approach to life.  Techniques such as prayer and affirmations,  counting your blessings, and  setting small goals every day will help you  turn this around.

8. Upset by conflicts with others

All conflict is upsetting. The key is to reduce the amount of  conflict in  your life. Many of the above techniques, such as anger  reduction and positive  self_talk, will contribute to improving your  relationships with others. In  addition, you can learn better social  techniques such as active listening,  positive regard, win-win  negotiation and clear communication which will  eliminate the source of  conflict. Learn to listen to others (even when you  don’t agree) and,  before speaking, consider how your words might feel to the  other person.  Treat other people more as you would like them to treat you, and,  most  important, stop and think before reacting to someone else.

9. Worn-out or burned-out

Burnout is the result of feeling overextended or ineffective for a  long  period of time. Most of us can deal with small amounts of  frustration or  feeling overwhelmed, but if it goes on too long, we lose  all our motivation,  and become burned out. Motivation comes from  celebration and appreciation, so  learn to celebrate each little  accomplishment, and seek appreciation when you  need it. If you have  trouble doing that, perhaps it’s time to make a career  change or to  change some other aspect of your life.

10. Feeling lonely

Loneliness may not result from actually being alone, but more from  feeling  misunderstood or not valued. People often isolate themselves  because they feel  inadequate in social situations. Value the friends you  do have, and make new  friends by attending classes or other group  events where you can focus on a  task or assignment. This will take the  pressure off your contact with other  people, and give you something in  common with them. Be wary of spending too  much time on your computer, in  chat rooms, etc. These activities absorb time,  but do little to dispel  loneliness. Make sure you schedule some time with a  friend at least once  a week, and if you don’t have friends, then use that  weekly time to  take a class or join a group (for example, a book club or sports  group )  which will give you a chance to make new friends.

(Adapted from It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction.)