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By Heather Edwards - Guest Blogger

As I sit down to write this blog, I'm struck by three common themes in conversations with clients, family, and friends. Most of us have clarity about how we want to feel - happy, free, grounded. But instead, we end up frustrated, overwhelmed, and burdened. We get stuck and confused about how to internalize fleeting positivity in an enduring way. 

In the quest for the seemingly elusive states of calm and life satisfaction, several common toxins manifest. But you can change them! Or better, clear them out. 

Take stock of your life and notice which ones prevent you from living fully. Here are the top four culprits. It may be time for a cleanse.

Toxic Relationships:

Let’s face it: Relationships of all sorts - friendships, family, and colleagues - can become toxic. Judgments, opinions, and expectations can kill camaraderie. Is there someone in your life who limits you? Do you feel boxed in when you’re with them?

Mind you, this is their box, not yours. When you notice a constriction rather than expansion of your ideas and actions, you’re probably in a toxic relationship. Your gut feeling can be the purest read of your interactions. 

Replace Negative With Positive:

Consider ways to shift the negative energy of unhealthy relationships by setting boundaries, saying what you want, or even cutting ties.

Be with the people who support you, believe in you, accept, and encourage you. Imagine what life would be like if nobody stood in your way.  

Toxic Beliefs:

How are you getting in your own way? When you listen closely to your internal monologue you might hear, “I can't do it. I might fail. It’s too hard. I’m not strong enough, smart enough, or pretty enough.” Move toward your power, not away from it. 

Say hello to fear, doubt, and uncertainty. Challenge it. 

Replace it with power thoughts. Be a bitch (or the equivalent) and kick it to the curb! You don't deserve to fall prey to the negative thinking. You can do anything you want to do. It begins with believing you are capable, worthy, and enough.

Toxic Over-Commitment:

Guilty as charged!

I've experienced all four of these toxins in my life, but this is the one I struggle with most. We all complain that there's too much on our plate. We’re over obligated and sometimes over responsible.  

C’mon! When you already have a meat, grain, vegetable, fruit, and dash of dairy on your plate, you don't need more potatoes!

So take a breath. Step back. Evaluate the big picture. Even at the risk of letting someone down, start removing the extra beans. Prioritize. When you're overextended, you won't be successful in any of your commitments. Instead, you’ll be bloated and tired. 

How many of these four toxins exist in your life? When you mindfully notice the myriad of distractions, limitations, and influences in your life that get in your way, you can honestly evaluate what serves you well and what doesn't. 

Give yourself permission to say “no”, set boundaries, and make room for change.

You’ll be happy you did.  

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This piece was a contribution by guest blogger, Heather Edwards, MA, LMHC, who is a therapist and life coach located in New York City. She can be reached for consultation at: 347-515-3966

www.NewYorkPsychotherapyandLifeCoaching.com

Follow me on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/nyctherapy

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