5 toxic behaviours that you need to say goodbye to

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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For the longest time, certain toxic behaviours have been normalised by our society. But how about ditching them and making little changes? Here’s all you need to know about it!

We live in a society that has laid down certain unwritten rules, which may not be necessarily right for us! What this also means is that there are certain toxic behaviours that are being followed across generations, but may be highly damaging for your mental and emotional health. That’s why it is important to be cognisant, and take a step back to assess if you are following the herd. Yes, a lot of things have been normalised, but it is a good idea to challenge the convention and start somewhere.

With that, let’s understand some toxic behaviours that must be ditched right away! We delve deep into this, with the help of our expert, Preeta Ganguli, a trauma-informed therapist and wellness consultant.

toxic behaviours
It’s better to let go of a toxic romance than to linger on. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here’s what she tells Health Shots, “While we have started to learn a lot of new habits and practices over the past few years or decades, there is still a lot of resistance to these due to past conditioning. It can be difficult to change the way we see something after being used to it for several decades, and especially when it may have been a part of our core beliefs and ideas about ourselves or the world. Having said that, it is important to stay open to new ideas that serve us and our relationships better.”

Say goodbye to these toxic behaviours now:

1. The need to have an ‘always-on’ culture

We live at a time when ‘hustle hard’ is the mantra to succeed. So, if anyone challenges the status quo, they are considered outcasts. Switching off after a certain hour or taking a break from time to time are healthy behaviours, and employees or entrepreneurs must not be bashed for it.

Also, read: You can overcome toxic shame with these 5 tips

This can also apply in the personal sphere, in which case people are expected to respond to their friend’s or acquaintance’s messages instantly. Sometimes, we are not in the right state of mind or require some time for ourselves, which is nothing but respecting your own boundaries. So ladies, don’t feel guilty about it at all!

2. Children and physical touch

How many times have we walked up to a cute kid and squished them hard? Of course, you may think it is harmless to shower your love on the child, but does he/she consent to it? They may find it uncomfortable, which is why checking with them is important. There are also certain instances when a child shows his/her disapproval, but it is labeled ‘unfriendly’. It is time to stop this right away!

toxic behaviours
Sexual violence needs to end. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Hiding or avoiding conflicts

Whether it is a relationship with your partner or a close friendship, it is not healthy to hide or avoid things, because of the fear of conflict. We all have situations when we feel uncomfortable about certain things, but if we do not communicate our true emotions, they will come around in some way or the other, and impact your equation. What’s important is to have a certain approach when you communicate; do not be passive aggressive or show anger. Instead, let people know what you feel without accusing them, or playing the blame game.

Also, read: Why do we always go back to toxic people? Let’s find out

4. Toxic positivity while dealing with grief and adversity

Many times, we come across situations when we don’t know what to tell someone when they are experiencing grief. Upon hearing of someone’s demise, we are quick to say, “Oh, but the person is in a better place”. Or when a close friend is going through any adversity, we think we are trying to make them feel better by saying “but you are strong.” It doesn’t make them feel better; instead, try and use phrases such as “I am here for you” to extend your support.

toxic behaviours
Toxic behaviours can make you emotionally vulnerable. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Adult peer pressure

Walk into any party and if you are spotted sitting without a glass of alcohol, people often label you as ‘uncool’. This applies to other facets of our lifestyle, including sex. To fit into groups, people often mould themselves a certain way, to seem likeable to others. This is even when they are particularly uncomfortable. Stay firm about what you feel, and do as you please. Because as they say, kuch toh log kahenge!

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