May 2024

10 signs of a toxic relationship in couples

10 Signs of a Toxic Relationship in Couples

What is a Toxic Relationship? Toxic relationships can affect your emotional, mental and physical well-being. Understanding what a toxic relationship is the first step in recognizing if you’re in one so that you can start to regain your emotional, mental and physical health. In the plainest of terms, a toxic relationship is a relationship that is detrimental to your well-being and health. It often involves patterns of behavior from your partner that are mentally, emotionally, and sometimes even physically damaging. Toxic relationships can occur in any context, including romantic partnerships, friendships, and within family. Recognizing these unhealthy behaviors is crucial for protecting your holistic health from toxicity. What is a Toxic Person? A toxic person is someone whose behavior negatively impacts others. They may exhibit manipulative, controlling, or abusive behaviors – this can include verbal, mental or physical abuse – that undermine the other person’s sense of self-worth and happiness. They are constantly creating drama and you often feel like you’re walking on eggshells trying not to set them off. Recognizing these behaviors can help you identify if someone in your life is toxic. These people fail to take responsibility for their actions, often manipulate and lie while consistently placing their needs and wants above everyone else’s. What are the 10 Signs of a Toxic Relationship? 1. Constant Criticism: – Toxic partners often engage in constant criticism, belittling your efforts, appearance, weight, personality and opinions. This negative loop can lower your self-esteem and make you feel like you’re not good enough. Examples: Whenever you cook a meal, your partner always finds something wrong with it, saying something like, “You can never cook this right,” or “Why do you always mess up simple dishes?” They always berate you for your opinion: “That is the dumbest thing you’ve ever said. I can’t believe that you’re this naive and stupid.” They attack your looks: “If you started working out, you’d be more attractive to me.” 2. Lack of Support: In a toxic relationship, your goals, interests, and achievements are often disparaged or belittled. Your partner may show little interest in your passions or they might downplay your successes, making you feel unsupported and unworthy. Examples: You tell your partner about getting promoted at work, and they say, “But you didn’t get a salary increase so the promotion is worthless” or even, “You got it? Was everyone else busy?” People who do this are often unhappy with their own lives, so they lash out at others; especially their partners. 3. Jealousy and Possessiveness: Someone who displays alarming forms of jealousy and possessiveness can limit your freedom and isolate you from your support systems. This might include constant questioning of where you are at all times, always needing to accompany you anywhere you go, checking your emails, texts and other forms of communication, or purposefully keeping you from seeing your friends and family. Examples: Your partner is always checking your phone, always has to know who you’re talking to, gets angry and guilt trips you if you spend time with your loved ones without them present. This can lead you to isolate and distance yourself from others and drop activities you used to enjoy due to your partner’s unreasonable demands. 4. Manipulation: Emotional manipulation involves controlling your emotions through lies, guilt, or other manipulative tactics. Oftentimes this will make you walk on eggshells and reduce your sense of independence because your toxic partner is making you doubt your decisions. Examples: Your partner makes you feel guilty for wanting to visit your loved ones, saying things like, “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t leave me alone.” or, “You hung out with your friends a couple of days ago, why do you need to see them today? You’re always prioritizing others over me.” Actions like this can make you feel trapped in the relationship. 5. Controlling Behavior: Along with manipulation above, a toxic partner can show controlling behavior by dictating what you wear, how you talk and who you talk to, and how you spend your time. Their need for control can make you feel small and create a power imbalance in the relationship. Examples: Controlling behavior can take on many forms. Your partner insists on approving your outfits before you leave the house and often disparages them – they’re either too skimpy or too frumpy; you can never get it right. Or they insist that you do all the cooking and chores in a specific way. They also get angry if you make plans without their approval, saying things like, “You need to ask me first before deciding on anything.” 6. Blame-Shifting: Refusing to take responsibility for their actions and blaming you for everything is another common sign of a toxic relationship. This behavior over time, can make you feel guilty and responsible for their behavior, even when it’s not your fault. Examples: After they lose their temper and yell at you, your partner says it’s your fault for “getting them riled up” and that you should have known better than to give them attitude. 7. Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where the toxic partner makes you question your own sanity and reality. Your toxic partner might deny things you’ve witnessed, twist your words, purposely deny things that they’ve said to you, or make you feel overly sensitive or irrational when they hurt your feelings. Examples: Your partner insists that a conversation you know took place never happened, or they claim that you’re “imagining things” when you bring up concerns. This can also manifest in them telling you that “you can’t take a joke” and then getting mad at you when they intentionally hurt your feelings. 8. Purposefully Picking Fights: You and your partner’s frequent arguments that are nothing but drama are another red flag sign of toxic relationships in couples. These arguments often leave you feeling emotionally drained and stressed, without any positive outcomes because they keep happening – often about the same things. It also feels like your partner

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Wellness Practices That Won’t Cost You A Dime

Wellness Practices That Won’t Cost You A Dime

What Does Wellness Mean? Before diving into wellness practices that won’t cost you a dime, let’s figure out what wellness means. You’ve probably seen phrases like well-being, self-care and wellness being thrown around without fully knowing what the difference is between any of them. In a nutshell, wellness is a fully rounded approach to living that encompasses a wide spectrum of practices that improve our mental, physical, emotional and environmental well-being. From achieving a healthy but balanced diet to staying physically active to practicing mindfulness and meditation, wellness is really about improvement in all areas of our lives. Taking care of yourself is self-love, and wellness practices are the cornerstone of self-care and well-being. How to Improve Wellness Without Spending A Dime? In today’s fast-moving world, prioritizing wellness usually takes a back seat amid our busy schedules. Oftentimes, we want to prioritize wellness but we run into financial constraints or feel that we don’t have enough money to pursue activities that we think will improve our lives. Here’s the thing: enhancing our well-being doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, below are many simple yet effective wellness practices that won’t cost you a penny, a dime or whatever other physical currency you’re used to. Read on for the full wellness list: Wellness at Work Ideas Mindfulness in the workplace: Take quick breaks throughout the workday and engage in mindfulness practices. Engaging in breathwork like simple deep breathing or quick meditations can reduce work related stress and increase focus. Stay Hydrated: Keep a reusable water bottle at your desk; set an alarm to take sips if you have trouble remembering to drink water. Prioritizing staying hydrated throughout the day can help you maintain prime energy levels and promote mental clarity while reducing head fog. Move around: Incorporate movement into your work day routine by opting to take the stairs during breaks or walks, stretch at your desk, and go for a brisk walk during lunch breaks to combat sedentary behavior and boost circulation throughout the body to improve mood. Express Gratitude: Cultivate a culture of gratitude by expressing appreciation for your co-workers, people who serve you food, and for your accomplishments and challenges. This helps foster a positive work environment and improves overall morale. If you dislike your workplace, practicing gratitude for the small things that you do like makes life more bearable and makes getting through the workday easier. Mental Health Wellness Activities       Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion by treating yourself with the same understanding you would offer to a friend. Instead of admonishing yourself when you made a mistake at work or in a social setting, tell yourself “it’s alright, it can happen to anyone, it’s not a big deal”, instead of obsessing over what went wrong. Connect with Nature: Take time to spend outdoors, whether by taking a quick stroll around your house or by sitting in your backyard or balcony to catch some Vitamin D. You don’t have to take hours-long hikes to reap the mental health benefits of nature like reduced stress levels and better mental clarity (unless taking hikes is your thing – this is encouraged too!) Journal every day: Sit down each day to write down and express your thoughts and feelings into a notebook. Writing down our daily experiences provides a healthy outlet for self-expression and introspection that can help us remove mental baggage that’s been hounding us. Journaling is also another great and cheap way of practicing mindfulness. Volunteer for wellness: Engage in acts of kindness by volunteering your time and skills to support others in need like at an animal shelter or a senior citizen home. Volunteering is a great way of decentering yourself by putting others’ needs before yourself and can foster a sense of purpose and fulfillment that we don’t get in our everyday lives. Social Wellness Practices Cultivate Meaningful Relationships: Put in time and effort in creating meaningful connections with your family, friends and pets. Developing strong social ties with our loved ones is essential for our emotional well-being and can help in battling off depression. Practice Active Listening: Truly listen to others without judgment or interruption and take time to thoughtfully respond if you’re being asked for advice; tread carefully. Active listening and learning to read subtext encourages deeper connections and understanding in your relationships with your loved ones. Engage in Social Activities: Participate in group activities, attend community events and clubs, or anything else that feeds your interests. Doing this raises opportunities for socialization and camaraderie beyond your current friendship circle and can open your mind to other interests that can make you happy. Set Boundaries with People: Establish healthy boundaries in your relationships in order to maintain a sense of respect that ensures that your needs are met while respecting the needs of others. Physical Wellness Practices       Exercise Regularly: Improve your cardiovascular health and boost your mood at the same time! Incorporating regular physical activity, whether it’s a quick walk or a longer hike, practicing yoga or Pilates (Youtube offers great tutorials on both), dancing to music in your bedroom, is a great way to move your body while getting physically and mentally healthy in the process without spending a dime on wellness. Prioritize Sleep: Make sure you get enough sleep at night by practicing good sleep hygiene habits, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a chill bedtime routine. When you implement effective sleep hygiene habits into your nightly routine, you’ll wake up more refreshed and energized – ready to take on the day. Eat Nourishing Foods: Try to eat a balanced diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins to fuel your body with essential minerals and vitamins. Incorporating wholesome foods into your meals and snacks,not only supports your health by keeping you fuller throughout the day, but boosts your energy levels and betters your mood over time. Practice Good Posture: Whether you’re sitting or standing

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41 Deep Questions to ask friends when bored

Deep Questions to Ask Your Friends When Bored

Get to know your friends on a deeper level and gauge boredom Feeling bored? Out of things to talk about? Or, just interested in good, meaningful conversation starters? Whatever the reason, you’re looking to learn more about your friends or ways to get to know anyone better. One way to ignite interesting conversations and deepen your bond with your friends is by asking thought-provoking questions. Why Asking Deep, Meaningful Questions Matters: Asking deep questions breaks the monotony of small talk by fostering intimacy amongst friends; it’s the difference between nurturing close friendships versus staying acquaintances. By delving into profound topics, we uncover new facets of each other’s personalities and strengthen the fabric of our friendships. In this article, we’ve curated a list of 50 deep questions to ask your friends when bored or for those moments when you’re looking to engage in meaningful dialogue with anyone. Questions To Ask Friends To Connect On A Deeper Level 1. What is your biggest fear, and how do you cope with it? Why it’s a great question: Whether it’s disappointing people we care about or something else, understanding how your friends navigate fear reveals a lot about their coping mechanisms; who knows? You might find great advice among their answers and can apply it to your anxieties in your own life. 2. What was that one pivotal moment that changed the course of your life forever? Why it’s a great question: Learning about defining moments like experiencing love and heartbreak for the first time, buying our first home or death of a loved one allows us to understand our friends’ journeys and the experiences that shaped them. 3. What are some wellness strategies you use to feel happier in life? Why it’s a great question: Learning how our friends cope with life can help us shift our perspective on letting go of things that make us unhappy. The wellness practice of gratitude for example, fosters a deeper appreciation for life’s blessings big or small. 4. What legacy do you hope to leave behind? Why it’s a great question: Reflecting on our legacies encourages us to live with intention and make a positive impact on the world. 5. What separates a true friend from an acquaintance for you? Why it’s a great question: By understanding the qualities that define genuine connections, you learn what your friend(s) values the most. Whether that’s trust, loyalty, or something else you gain insight about what matters. You might even learn how to be a better friend. 6. What is your earliest childhood memory, and how does it shape your perspective today? Why it’s a great question: Memories from childhood offer perspective into our friends’ formative years and how they influenced their present selves. Questions that Explore Your Friends’ Fears and Aspirations: 7. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? Why it’s a great question: Asking what your friends would change about the world offers insight into their values and aspirations. By understanding their vision of the world, we gain perspective on their priorities and concerns. 8. If you could have dinner with any past or present figure, who would it be and why? Why it’s a great question: Which historical or current figure a friend would choose to have dinner with gives you insight into their interests and values. This very popular question sparks convo on the impact of famous figures on society, leadership, innovation, and legacy. 9. What is your greatest passion in life, and how do you nurture it? Why it’s a great question: This question sheds light on friends’ pursuits that bring joy and purpose, igniting discussions about personal growth, creativity, and fulfillment. 10. If money was no object where would you live in the world and why? Why it’s a great question: Your friend’s ideal place to live reveals their taste for environment, culture, and lifestyle – does it align with yours? Discussing this invites us to envision our perfect circumstances and places in the world that we imagine will bring us the most fulfillment. Questions To Enrich Your Friendships: 11. What is the most courageous thing you’ve witnessed someone do, and how did it change you? Why it’s a great question: Thinking about bravery and courageous deeds makes us reflect on how they shape our own perspectives and actions. For example, “I saw a friend stand up to a bully, despite the risks involved,” makes you think about the bystander effect and why some people freeze while others spring into action. 12. What is one memory seared into your mind, good or bad? Why it’s a great question: This question invites your friends to share a memorable moment, prompting reflection on impactful moments that shaped them. 13. What is the most meaningful lesson you’ve learned from a friendship? Why it’s a great question: A pal might share, “My friend taught me the importance of kindness and compassion through volunteering with shelter animals.” Discussing lessons learned from others encourages us to lead our own lives with meaning. 14. If you could relive a moment with a loved one who has passed away, what would it be? Why it’s a great question: This is a bit existential in nature as it forces your friends to relive moments of people that are no longer with us. Contemplating life and death honor the legacy of those we’ve lost while finding comfort in memories we’ve made with them. 15. What is your go-to way to decompress and recharge after a stressful day? Why it’s a great question: Ever feel like you’re running on empty after a long day of work but don’t know how to destress? Self-care is essential for our well-being, so discussing relaxation and stress management techniques with your friends might inspire you to take up a new hobby or a new way to decompress like meditation. 16. What is your biggest dream for the future, and what are you doing to achieve it? Why it’s a great question:

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