There's no time like the present to improve your life and the beginning of the year especially gives us the chance to practice this, as we look forward to the year ahead. Many of us have toxic things in our lives that we're either unaware of or refuse to acknowledge. And these are the things we can (and should) certainly live without. So make 2018 the year you surround yourself with positive vibes, and start by giving up these seven toxic things.
The people you surround yourself with impact your life in a great way and also make a big contribution to how happy (or not) you are. If you have friends who diss all your life choices, are controlling or just make you feel uncomfortable or unhappy in any way, it's time to cut them loose. These toxic friendships have a negative impact on your life and you don't need to be wasting your time on anyone who isn't worth the effort.
Whether it's in the office, in your relationship or with your family and friends, it's normal to want to please people and agree with their opinions and plans. Make this the year you don't just say 'yes' to everything and everyone. We often end up spreading ourselves too thin when we agree to every invitation. Or we tend to go along with whatever others say just to make things easier or because we don't want to argue with them. Learning to say 'no' sometimes shows that you're putting yourself first, so it's time to look after 'number one'. If you don't feel like going to that party your best friend is so excited about because you're too tired from the work week, don't be afraid to tell her so. But be reasonable if you're turning people down – don't do it at the last minute, for example, because that's just plain rude.
Who doesn't enjoy a good gossip session, right? But did you know that gossiping is basically a waste of time? While it does give us an immediate thrill – especially if it's a particularly juicy tidbit – it's hard to deny that it's a pretty pointless activity. Plus, it's also unprofessional if you're doing it in the office. And you might end up hurting others too, by unintentionally spreading things that aren't true. So don't spend any time gossiping anymore because it does nothing but spread toxic vibes.
Learn to take responsibility for your own life and, therefore, your own happiness too. If something goes wrong, be it a small issue like a failed client presentation or something much bigger like a painful break-up, don't point fingers at others while taking no blame at all. It takes two to make any situation work (or not work) so never play the victim. Act like a grown-up and admit where you've gone wrong, then work towards doing it better next time.
Using social media per se isn't harmful; the danger is when you're hooked on it. It's unhealthy if you're constantly feeling FOMO when scrolling through your news feed (even though you know you're not actually 'missing out' on anything), spending too much time taking that perfect 'natural' shot just so you can post it online, or if you have to keep checking your account every few minutes to see how many 'likes' your posts have received. It's easy to go down the rabbit hole of social media and end up wasting hours (literally) so stop yourself before you even start. Remove social media apps from your phone so that you can only look at them on your laptop so you won't have easy access to them. Or set a timer every time you log on, keeping each session to just a few minutes. You'll soon realise you have a lot of extra time to do everything else – and you'll also appreciate the people and things you interact with in real life more.
One of the easiest ways to ruin your mood is to compare your life to someone else's. Everyone knows someone who is richer/prettier/more successful/has better skin etc than them but ask yourself what's the point of comparing? Everyone has their own journey in life and judging your life by pitting it against others will do you more harm than good so stop doing this now.
We expend a lot of effort being negative when it's so much easier to be positive and happy. Negativity on the whole makes your life miserable for no reason so if you're always looking at the downside of things, it's time to change and embrace a positive energy for 2018.