Humans are social beings – even the most secluded introvert still has some ounce of a social life. Our social behaviors are one of the most important influences to our health, success, and overall well-being. Having an unhealthy social diet can cause us to become “sick” mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and even professionally. So here are some tips to begin detoxing your social life in 4 main areas.
Let’s face it, most of our family members are insane. And for some of them, if we weren’t connected by blood we probably would avoid them at all costs. The truth is that some of our own family members can be social poison. I’m not suggesting that you disown anyone, but I am encouraging you to consider whether their presence is having a positive or negative effect on your well-being.
The solution here is very simple: Spend more time with family members who are positive and less time with those who are negative. Be present and stay connected, but only to the extend that you aren’t compromising your health and peace.
- Friends/ Romantic Relationships
I once heard a quote that says “friends are the family we choose.” I believe this quotes perfectly illustrates the fact that we have more control over this area than we typically think. Many times, we can get chained to the “loyalty factor,” using the amount of time we’ve known someone as an excuse to tolerate or overlook their toxicity. But when their toxic behaviors begin to infect our lives, we only have ourselves to blame.
We essentially become the 5 people we spend the most time with. I suggest writing down who those 5 people are in your life and asking yourself if they are people you want to become. If not, then some changes to that relationship needs to be made and rather quickly. How you do this will be determined by what’s best for you and the person involved. Some people may value the relationship so much that they are willing to make changes to keep you in their lives. With others, you may be able to salvage the relationship, but shouldn’t spend as much time with them. For some, it may be best to completely sever all ties and not look back.
- Social Media
Even if you “ghost watch” on social media and never interact with anyone, you better believe that some type of socialization is still happening simply because of what you’re seeing. When it comes to our well-being, social media should never be underestimated- it definitely has the power to influence for the better and even for the worse.
Be more aware of how much time you’re spending on social media daily. There are even apps that can track this now, telling you exactly how much time you spend on each platform. You also want to monitor what you’re allowing yourself to see. You may not be able to control what people post, but you can control who you follow. Take some time to unfollow all of the people and profiles that don’t provide you with positive and beneficial content. It may be a time-consuming task, but soon you’ll begin to notice that you actually feel better about yourself, others, and life in general when you log on instead of feeling stressed, inadequate, and pessimistic.
What activities do you engage in during your free time? Did you know these things can even be toxic as well? Many times, we give little thought about whether our entertainment is actually good for us. It may seem like being intentional about this can make life less fun, but finding toxic activities enjoyable may actually be the real issue here.
Our hobbies can (and do) contribute to our well-being and success. Write down what you typically do to entertain yourself and consider whether these activities are adding positive or negative effects to your life. Are they pushing you closer to the person you desire to be or further away from it?
For reference, examples of toxic entertainment could be binge-watching drama-filled reality tv shows, overeating out of boredom, going out to get drunk or using other substances, getting together with your friends to gossip and trash-talk, going shopping for things you don’t need and can’t afford, ect. Replace each toxic hobby with something more constructive that you would still enjoy.
Successful well-being is all about congruence. Who you are striving to become should be evident in all areas of your social life. Think about the life you desire to have and refuse to spend more time than necessary doing anything and being around anyone that does line up with that.