Beware of these toxic thoughts and use counter-strategies to increase your happiness:
1. I’ll always be alone. Being lonely and feeling isolated are normal human emotions. However, they become toxic when you think that things will always be this way.
- * This toxic thought can make you feel that you’re the only person on the planet. It can make you believe that you’ll never find love or a partner. And it can stop you from feeling joy.
- * Instead of thinking you’ll always be alone, focus on what you already have. Do you have loving parents or siblings, Do you have amazing friends or coworkers, If you look carefully, you’ll see you’re never truly alone.
2. I hate my body. Hating your body can be one of the most toxic thoughts in your mind. It can lead to eating disorders, self-esteem issues, and other challenges. Everyone can find an imperfection, but it’s important to avoid dwelling on them.
- * Understand that your body is a gift. It’s part of what makes you unique. Notice the things you do like about your body. Accentuate those characteristics, focus on them, and you’ll find it easier to start loving the body you have.
3. I’m not happy with my career. Your job can make you feel unhappy, but it’s another toxic thought. Try to avoid thinking about how much you hate your work.
- Of course, you may pursue a different career path. Seek out new work without dwelling on your hatred for the current job. Follow your passion for a new career without anger and resentment. It’s always more beneficial to go toward something instead of away from something else.
4. I’m not worthy. This toxic thought can wear many outfits. You may feel that you’re not worthy of love, success, money, or other things. You may believe that you always have to suffer and struggle. You may decide that you’re not meant for greater things. However, this toxic thought can stop you from enjoying life and finding happiness. These feelings of worthlessness are only in your mind. You’re a unique person who has value, but you’ve convinced yourself otherwise.
- * Often, this toxic thought comes from what you think others are thinking about you. You falsely assume that others don’t see any value in you, so you’re self-esteem sinks to a low level.
- Consider starting a new game: congratulate yourself each time you do something right. Find things that you do satisfactorily. Even small ones count. For example, if you made a tasty breakfast, congratulate yourself. If you like the outfit you’re wearing, kudos to you for picking out something nice. Let your thoughts dwell on what you do right!
5. I don’t have enough. This toxic thought can manifest itself in multiple ways, such as thinking you don’t have enough money, skills, talents, or abilities. You may also think you don’t have enough connections, friends, children, or things.
- * Scarcity thoughts stop you from appreciating what you already have around you. They prevent you from finding joy in being thankful. With these thoughts, you may never have enough material possessions or people to love, regardless of how many you actually have.
- * You can certainly strive for more, but it’s important to also be thankful for what you do have.
Toxic thoughts are easy to create and often hard to eliminate. They can overwhelm you if you aren’t careful. If toxic thoughts have gotten a hold on you, it’s important to take action to shoo them out of your mind.
Notice when these toxic thoughts arise. Immediately, switch that thought to one that’s more positive and uplifts you. Meditate, repeat affirmations, and try these ideas to loosen their grip. Do these actions consistently, and soon you’ll find that things work out for your benefit more often.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.