3 toxic habits that are poisoning your life

Give your life the spa treatment. Flush these three soul-crushing habits out of your system for good.

Most of us would love a daily visit to the spa. But it’s not just our bodies that need to be cleansed of toxins. Many of us have habits that are toxic to our souls. Nurse your life back to health by cleansing it of these three soul-crushing habits.

1. Self-deprecation

You crack jokes about yourself at meetings, during play dates or even in front of your children. Being good-humored and a good sport about your quirks is one thing, but these days, many of us fall into the trap of self-deprecation. We allow others to mock us — even publicly.

Why to cleanse your life of self-deprecation

Ever heard of a “self-fulfilling prophecy?” A self-fulfilling prophecy is “a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it is already true.” So, when you bad-mouth yourself, there is a part of you that accepts your words as truth and may even help you live up to those negative words.

How to start again

Notice how you talk about yourself. Notice how you feel when you talk about yourself. Instead of focusing on the areas of your life you can’t change, focus on the areas you can change. Begin treating yourself more kindly. People often treat you how you treat yourself.

2. Lack of boundaries

Allowing others (or even yourself) to poke fun at you may be an indication of an even bigger issue: not setting boundaries. You show a lack of boundaries when you say “yes” when you want to say “no,” when you stay silent when someone does something that hurts you or when you allow others to do or say things that make you feel uncomfortable.

Why to cleanse your life of bad boundaries

The short and long-term effects from a lack of boundaries are ginormous. In the short-term, you may feel frustrated, angry and resentful. Over time, you may feel like you don’t deserve to have your needs met.

How to start again

Practice setting boundaries. Start small by giving a thoughtful “no” to a person at church, work or someplace you won’t see that person every day. Then, work up to setting boundaries in more important relationships. Remember that setting boundaries at home may be the hardest place to set boundaries, and don’t forget that setting boundaries is not a “one and done” ordeal. You may have to kindly and gently remind others of what’s best for you. Also, thanking others for respecting your feelings will strengthen your soul.

3. Coasting in life

When you were a kid, you had a long list of dreams. As you got older, having to make a living and other realities of life set in. But dreams are not just for children. “Coasting” in life is forgetting about your dreams and not making time for the things that make you happiest.

Why to cleanse your life of coasting

Coasting is bad because it doesn’t honor the part of you that wants to be challenged. When you have an interest or desire, learning a new skill or trade is well worth the effort. Holistically, our minds and souls want to be challenged and to grow.

How to start again

Make a list of all of the things that interest you. Talk to your support system — your spouse, friends, family — about how they could help as you begin to work on something from your list. For some, this could be something as simple as learning to play the guitar. For others, this could mean beginning a whole new vocation.

The most important thing to remember is that your needs are important. You are important. You have the power to change the way you communicate and the way you behave, expanding and beautifying your soul.

Heather Merrill

Heather Merrill is a single mom, writer and eyewitness to preschooler debacles.