The relationships we engage have a strong impact on our physical, mental and spiritual health.
When relationships are balanced:
(1) We have a release of dopamine that naturally elevates our mood (a chemical which researchers have identified as partly responsible for that elated feeling we get when we are in love or enjoying the company of a special friend). Yet, we are not addicted to that sensation of elation.
(2) We feel empowered to grow in new ways as individuals and as part of the friendship or couple relationship.
- Have a push/pull effect where often one person is pulling away when the other person is pushing forward to become closer.
- Have inequity and co-dependence as central characteristics.
- Are draining energetically, physically and spiritually. These relationships take more out of you than they give back and can contribute to developing chronic health challenge such as, depression, digestive imbalances, low immunity, and chronic fatigue.
Often, there is a spiritual and energetic bond between yourself and the person with whom you are engaging the toxic relationship.
This bond fuels an addictive-like state of wanting to engage the person although you recognize that the relationship is not benefiting you.
When that craving to engage the toxic relationship is strong, use the following strategies to redirect that craving and longing.
Qi gong as a movement form and meditation practice can be used to quell the craving to engage toxic relationships.
Unlike yoga or forms of western exercise, qi gong is not only a physical tool for healing but also an emotional healing tool that can be engaged even when you are tired, depressed or physically ill, for all movements can be performed while sitting or lying down as well as standing.
It can also be integrated into your everyday routine as you work, study or perform ordinary tasks. So, it is a practice you can maintain even when your work schedule is fully and busy or other obligations put demands on your time.
Thus, the nature of qi gong allows a constancy in your life. This is an important quality as constancy with healing tools is especially important to disengaging toxic patterns.
For qi gong instruction in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Dr. Arnold Tayam via his website Longevity Center/Institute. For instruction in the central Texas area, contact me at 512.468.6588
Music has the ability to also stimulate the brain and create biochemical shifts by influencing brain wave patterns.
So, get out that “feel good music”—surround yourself with the frequencies of uplifted vibrancy to help yourself during those moments when dopamine drops and you feel depressed and lonely.
Each person’s musical tastes vary, so find the music that resonates for you.
Even if it is not your style, I often recommend listening to Motown hits. Why Motown?
At the heart of all the Motown hits was the band, The Funk Brothers, who had a unique capacity of combining musical frequencies in such a way to uplift the spirit. Is it any wonder that all of those songs were worldwide hits?
Think about the positive of strains of the” Temptations’ “My Girl,” (“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day”) and the infectious groove of Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown.”
Also, be sure to nourish your serotonin levels by getting plenty of sunlight or using therapeutic full spectrum lighting.
After all, it’s not just an emotional journey of healing when we liberate ourselves from toxic relationships, but it’s also a biochemical journey of healing. We need to nourish our brain chemistry.
Diet: Boundary Support
This brings us to the idea of boundaries. It’s important to cultivate strong boundaries that empower you to keep toxic people at a distance and cultivate more nourishing relationships. This is the energy of the spleen and stomach.
Thus, often times, people who are challenged with toxic relationships have weak spleen and stomach energies, and weak boundaries.
Eating warm and nourishing foods such as low-fat soups with lots of the orange and yellow vegetables can be very helpful. There’s something to be said for the healing bowl of chicken soup or seafood soup with rich root vegetables—it not only heals the body but also the heart.
Letting go of toxic relationships can be one of the most challenging things we can do, and it takes time to achieve full liberation. Take time to celebrate each step forward no matter how small.
Keep in mind that when you release toxicity from your life, you increase ten-fold your ability to welcome in an abundance of loving and truly supportive friendships and intimate relationships.