Updated: Mar 20, 2020
Good gut health goes beyond just nutrition and exercise. It comes from achieving balance in every area of our lives. That includes the emotional and social parts of our lives, too!
Our gut is not only in the center of our body, but it is also the center of our emotional health. The Gut-Brain Axis is a two-way communication portal between our gut and brain. If you experience emotional stress, it translates into a change in your gut microbiome leading to dysbiosis – a state where there are more unfriendly bacteria in your gut than friendly bacteria. If unchecked, this can lead to sugar cravings, mood disorders and inflammation.
If there’s someone in your life who’s draining your energy or causing you stress, you could be dealing with a toxic relationship, which can affect your gut health.
What is a toxic relationship?
Toxic people can take many forms, they may cause drama, or even violate the boundaries of other people to get the emotional benefits they need.
Toxic people often don’t realize the destruction they cause. Interactions with these types of people can lower our self-esteem and negatively impact our energy. Many people see a toxic person and feel the need to take care of them, often leading to the depletion of their wellness. This is just as destructive as the pain of confronting or withdrawing from the behavior of a toxic person.
So, how do you navigate a relationship with a toxic person?
Ideally, we would cut off contact with anyone who doesn’t benefit our emotional wellbeing. We would simply never talk to the people who drag us down. However, there are some people that we just can’t avoid, such as parents, siblings, partners, and bosses.
Thankfully, there are middle grounds between engaging with destructive people and completely cutting them off. You can learn and practice different communication techniques, such as Nonviolent Communication or Conscious Communication. If you must interact with a person on a personal level, you can look up support groups in your area for support and love from other people. Lots of online support options also exist.
Take care of yourself first.
For some people, this is the hardest lesson they will ever learn. In order to serve others and be of service, you must take care of yourself first, otherwise, you won’t have the resources to share of your time and energy with others.
If avoiding a toxic person entirely is what’s necessary for you to take care of yourself, do what you need to do to control your stress levels. Stress slowly damages the body, starting from your sleep, raising your blood pressure and ultimately affecting your gut health.
How have you managed to deal with toxic people in your life? What relationships stress you out most in your life? Share your story in the comments!