Last week, I stumbled across an online post by Elite Daily called 18 Toxic Things You Need To Stop Doing If You Want To Live A Stress-Free Life and was drawn in straight away by my curiosity to see whether perhaps I could be doing more to make my own life clutter free. The last six months have seen some big changes in my life, although some outsiders might look in and think that it is just the same. What is different? Well, I’ll tell you, it’s the important things like the experiences I have had in that time which have changed and shaped my attitude now. I have made huge life decisions and started putting them into motion in small ways, mostly unknown to the rest of you. My friendships have changed, some for worse, but mostly for the better, and my relationship is in a very different place after some big decisions about the future. Generally all the changes are for the better now that they have sunk in, but that doesn’t mean some of them haven’t been a struggle and at times I have really wondered whether all the upheaval was worth it. At times I have really struggled to know whether I was making the right decision over a lot of things, but now I am finally starting to realise how much better life is after making all of these changes and choices.

I always feel it is so important to go through these tough periods because they are the times during which you start to make the biggest life changes. Whether it is choosing to end or start a relationship, make a career change or move away, I know lots of people who have been going through similar situations where they have reached the end of the road in some areas of their lives and it is time to move on. It’s not the easiest decision in the world, but it can be the best one you will ever make if it means finding a new passion or love, or escaping from some of your baggage. But even if you aren’t making those huge life decisions, there are countless smaller ones that can really help to ease your everyday life. As the article says, it is about removing the toxic elements so they in turn remove the stress from your life. And isn’t a stress-free life what we all want?

1385336_10151937980557617_849526707_nThe top three points in the article boil down to two main points – stop caring what other people think and stop over-thinking things. Both incredibly toxic and basically mean you are concerning yourself with things that haven’t even happened yet, and with the opinions of others which are not something that actually physically affects you or your life. You can spend hours over-analysing things and imagining what people are thinking when actually they are too busy thinking about themselves or over-analysing their own lives. I’m just as guilty of these as anyone and although I’m not really too bothered about what most people think of me, there are those that are close to me whose opinions do count. In the past I have spent time worrying about keeping these friends happy by taking on their problems and keeping people around who didn’t make me happy and who actually added to my baggage. Cutting these individuals from my life was a very difficult decision made easy in the end when I took a good look at their behaviour and realised they were only concerned with their own well-being and not that of their friends.

Number four is something I have always believed in and will always continue to do. Living in the moment take you away from all the hideous over-thinking and lets you enjoy life and all its little pleasures. I have never agreed with the importance of this more than now, after making my own decision to follow my heart and travel the world. This links in so well with the next few points because much as I have loved and enjoyed my job, I have at several times worked myself into the ground until my personal life suffered and I am well overdue for a break while I reassess my future and career. It is important to take that time to work out what you really want to do, and sometimes it is difficult to do that while still in that work bubble. I’m looking forward to truly being able to live in the moment by jetting off and answering to no-one but myself, which will be lovely after working in a job where I answer to everyone. Making this plan has also helped me focus on what I have rather than what I don’t have, saving hard has really given me the chance to value what I have and the people I have around me. I have really learnt the value of everything I own by looking to sell much of it and earn as much money as possible while planning. It has helped me view things in a different way and lose interest in things like shopping and eating out, which I loved before.


Not all the points applied, but there were plenty that I could identify with and I’m sure it is the same for many of you guys. So many people hold on to grudges and anger, they let the emotions clutter their lives and rot while they live in the past. Not good for freeing your mind and moving on with your life. Despite some horrible things that have happened over the last six months, I took the view that there was nothing I can do about the situation except for choose how I want to deal with it. many couldn’t understand my decision to let things go and move on with my life, but just as many praised how I had been strong enough to do so because it meant that I could be happy again instead of living with hurt and anger. It depends on the kind of person you want to be but I would much rather live a happy life than a sad an angry one.

The rest of the points seem to take a look inwards at the individual and they way they view themselves and want to live. If you want to eat rubbish and not do any exercise, you won’t feel great. That’s why I made the decision a long time ago that I wanted to be fit and healthy because it does make me feel good about myself and removes the need for me to be one of those people who constantly complains about the way they look or compares themselves to other people. I avoid women’s magazines because I have no interest in celebrity lives and I am certainly not interested in reading the same old tosh about them being all for body confidence in all women, then only using the skinniest models. That is toxic in itself and it saddens me how many of these magazines throw out conflicting and damaging messages that so many women drink in. Most importantly, people need to realise the importance of being unique and embracing their individual qualities rather than striving to copy someone they idolise. That also applies to those who try so hard to be unique that they end up being the same as everyone else.

Such a simple article and yet it really made me re-evaluate my life, which is great because shouldn’t we always be looking at ways we can improve? I’m not saying we should constantly strive for something better, because the grass isn’t always greener. But if we know we can be happier by making a few small changes, why shouldn’t we do that and start living a better and stress-free life? Have you got any points to add to the list? How do you escape from your stressful life?