Relationships of any kind can cause you to feel anxious and stressed. Whether it be a ‘love’ relationship, a friendship, a work relationship or a family problem, relationships take up a lot of time in our thoughts and actions.

There has been research that shows that when people are in relationships where they are never too certain what the other person will respond with (i.e. negative or positive feedback), they tend to be under more stress than people who consistently receive negative feedback (1). This doesn’t really make sense until you understand that in a relationship we feed off each other’s ‘energy’. When someone is giving you positive feedback, you let your guard down. This makes you vulnerable when things turn and dealing with this kind of behaviour in a relationship has been likened to chronic stress! . Chronic stress can cause:

• Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
• Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks and strokes
• Obesity and eating disorders
• Menstrual problems
• Skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and eczema
• Permanent hair loss
• Gastrointestinal problems such as gastritis and an irritable colon

You don’t want to end up with any of these symptoms (and if you do, please contact your healthcare practitioner). So what should you do if you feel that one of your relationships is draining your life force? You need to take a hard look at the relationship and evaluate the following:

• Is this relationship really worth it? Why?
• Is this person someone I want in my life today – or are they part of my history?
• How do they make me feel when I’m around them? Fabulous or insecure/uncomfortable?
• Are they competing with me? All. The. Time?
• Do I really trust this person?
• Are they putting in the same effort into the relationship as me – don’t make excuses for them either?

If you can, consider these same questions for a friend or partner or family member who you know always has your back. Compare the results and you’ll quickly realise what you’re feeling so stressed out about in this relationship. You know what you need to do now – it’s time to let them go. Easier said than done? Consider chatting to a trustworthy friend about how to exit the negative relationship, or if you need professional advice make an appointment with a councillor or psychologist who can guide you through the process. Don’t fob it off or wait for a better time – it isn’t coming. Make that appointment and look after your mental and physical health – you deserve it. May the VITAFORCE be with you!

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