Toxic relationships – The painful impacts and the fixes

For an individual to achieve the highest level of health, all aspects of their life need to be in order. This means that a healthy diet or sufficient exercise, though they contribute significantly to a person’s physical well-being, aren’t always enough for a person to be in the best state of health.

The physical and mental conditions of our body are closely interlinked. If there is something disturbing your peace of mind, your body will surely feel the heat physically. Similarly, if the physical condition of your body is not as fit as you would like it to be, it will definitely affect your mental capabilities.

One aspect of our lives that plays a direct role in maintaining our health includes the relationships that we have. Though there is more emphasis on the effects of our relationship with our partners, a parent, sibling or friend can also negatively impact your life through the way they behave with you.

What type of relationships harm you?

In recent years, the word ‘toxic’ has been adopted to describe relationships which are sure to have an adverse effect on your life. The reason that this word is so appropriate is that it is self-explanatory – a toxic relationship has the ability to poison not only your brain, but also your body.

It often leads to low self-esteem, decreased confidence levels, depression, feelings of helplessness, and the list continues. Less commonly known but just as important is the fact that toxic relationships can decrease your quality of life by causing you to experience greater levels of pain.

The physical impact of a toxic relationship, thus, can prove to be equally harmful to a personas the mental impact.

How can we define a toxic relationship?

If you are in a toxic relationship, it is often extremely difficult to actually accept that your relationship falls under this category. However, the harsh reality is that unless you accept it, you will not be able to learn how to deal with it.

Knowing how to identify a toxic relationship is essential and there are some common traits that will be seen in nearly all relationships of this kind.

Having to ‘be careful’ all the time

Anyone who has been in a toxic relationship can understand that a major part of the relationship is based on the ‘right’ timing. Often, toxic partners will have unpredictable reactions to events, leading to the other person feeling like they must always be careful of what they say or do and when.

Feeling exhausted

Another significant trait of a toxic relationship is that the person always feels as if they are tired. Owing to the mental toll it takes, along with the physical manifestations, the sufferer in this kind of a relationship always remains drained.

Being mistrusted

A person who displays toxic tendencies will never trust those around them. Be it their children or their partner, they will always find reasons to mistrust, leading to the other person feeling disheartened as they see all their efforts go to waste.

Having low self-worth

The biggest challenge for someone in a toxic relationship is finding the will to leave. This is because their confidence in themselves has been taken away due to verbal abuse, convincing them that they aren’t worthy enough and can’t possibly live without their toxic partner.

What effect will it have on pain?

When a person is part of a toxic relationship, they are under constant stress and when stress levels are at an all-time high, it leads to an increase in the levels of a hormone known as cortisol in the bloodstream.

This, then, presents physically in multiple ways.


This is an effect of stress which I’m sure many have not only heard of, but have also experienced.

Owing to increased stress levels, the body normally responds by decreasing the digestion of food which ultimately leads to vomiting and nausea. These symptoms are then worsened when the person reduces their appetite to accommodate this change.

Reduced sleep

Stress levels significantly alter sleep patterns. From difficulty in going to sleep to waking up after short intervals, diminished sleep fulfilment will progress to other physical manifestations. These may include fatigue, headaches, and underperformance during the day.

Decreased immunity

Owing to our body’s defence mechanisms being weakened, we will almost certainly get sick more often.Additionally, people under increased stress will be at a higher risk of developing chronic illnesses such as autoimmune disorders, making them more susceptible to greater pain levels.

Heart problems

For those who are in toxic relationships for prolonged periods of time, studies display that there are greater chances of them developing heart disease. This is, again, linked to the effects of cortisol on the body, making toxic relationships a major health hazard.

How can you tackle those effects?

Once you have identified that you are in a toxic relationship, the next step is knowing how to deal with it, making sure to give special attention to the physical manifestations.

Here are some things you can do.

Eat healthy and exercise

Though a toxic relationship does leave you feeling demotivated, try to take extra care of your body. This means you need to maintain a balanced diet, with a minimal intake of processed foods. Additionally, try to get at least half an hour’s worth of exercise daily, so that your body can increase its metabolism and strengthen itself against the pain caused due to the toxic relationship.

Find natural ways to soothe the pain

If you are experiencing chronic pain, it is always a good idea to find some natural remedies that reduce pain. Yoga, meditation, fish oil, turmeric, and heat therapy are just some of the methods of pain reduction that you can explore.

Leave or fix the relationship

This is probably the most important, yet most challenging step that you need to take to counter the pain associated with toxic relationships. If you believe the relationship is salvageable, you need to focus your attention on making the other person realise what they are doing wrong, even if that means having to face unpleasantness. If you think, however, that you are way past the stage of fixing things, you need to make the decision to leave and see it through.

Ending note

Finding yourself in a toxic relationship is an extremely difficult situation to deal with. Nonetheless, to achieve complete fulfilment in your life, you need to acknowledge your circumstances and then make whatever changes are necessary to eliminate all the toxicity surrounding you.



Dawn Cady


Dawn Cady is Australia’s premiere transformation & pain management coach and winner of multiple awards for her groundbreaking work. The Neural Alignment Method®  is Dawn’s remarkable brainchild, bringing together the world’s best healing and mindset techniques. With unique expertise and passion, she has helped countless others to achieve real, tangible success, along with a renewed enjoyment and satisfaction in all areas of life.