How to Defeat Your Self-Destructive Behavior
November 6, 2019
How to Defeat Your Self-Destructive Behavior

Everybody has self-destructive behaviors, some worse than others. Some of these behaviors include:

  • Self-harm (cutting, scratching, pulling out your hair, etc.)

  • Gambling

  • Overeating

  • Abusing drugs or alcohol

  • Having risky sex

  • Shopping too much

  • Ignoring your health and well-being

  • Refusing to take responsibility

  • Thinking negatively

  • Acting overly needy

  • Allowing others to treat you poorly

In order to stop a self-destructive behavior once and for all, the first step is to recognize what exactly it is you are doing wrong. If you can’t put your finger on it, ask the people who know and love you.

Next, you have to ask yourself why the behavior is negative. For example,

“Why is drinking too much bad?”

“Because it leads to blackouts, hangovers, impaired decisions, and hurting the people I love.”

You have to think about what the advantages would be to change.

Step three is to figure out why you do it. Are you trying to fit in? Do you want to feel more secure? Are you trying to distract yourself from stress, guilt, shame, or remorse? What is your trigger? Our thoughts are linked to our feelings, which are in turn, linked to our behaviors. In other words, how you see yourself in the world really dictates, to a large extent, what you’re going to feel and what you’re going to do. Don’t hide from your feelings.  

Lastly, you need to do something about it. Oftentimes, fear, anger, or anxiety lead us to exaggerate the negative and spiral back into the destructive behavior. You need to practice thinking about the positive and narrowing the negative. When you do that, it’s amazing how something completely horrendous can become utterly rational.

Make small changes. Add a piece of fruit or a vegetable to your lunch. Do something nice for someone else. Find an activity that does more good than harm, such as writing, painting, exercising, hiking, or gardening. Join an organization that talks about higher powers if that works for you. Whatever it is, you need to replace what you were doing with something healthier.

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Posted by Staff at 1:26 PM