We often do harmful things to ourselves because we’re not aware of their consequences. Even the smallest decisions that we make in a nanosecond on a daily basis, like drinking another cup of coffee with the hope that it will make us energized or spending another minute on Facebook instead of going to sleep can be severely destructive if we take a look at the long-term effects.
Somehow, people find it easy to be ignorant when it comes to their body and mind – I’m sure you’ve managed to shush that voice that says you’re tired, hungry or thirsty in time. By doing that, you’re actually neglecting your basic needs and it’s not necessary for you to be a medical expert to understand how bad that can turn out.
The first step towards ending your self-destructive behavior is developing awareness.
1. Physical and Mental Negligence
Ignoring that constant pain in your neck or trying to drown the very same thoughts that pop in your mind each night before you go to sleep won’t make them go away. It’s the very same with cleaning – if you cover up all the dirt with a carpet, that doesn’t mean your home is clean. As a matter of fact, it means it will only get dirtier in time.
Listen to what your body is trying to tell you in both physical and mental terms. The human body has its own natural alarms like the ones you install in your home, e.g. smoke detectors or those for household security. I’m sure you wouldn’t let an intruder come into your home, steal your stuff and harm you physically – you should simply react the same way to the signals that your body is sending to you.
2. Antisocial Behavior
Spending quality time with your mind is one thing, but being way too much inside your own head is not exactly healthy. Saying “no” to a cup of coffee and skipping a pleasant talk with a friend because you’re nervous can only make things worse – you’re not filtering out your anxiety, you’re allowing it to grow and multiply inside of your head.
There’s an opposite extreme to this behavior and that’s being too social – avoiding solitude can imply that you’re avoiding a problem that needs to be solved. Obviously, moderation is the key and you should try to find a balance here.
3. Acting a Martyr
Blaming the whole universe by asking why does everything always happen to me only magnifies your problems. We live in a world where good things happen to bad people – it’s not fair, but we need to deal with that harsh truth.
That being said, you should take responsibility and take action, because no one will live your life instead of you, nor fix your problems.
4. Over/Under Eating
Unhealthy eating habits are a disease of the modern society – food became irrelevant at some point and we just forgot about its main purpose altogether. Starving yourself because you have a busy schedule and simply not enough time, or perhaps because you’re trying to achieve an unrealistic body figure that’s reflected on covers of magazines isn’t a price worthy enough, because you’re paying with your health. Your eating habits affect the quality of your sleep, especially if you try to replace a full meal with energizing beverages or junk food.
The same thing goes with overeating – you can start small, by having an innocent snack at four AM, but it can end with high blood pressure, cholesterol issues and heart problems. If you’d put in some effort in preparing healthy meals and work out a schedule that meets the needs of your body, you’d feel more energized and more capable throughout the whole day.
5. Substance Abuse Instead of Coping
Another very efficient way to silence your mind and forget all about your problems is substance abuse. If you’re prone to alcohol, cigarettes or drugs, you’re on a certain path that leads to serious health issues – the longer you stay on that path, the more severe the consequences that lay in front of you.
The fact you refuse to be present in your own life and you’re trying to escape into the world of vices doesn’t at all mean that everything you don’t like about it will disappear or get improved by itself. Those problems that banished you to a dark place will only get bigger if you stay there.
Facing your demons is never easy, and if you can’t do it by yourself you should turn to members of your family and close friends. For some people it’s hard to have their loved ones watching them trying to fight addictions – if you’re one of them, you should turn to professionals and medical experts who are trained to guide and help you.
6. Careless Spending
Having a problem with money management isn’t uncommon – a significant percentage of people have serious issues with handling their income. However, if your debts are only increasing and if you’re in serious situations where your paycheck can’t cover your expenses, it may mean that you don’t have respect towards your own effort.
Each paycheck is a reward for your month’s work and the next time you start thinking about purchasing an overpriced item that you don’t really need, remember to remind yourself how much time and skill is invested in that price tag.
7. Denying Help Completely
There’s strength to independence, I won’t argue about that – being on your own is tough and it requires both physical and mental preparedness. However, there’s an extreme to this behavior; if you insist on doing everything on your own, even if it’s not on your list of responsibilities, and you deny every bit of help offered along the way, you have a problem.
Wasting your time and energy because you’re stubborn or spiteful will come back to haunt you, have no doubt about that. Allow people to get closer to you by accepting their help. It will be beneficial on many different levels for the quality of your life – just try and see.
Having introspectiveness in your set of skills is a smart thing to do – being transparent with yourself will help you realize what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for. When that becomes clear, you should be able to steer clear of all the destructiveness that you bring into your life, and that’s something you should be able to live without.
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