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7 Seemingly Small Yet Insanely Destructive Lifestyle Choices

7 Seemingly Small Yet Insanely Destructive Lifestyle Choices

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.

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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

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    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.

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    5. Substance Abuse Instead of Coping

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      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.

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      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.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/jim-jackson-8721/ via pexels.com

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      Nemanja Manojlovic

      Editor at MyCity Web

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      Last Updated on January 24, 2021

      How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

      How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

      Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

      For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

      But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

      It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

      And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

      The Importance of Saying No

      When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

      In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

      Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

      Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

      Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

      “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

      When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

      How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

      It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

      From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

      We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

      And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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      At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

      The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

      How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

      Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

      But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

      3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

      1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

      Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

      If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

      2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

      When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

      Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

      3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

      When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

      6 Ways to Start Saying No

      Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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      1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

      One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

      Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

      2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

      Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

      Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

      3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

      Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

      Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

      You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

      4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

      Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

      Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

      5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

      When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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      How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

        Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

        Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

        6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

        If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

        Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

        Final Thoughts

        Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

        Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

        Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

        More Tips on How to Say No

        Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
        [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
        [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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