Updated: Dec 15, 2020
A great deal of our pain comes from our own thoughts. Change your thoughts and your feelings and behaviors will follow.
So what are the most common self destructive behaviors and thoughts?
Below are some common forms of self sabotage.
*Resentment-Blaming others for the way you feel.
*Compulsions-Doing something even though you know it is wrong or is hurting you.
*Self defeating thoughts-"I can't, I am hopeless, no one cares about me."
*Bitterness-"I hurt so I hurt others."
*Comparing yourself to others-"I am never going to be as good, smart, pretty,etc as her."
*Substance Abuse-Continuing to use substances despite experiencing negative consequences.
*Isolation-Pushing people away, starting fights,ceasing to engage in social activities.
Why do individuals get trapped in a cycle of self destruction?
Some individuals use defense mechanisms to protect themselves from being hurt or to avoid responsibility. Sometimes it is a way to cope with negative feelings. Those that feel out of control of their life may engage in self-destructive behavior as a means to feel in control. In some cases it can be a symptom of a serious mental illness which requires professional help.
How can I stop?
One way to begin to break free of self destruction is to begin to write down negative thoughts and replace them with positive statements. Start talking to yourself the way you would to a loved one, you wouldn't say those things to someone you love, so don't say them to yourself.
"I don't deserve to be happy." - "I am worthy of happiness."
"They don't understand me, they think I am useless." - "I can't control how others view me, I have a right to my feelings and I am a special part of this world."
Another way is to learn positive coping skills to manage negative feelings and compulsions.
Call a friend
Go for a walk
Draw, create, write
Practice deep breathing
Journal your thoughts
*If you or someone you know is on the path of self destruction it is most helpful to seek guidance from a professional to begin the healing process.
You are not alone!