Listen to “4 Steps from Self-Destruction to Self-Love”.
Self-destructive behaviour is when you repeatedly do things that will harm you physically and/or mentally.
There are many different types of self-destructive behaviour, however, the most common are:
- excessive worry
- drug and alcohol abuse,
- lying, cheating and deception
- compulsive behaviour such as overeating.
These self-destructive tendencies have negative consequences for your health and wellbeing. These consequences are manifold, including:
- lack of motivation
- fear of failure
- feelings of inferiority
- fear of stating a point of view
- fear of success
- excessive guilt
- unrealistic mistrust
- irrational fear
People often turn to alcohol or drugs to help them forget their problems. Unfortunately, this is a very temporary solution and it doesn’t help them deal with the real underlying issues, and often these habits create new problems.
Why are people so drawn to these negative behaviours? What makes them so difficult to let go of even when their heart longs to do just that?
People have a powerful and fundamental need to belong, to be loved, to be accepted. Our disconnection from love is the core of almost all of our problems. It leads to mundane lives of desperation – imprisoning ourselves in dull routines or stultifying relationships; needing love or caring for others at our own expense; or limiting ourselves to what we feel we deserve or what others will allow us to have.
Self-love is made up of many parts, but primarily it involves being kind to yourself, being committed to yourself and caring for yourself. Most of us have a difficult time taking proper care of ourselves and this is a large part of the problem.
If you are ready to change your life and move from self-hate and self-destruction to self-love, then a good way to start is to ask yourself the following questions:
- What does love mean to me?
- What would someone who loves themselves do?
- How could I be more loving?
- How can I express love to myself today?
After this self-reflection, you can try to take active steps towards increasing your feeling of self-worth and self-acceptance.
1. Identify the problem. We all have narratives or stories which we’ve created about ourselves, and these shape our perceptions of who we are. If we want to change these stories, we have to know where they came from.
2. Become aware of negative beliefs. Negative beliefs include the self-limiting and self-critical ideas you may have about yourself. These can weaken your sense of self-worth and hold you back from taking advantage of positive experiences, opportunities, or relationships.
3. Change the story. Sometimes your mind automatically repeats negative thoughts so often that you start to believe them. However, these thought habits are learned, which means they can be unlearned.
4. Start implementing lifestyle changes.
Love yourself enough to look after yourself. Spending even just a few minutes a day meditation can help improve your life. It can give you a sense of calm, inner peace, and balance that can benefit both your health and emotional wellbeing. Exercise – Find time to exercise regularly. Exercise makes you smarter, happier, improves sleep, increases libido, and makes you feel better about your body!
Appreciate yourself – do things that make you feel good about yourself and think about the things you have that you are grateful for. Cultivate healthy emotions like love, compassion, joy, gratitude and equanimity.