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5 Ways to Control Destructive Behavior

Destructive Behavior

Almost everyone has indulged in some form of destructive behavior in their lives. Sometimes such behaviors are temporary and don’t cause you to harm in the long run. However, when they become a habit, they can have significant physical and emotional consequences. Also, self-destructive behaviors are far more drastic for people in recovery as they push them towards relapses. 

You can overcome self-destructive behaviors with behavioral changes and sometimes professional help. Here are some tips to help overcome self-destructive behaviors.

Identify the pattern

The first step to getting rid of self-destructive behavior is to identify them. Look for common destructive tendencies in your routine, such as 

  • self-harm (punching, cutting, hair pulling, etc.)
  • Compulsions (drinking, gambling, smoking)
  • Neglecting health (not sleeping, eating properly)
  • Pessimistic attitude (negative thoughts and emotions)

Try to identify and such activities in your daily routine. Ask help from friends and family if you cannot identify them yourselves.

Think of the reason

Most of the time, people engage in self-destructive behavior because of some underlying reason that pushes them towards it. Identify the reason that is specific to you. For example, it can be due to:

  • Childhood trauma
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Emotional or physical abuse
  • Other factors (Social exclusion, abandonment issues, or neglect)

Identifying the root cause can help you overcome the behavior more quickly and efficiently and tackle it better.

Get support

Overcoming destructive behavior is a long and arduous journey, and often, positive encouragement and support from friends, family, and counselors tip the scales in your favor. Therefore, ask for help. Professional counselors can provide talk therapy and behavior therapies to help overcome and change such behaviors. Friends and family can give you the emotional support required to cope with the changes.

Use failure to learn

One cannot get over self-destructive tendencies or behaviors overnight. It can take years to get rid of your affiliations, and sometimes you may even have relapses after believing that you have changed them entirely. However, don’t let such setbacks deter you from your goals. You can change destructive behavior over time with a positive mindset and logical thinking. Analyze what made you go towards self-destruction each time you relapse and overcome that trigger with the help of your therapist. Learn from your setback rather than falling prey to them.

Prepare ahead of time

Like every other negative behavior like substance addiction and alcoholism, self-destructive behavior can be curbed quickly if spotted early on. Analyze your routine and look for triggers that set off your self-destructive tendencies. Keep track of your thoughts, and don’t let negative emotions rule you. Doing so will help you get over them before they cause you and your loved ones severe harm, both physically and emotionally.

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