Almost everyone has done something that is detrimental to himself. Included in this category of behavior are: self-harm (such as cutting oneself, banging one's head on a hard object, setting oneself on fire, hitting a wall); risky behavior (such as gambling, having sex without contraception, using drugs); engage in violent relationships; and neglect their own health. Whether intentional or not, such self-defeating behavior will certainly have a negative impact on a person's personal and social life. Such behavior can be stopped in several ways: first, determining the pattern of self-defeating behavior; second, changing the way of thinking associated with the behavior; and then third, address the triggers that can lead to the behavior.
Part 1 of 3: Determining Self-Defeating Behavior Patterns
Step 1. Find out your tendencies
Before trying to change your behavior, first determine what kind of destructive behavior you are engaging in. This kind of behavior can be detrimental to your physical or mental health. Make a list of all the self-injurious behaviors you would like to change.
- The following behaviors are self-injurious: self-destructive (slashing, pinching, hitting, scratching, or pulling one's own hair); following impulses (gambling, overeating, drug use, risky sex, overspending); neglecting oneself (ignoring one's own health or needs, and refusing the help of others); and thoughts/behaviors that can damage one's own mental health (pessimism, overly spoiled, neglecting responsibilities, and allowing oneself to be trampled on by others).
- Are you trying to overcome shame, regret, or guilt with the use of narcotics, alcohol, or nicotine (cigarettes)?
- Write down any destructive behavior you have. Keep a diary and write it down.
- If you're not sure what kind of destructive behavior you are engaging in, ask a family member or friend. They may be able to demonstrate certain behaviors that you do that they think could harm you.
Step 2. Understand why you are engaging in the destructive behavior
There is research showing that people behave destructively because they want to avoid hurtful thoughts or feelings.
Think of the reasons for each of the destructive behaviors you've listed. For example, the reasons you drink alcohol to excess are: want to feel accepted, feel bad about yourself, want to relax or reduce stress, and want to have fun. Think about what kind of benefits you get from each behavior
Step 3. Determine the consequences
Find out why your behavior is negative. For example, if you feel that your alcohol use is excessive and self-defeating, identify bad things that have happened in the past that have been related to drinking too much. These include: fainting, feeling uncomfortable the next morning, making bad decisions, hurting loved ones, and engaging in illegal activities. Write down how you feel about these consequences, such as anger, sadness, guilt, or shame.
Step 4. Record your behavior
Keep a diary and write down a time you did a destructive behavior. Write down what you were doing, as well as your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors at the time (both destructive and non-destructive). Take note of the destructive behaviors you engage in and notice what patterns emerge behind these events, thoughts, or feelings.
- For example, if your destructive behavior is smoking, write down positive things related to smoking, such as the relaxing effects of smoking or social relationships that arise from smoking. The downside is the significant risk to your health, the addictive nature of cigarettes, the high price of cigarettes, and the inflated health costs.
- Determine what are the benefits of changing your behavior. Based on the assessment you have made of the destructive behavior, determine the positive and negative things that will result from a change in your behavior. That way, you'll be able to determine what kind of behavior you need to change.
Part 2 of 3: Changing Your Mentality
Step 1. Take responsibility
Sometimes we blame others instead of admitting that the perpetrators of these destructive things are ourselves. Treating the pain caused by an unhappy childhood or a dysfunctional marriage is difficult, but we can still take responsibility for our own lives by overcoming emotional difficulties, helping ourselves, and eliminating our addictions.
Step 2. Determine unwholesome thought patterns
Our thoughts are related to our feelings and behavior. In other words, our perception of ourselves and the outside world will influence our actions. This concept is the basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TPK), a therapeutic method commonly used to treat self-defeating behaviors.
- Write down the thoughts that come up with each self-injurious behavior you engage in. Ponder these questions: "What was I thinking right before I did this? What thoughts influenced and perpetuated this behavior?" For example, if you have a drinking problem, you might think: "I'm only going to have one drink. I really need this drink. I deserve this drink. Nothing bad will happen." Such thoughts are the kind of thoughts that make people consume alcohol.
- Be aware of your negative thinking habits. Included in negative thinking habits are: assuming something is a disaster (thinking that the worst thing will happen); overgeneralizing (thinking in black and white, tending to think that something will be completely good or completely bad); and predicting the future (thinking that you can see what will happen). For example, if you think that other people are thinking badly of you, you will feel depressed or angry, which in turn will trigger self-destructive behavior. If you change this behavior, you can avoid negative emotions and behaviors.
Step 3. Change self-defeating thoughts
If we change the way we think, our feelings and behavior will change too. Once you have listed all the negative thoughts you have, you can fight them when they arise.
Keep a diary of thoughts. Determine what situations, feelings, and thoughts are present. Then, determine what considerations support that thought and what considerations actually go against that thought. In the end, use the information at hand to create a more realistic thought. For example, if the situation was your mother scolding you, you might feel angry and think "My mother is the worst in the world." The reason behind this thought is that it yells at you and doesn't communicate well. On the other hand, the counter-thought considerations are: he declares that he loves me, he provides me with food and shelter, he supports my various activities, and so on. With these considerations in mind (to counter the idea that the woman is the worst mother), a broadly more balanced perspective is: "My mother can be wrong and sometimes she scolds me. However, I know that she is trying to help me and he loves me." These thoughts will reduce your anger and lead you to healthier behavior (not alcohol or social isolation)
Step 4. Practice constantly
Don't stop practicing your ability to determine unwholesome thoughts and fight them with counter-thoughts. Fight the useless thoughts one by one. Be aware of any negative feelings that arise within you (such as anger, sadness, stress); then determine the various thoughts you are feeling.
- To help you, use the diary that you have prepared. Then, actively change the thoughts you have. If you're thinking, "My mom isn't nice and doesn't love me," remember the counter-thought you created earlier and repeat to yourself over and over: "My mom loves me, it's just that sometimes she gets angry."
- Keep track of your progress and learn from the mistakes you make. Continue the diary containing the situation. If you find negative thoughts, write down counter-thoughts that can create better results. If you are behaving destructively, define other behaviors you can do. For example, if the situation is your mother yelling at you, you might think, "I can't stand her. She doesn't care about me." These thoughts may be followed by feelings of anger and hatred, then the behavior of locking yourself in your room and isolating yourself from others for a few days. Determine other ways of thinking and behaving. For example, you could change your thoughts to "I love my mom even though she has many weaknesses. I know she loves me despite her behavior." When your mother scolds you again, try to think that way. You will probably feel better and try to improve the situation with your mother instead of behaving in a self-defeating manner.
Part 3 of 3: Coping with Triggers for Self-injurious Behavior
Step 1. Understand the relationship between feelings and behavior
Strong negative feelings such as fear, anxiety, and anger can lead to self-defeating behavior. You need to find new ways to deal with these triggers in order to reduce self-destructive behavior.
Step 2. Do some serious introspection
Usually, there are triggers that lead to self-defeating patterns. Use the activities in the previous method to identify thoughts, feelings, and situations that give rise to a tendency to self-harm. This refers not only to the feelings that arise, but also to any particular situation that appears to be associated with self-defeating behavior.
- Keep your diary. Set aside a dedicated page to identify and track triggers for self-injurious behavior. For example, triggers for drinking behavior are: when my mother scolds me, when I feel stressed, when I hang out with fellow drinkers, or when I am alone at home and feeling lonely.
- Actively avoid situations that trigger you. For example, if you want to drink less alcohol but still hang out with certain people who will pressure you to keep drinking, avoid the situation altogether. Instead of putting yourself in a risky situation that's hard to resist, justify or tell yourself that you're improving.
Step 3. Make a list of your various ways of dealing with triggers
You need to understand how to deal with the various triggers (both situations, feelings, and thoughts) for these self-defeating behaviors. In addition to changing certain thoughts that come up, you can actively change behaviors that are detrimental to yourself or replace them with new behaviors that can help you deal with those triggers more effectively.
- Pray. Sometimes, we need to speak to a higher entity in order to feel relief.
- Try new activities. Look for activities to substitute for your self-defeating behavior, which has more to gain than harm. For example, try writing, painting, coloring, exercising, going on a picnic, hiking, walking, collecting things, helping others, or gardening.
Step 4. Let the emotion exist
Avoid trying to get rid of an emotion immediately. Focus on long-term treatment, and not instant treatment. In order for you to gain tolerance for stress, you need to deal with the emotions that arise instead of avoiding them. Emotions are a natural part of life.
- When you feel a strong negative emotion (such as anger, depression, stress, or frustration), instead of trying to distract yourself or make yourself feel better, say: "I'm feeling ______, and it's a natural feeling. uncomfortable, this feeling won't kill me, and I'll just let it go."
- The feelings that arise within us are indicators that show how we respond to a particular situation. Think about why you feel a certain emotion and the meaning behind that feeling. For example, if you feel very angry with your mother for scolding you, find out why you are so angry. Are you angry because her words hurt you, or because you are worried that your mother will hurt you?
- Focus on the way that feeling is reflected in your body. When you are angry, do your shoulders tighten? Are your bodies shaking, or are your hands clenched into fists? Even if it's uncomfortable, fully feel the emotions that arise. Those strong feelings that arise will quickly go away if you suddenly think about the physical way that feeling is reflected in your body. Feelings, after all, just feelings.
- Write as a form of therapy. Write down your thoughts and feelings that are causing you to behave in a self-defeating manner.
Step 5. Pay attention to your health
Sometimes we will do things that are bad for health as a search for a way out of stress. For example, eating malnutrition, neglecting exercise, and reducing sleep.
- Get enough sleep. Most people need at least 8 hours of sleep per day.
- Drink and eat healthy. Avoid snacks, sugary foods, and over-nutrition foods.
- Exercise to deal with negative feelings such as stress and depression.
Step 6. Have a healthy relationship
Relationships that are run haphazardly are closely related to a higher propensity for self-defeating behavior. The role of social support is very important in the recovery process of someone who behaves in a self-defeating manner. Find your close relationships with other people, such as family, friends, and other relationships, and cultivate those relationships.
- Have quality interactions with the people you care about. Spend time with people you care about. There are many activities you can do, such as eating together, exercising, chatting, walking, playing a game, or trying something new.
- If there is someone in your life who is unsupportive or even abusive towards you, consider letting go or staying away from that person. Start by drawing boundaries between you and the person, then explain that you won't tolerate certain behaviors they have toward you, such as scolding you.
Step 7. Seek professional help
If you engage in self-injurious behavior, it may be related to your depression, anxiety, or aggressiveness. The behavior can also be related to your history of violence, trauma, or drug abuse. Contact a psychologist or therapist.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy is also a useful therapeutic method for people who may have emotional problems, anger, problems with self-harm, suicidal thoughts, drug use (including alcohol), and problems relating to others. This therapy focuses on increasing your sense of awareness, effectiveness in relating to others, and stress tolerance.
- Problem Solving Therapy (TPM) can help you solve problems better (rather than using self-defeating behaviors). In addition, you can also learn a variety of useful problem-solving skills.
- Cognitive Restructuring (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or TPK), can help you change self-defeating beliefs and reduce negative behavior.
- There is also therapy with drugs. See a doctor for more information or information about psychotropics.