Your mind is a powerful tool.
It can make you; or your mind can break you. It is responsible for your raw emotions. And without even knowing it, you may have unintentionally and unknowingly become a glutton for punishment.
If these behaviors are left unchecked, self-destructive behaviors can lead to self destructive decisions that can keep you from achieving true happiness. But you do have the ability to refrain from indulging in self-destructive behaviors.
To get started, here are 10 self-destructive behaviors to recognize and then eliminate to be happier…
1. Too much pride
Remember, no man is an island unto himself. Welcome the help from others in any shape, manner or form to thrive.
Also… being able to admit our faults and wrong doings are what enables us to get back up and keep going when we fall. Proverbs 24:16 says “The righteous may fall seven times but still get up, but the wicked will stumble into trouble.”
We sometimes allow pride to keep us down way longer than we have to be.
2. Self Destructive coping mechanisms
Drugs, smoking, and alcohol are just a few self destructive coping mechanisms.
There is no harm in relaxing with a glass of wine but when it is used to cope and you are becoming dependent is another story.
Are you tempted mainly when you are stressed? When you are with certain people? When you are feeling lonely? Certain times of the day/month/year? etc. We all deal with things differently. So naturally we will have different triggers.
Once you identify your trigger, surrender it over to God in prayer and put a plan in action to overcome it.
A few suggestions…. Exercise, Read a good book, call someone, but whatever you do, don’t just sit there. Staying busy is key when trying to kick a habit. An idol mind is the devil’s playground.
Small changes can make a big difference. You will be pleasantly surprised when you realize that your old temptation is no longer a temptation.
3. Staying in bad relationships
You feel it, deep down you know it, but you keep making excuses not to get out of the situation.
These kinds of relationships can have a tremendously negative effect on our mental, spiritual and even physical health and the longer we stay in them, the more dire the consequences can be.
When you’re in a Godly and healthy relationship, you won’t have to compromise your relationship with Christ for the sake of your relationship with any man.
Whether it’s a friendship, courtship, or work relationship… we’ve all been there. At a place where we find ourselves asking… “Why am I in this relationship?”
The writing has been on the wall for a minute. You know the relationship has run it’s course, but find it hard to let go.
4. Bad spending habits
Especially when you know you can’t afford it. These are only momentary desires.
How many times do we pray for God to get us out of debt only to go get ourselves right back in debt? Speaking personally, too many too count.
How many times do we pray for financial blessings, when we have yet to be smart with the money God has already blessed us with?
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t treat ourselves every now and then. We should. However, a lot of stress and tears can be avoided if we would just learn to save for a rainy day.
5. Allowing Guilt to Control Your Decisions
Keep bad memories where they belong – in the garbage. Guilt inhibits your ability to be happy; it stops you from enjoying the moment.
The devil’s favorite tool. He loves to remind us of our mistakes. Avoid the ‘If-Only Syndrome’. “If only I had done this… If only I hadn’t done that”.
Guilt only reminds us of who we were yesterday, not who we can be tomorrow.
God forgives you, but you must learn to forgive yourself. Learn from your mistakes and move beyond them.
6. Keep making the same mistakes
One of the great minds of modern times said – ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’
Let’s be clear, everyone makes mistakes. But we should try our best to learn from them and not make them again.
When you notice a pattern in your mistakes, that is a good indication that it’s time to switch things up.
7. Instant gratification
This is when you only think of the “right now” without considering the long-term consequences.
Before you spend… think! Do I really need this?
Before you eat unhealthy foods… think! What can I substitute this for that’s not as bad?
Before you act… think! Are the consequences to my actions worth it?
8. Second-guessing yourself or Being too critical of self
This is an exhausting, tiresome, wasteful activity to indulge in.
Remember the old saying “You never know until you try” Sometimes we have our minds programmed for failure and we expect the worse before we even try.
Think of how many talents, dreams, goals, businesses, gifts, jobs, relationships and so much more go to the grave with people. Fear is a roadblock stopping us from experiencing the life for which we were created to live.
When you concentrate on your flaws instead of beauty God has given you, the result= Low self-esteem.
Negative thoughts can become negative words, and we all know words have power. Negative thinking can keep us captive. We can unknowingly choke our own blessings with negative thoughts.
We tend to think that if we expect the worse then we will not be as disappointed if things do not turn out the way we had hoped. It is time to stop speaking in a way that is inconsistent with what we want. Life is better when we keep a positive mindset.
9. Running with the wrong crowd
Sometimes it’s best to start by evaluating the people whom we spend most of our time with…
The people who have the most influence on us daily.
You want to let go of that toxic relationship/ friendship, but you find it hard to distance yourself from that same person who keeps you bound to your bad habit/sin.
The Bible is clear, “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
It also tells us that “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” Proverbs 27:17
We are called to be Christ-like, but we can not walk with Christ if we are allowing someone else to pull us in the opposite direction.
10. Holding grudges
“Whenever you stand up to pray, if you have something against anyone, forgive so that your Father in heaven may forgive you of your wrongdoings.” Mark 11:25.
You may think that choosing not to forgive someone is the only way to get over the hurt you’re feeling, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
Being able to forgive is so important. Not just because God commands it, but for our well-being as well. Unforgiveness emotionally ties you to a person for as long as you are carrying a grudge.
Think of it as having a scab and just when the scab starts to heal, you peel it. That’s what unforgiveness does. It stops your healing process.