One of the most significant risk factors for struggling addicts is self-destructive behavior. Of course, the urges that come along with addiction itself are already self-destructive. But there is much more.
Sometimes we aren’t even aware of how our actions can cause self-harm. It is essential to note our most destructive tendencies, so we can learn to avoid them. By knowing how self-destructive behavior looks, you can learn to steer clear and avoid the worst of it. By avoiding harmful behavior, you can learn to stay away from the pitfalls of addiction.
Typically, self-destructive behavior manifests in one of two ways:
- Physically destructive
- Emotionally destructive
Often, it is the emotional type of self-destructive behavior that is hardest to pin down. But this is never a hard and fast rule. Both forms can be equally destructive. You should take care in learning how addiction and self-destruction go hand in hand. It might be your best bet at saving yourself. If you are struggling with addiction and self-destructive behavior, then we can help. Please call us at (626) 602-2966 to answer any questions you might have about addiction. We have the support needed to help you get back on your feet.
Seeing Self-Destructive Behavior and Addiction
What is self-destructive behavior? According to Psychology Today, self-destructive behavior is one that provides “relief or even pleasures in the short-term, but ultimately gets in the way of living a life that feels satisfying or fulfilling.” It can also include any behavior that causes direct harm to yourself or your body.
When you think about self-destruction, you probably imagine the obvious: suicide or suicidal ideation, compulsive activities like gambling, shopping, addiction, as well as self-injury. Indeed, these are all self-destructive. But many other behaviors are not as obvious.
Consider, for example, self-sabotage. This type of behavior is what happens when you set yourself up for failure. The following are also examples of self-destructive behavior:
- severe forms of insecurity
- alienating those around you through words or actions
- believing you aren’t worthwhile
- maladaptive behaviors (not related to executive dysfunction)
- maintaining a destructive relationship
- telling yourself that you are incapable or not smart enough to do well
- going against your principles to satisfy your addiction
Seeing these bad habits for what they are is a real wake-up call. It’s not just addicts who should avoid this kind of behavior daily—it’s every one of us. Still, being an addict makes it even more important to stay away from harmful behavior. Falling back into this behavior can quickly result in falling back into your dependency, but how do I stop self-destructive behavior? Do you need help stoping your self-destructive behavior? Are you looking for help for someone else? Call us today. We will make sure you talk to experts that know which treatment is best for you. We know everyone is unique. Meaning that every situation is unique. Call today and get the help you need that is tailored to you.
Beating Self-Destructive Behavior and Addiction
One of the biggest triggers for addicts is self-destructive behavior. The problem with self-destructive behavior is it leads us straight back to addiction. Think about it: By harming yourself, you create the perfect conditions for despair. When you ruin the possibility of a satisfying life, things can quickly take a turn for the worst. You might feel the urge to use and think to yourself, “Why not?” Avoiding this should be a top priority for every addict.
Of course, no matter how bad the decisions you made in the past, there is always a chance to fix things. But it is still better to steer clear of the bad choices before they happen. That is why we should always strive to avoid self-destructive behavior.
How do we overcome self-destructive behaviors? First, remember to keep an eye out for the negative behaviors identified above. Second, try to replace self-destructive behavior with the following positive ones. These steps can help you in managing self-destructive behavior. You never know if one small change in your life could make all the difference going forward. Start making the small change by calling us. We will be able to provide you with the support that you need. Call today and we can get you started on your road to recovery.
Manage Your Stress in a Positive Way
Stress is an unfortunate part of life, and it never goes away. But this doesn’t mean we have to live with it. There are plenty of ways to deal with stress, some bad and some good. Good stress management strategies emphasize using positive techniques to keep us away from self-destructive behavior, which often results in even more stress.
Most addicts are aware that stress is a potential trigger. It might be the reason you fell into addiction in the first place. We all must learn how to deal with stress early on, and this is especially true for those of us battling addiction.
There are many positive ways you can learn how to handle stress. These include:
- Spending time in nature
- Going for walks outside
- A soak in a warm bath
- Slow breathing or counting techniques
Exercise (or a variant of it, like yoga) can be an especially powerful stress management method. Working out has been shown to release endorphins. This brain chemical has the power to help fight depression and regulate your mood. Maintaining a positive attitude helps ward off the temptation to engage in harmful behavior.
If you choose a few of the above methods and make time for them, you can get rid of your stress in a healthy way. But always remember, stress is a never-ending problem. It is never enough to dump your stress only once. You need to commit to making proper stress management an on-going process in your daily life.
Build Your Support Network and Join Your Peers
Merely taking care of your stress, however, is never enough. More than anything else, you need to build a support network. Support always comes in one of two forms. Those forms are:
- Peer/Recovery Support Groups
- General Support Network
Peer or recovery support groups are precisely how they sound. These are groups composed of fellow addicts. Organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous (or Narcotics Anonymous) know what you are going through. It can be beneficial to have someone who can listen to your problems and respond with total sympathy. Even more importantly, they are dedicated to making sure you do not return to your dependency. They have regular meetings to fit a variety of schedules, making it easy to attend.
General support, on the other hand, is made up of your close friends and family. These are people you can lean on, even if the relationship has become strained. You might need counseling or group therapy to repair old relationships, but it is almost always worth it. Expand your support network by meeting new sober friends. You can make new friends by joining volunteer organizations or taking classes. The opportunities are only limited by your desire to search.
You should always strive to build both forms of support whenever possible. If one of the above options is not possible, you should try to lean on the other while fixing things. For example, if your old relationships are strained, count on recovery support groups. Depending on only one form of support is never a permanent fix, however. Strive to develop both types.
When you develop both forms of support, the desire to engage in stopping self-destructive behavior will become easier. Do you need help finding the right support? Call us today, and we can help you get the support that you need.
Maintain “Control” by Learning to Manage Urges
Every addict knows what it is like to try to “control” their urges. There is no control—at least not if it means being able to turn your cravings on and off whenever you want. The temptation that comes with addiction is something you might have to deal with for the rest of your life. Likewise, the same with the urge to engage in self-destructive behavior.
Thankfully, that is not the kind of control you need. Instead, you should seek to manage your urges.
To hold out for 30 minutes, you can chew gum or give yourself a mantra, “I am stronger than this, and it will pass.” One of the best strategies to manage your urges is to stay busy. Find something productive to do and throw yourself into the task. Call a sober friend and talk about what you’re experiencing.
No matter what you do, always keep track of how your life and your urges relate. This is where management comes into play. You might want to keep a journal. Write down what makes you feel grateful. Gratitude can be a strong defense against urges for self-destructive behavior. Look at the items in your diary and ask yourself, “Do I want to lose these things?”
But even if you don’t keep a journal, you should always maintain awareness of when your urges come and go. Doing so can help you identify your triggers and learn to avoid them. This isn’t only the addiction case, but all forms of self-destructive behavior as well. Do you need help controlling your urges? Call us today, and we will get you the service that you need. Never feel alone or judged as our experts work with you to help you start a healthy recovery.
Avoid Risk and Triggers for Harmful Behavior
By being aware of any triggers, you can learn to avoid them. Taking control of harmful behavior is a lot like managing the urges that come with addiction. You may never get rid of the desire, but you can learn to manage how you handle it and the situations that cause it.
For example, you can limit interactions with people who enable self-destructive behavior. This is no different than staying away from people you used to do drugs or drink with. Also, avoid environmental triggers: Stay away from areas causing negative emotions or stress. These examples always sound easier than they are in reality. Following this advice might involve real planning. You might want to change your schedule or take a new route to work if it keeps you away from your triggers.
If you must be around a trigger, use the support networks or stress techniques above to help. Life is full of things we must do, whether we want to do them or not. Thankfully, we rarely have to do them alone. Consider inviting a sober friend or a more experienced peer from a recovery group. If fighting your urges causes stress, practice positive stress management. All of these techniques are part of managing risky and difficult situations.
Consider Further Treatment for Addiction and Self-Destructive Behaviors
No matter what kind of behavior is worrying you, you are never alone. There are many ways to get better and improve your life. If things are getting the better of you now, consider seeking treatment. Whether it comes in the form of therapy or a rehab clinic visit, help is out there for you.
Therapy and counseling can help you identify the harmful behaviors you aren’t seeing. We can then craft a strategy to move past the trouble. While visiting a recovery clinic can pull you out of any risky or stressful situations.
If you aren’t sure what to do next, feel free to reach out to talk, any time. Our representatives are here to assist you, even if you aren’t seeking treatment, and would love to help. Call us today and we will make sure that you get the support that you need. If you are suffering from addiction and self-destructive behavior then we can help. Call today and we will get you started on your recovery today.