5 Self-Destructive Habits You Should Quit

Do you often find yourself going back to the same old habits, even though you know they’re bad for you?

It can be tough to break free from bad habits that you’ve carried with you for the longest time. But in order to grow, you need to be honest with yourself and take steps towards becoming the person you want to be.

Here are five self-destructive habits you should quit.

1) Constant self-criticism

“I’m not good enough.”

“I can’t do this.”

“Nobody likes me.”

Do any of these sound familiar?

It’s human nature to have down days and to feel down about our performance from time to time. But if you associate mistakes you’ve made with your own self worth, it can get damaging.

Negative thoughts can be harmful, as they tend to breed more negative thoughts and keep you trapped in a vicious cycle. And over time, all of that negativity will start to wear you down.

So try to be more conscious of your thoughts and work on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. It won’t be easy, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

2) Procrastination

Do you ever find yourself saying “I’ll do it tomorrow”, even when there’s an unfinished pile of tasks waiting for you?

While there’s nothing wrong with taking your time every once in a while, chronic procrastination is definitely not good for you.

Procrastinating usually stems from an inability to manage negative moods regarding a certain task. If you find homework an absolute chore and you can’t stand the thought of starting it, for example, then you’re likely to put it off until the last minute.

Instead of leaving things at the last minute, try to break things down into manageable chunks. If you get distracted, try to reward yourself after you’ve completed a portion of the task. This will help you to stay on track and get things done.

3) A sedentary lifestyle

Do you enjoy sitting in front of the TV or computer for hours on end, not moving an inch?

We’re all aware of how exercising is good for us. But if you really stop and think about it, how many hours of the day do we sweat it out instead of staying glued to our screens? When was the last time you went out on a good, heart-pumping run?

There have been many studies conducted that link a sedentary lifestyle to all sorts of health problems, from obesity to heart disease.

In addition, a sedentary lifestyle also makes people more likely to be depressed, according to a journal on the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

There’s no better time than now to start incorporating more activity into your day. If you don’t know where to start, try going for a walk or doing some light stretching in the morning. At some point, it’ll be embedded into your daily routine and something you’ll look forward to.

4) Getting into Toxic Relationships

Do you often find yourself in a stream of toxic relationships – to the point that you question whether it’s a coincidence or not?

Turns out, it may not be a mere coincidence.

A Psychology Today article by Claire Jack stated that it’s possible that you may be unconsciously choosing people who exhibited similar patterns you’ve been accustomed to in your past experiences.

This is because we operate with the knowledge from our early-life experiences, and we tend to want to confirm our view of the world with what we already know.

So if you had a bad family history, for example, you may be more likely to attract individuals into your life who exhibited similar behaviours based on familiarity. Even if it hurts you.

If you find yourself in a toxic relationship, it’s important to take a step back and assess your situation. A therapist may also help you get through the tough moments in your life.

5) Addictive Behaviors

Do you find yourself helplessly drawn to pleasurable activities, like watching the latest TV series or playing video games?

These activities are absolutely fine in moderation. However, if you can’t stop yourself from these activities to the point that it affects your social life, that’s addiction. You may find yourself skipping social events or important commitments in order to stay glued to your screen.

There may even come a point where the behaviour stops being pleasurable and instead starts becoming a bad habit that you can’t shake off.

According to research, it can take up to 90 days to fully detoxify from an addiction, so it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Closing Thoughts

It’s important to be mindful of bad habits and try to rectify them to grow and become better people.

If you can work on fixing some of these self-destructive habits, you’ll be on your way to a much healthier and happier life.

That’s all for now, Psych2Goers!

References

Lieberman, C. (Mar 25, 2019) Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control). NYT. Retrieved at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/smarter-living/why-you-procrastinate-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-self-control.html

Zhai L, Zhang Y, Zhang D. Sedentary behaviour and the risk of depression: a meta-analysisBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2015;49:705-709. Retrieved at https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/11/705

Jack, C. (Nov 5, 2020). “Why Do I Keep Attracting Toxic Partners?” PsychologyToday. Retrieved at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/women-autism-spectrum-disorder/202011/why-do-i-keep-attracting-toxic-partners

NA (Sept, 3, 2013) How long does it take to break the habit of an addiction? Retrieved at https://www.duffysrehab.com/about/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-the-habit-of-addiction/

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