Shame is the most often culprit behind self-destructive behaviors, social avoidance, and addiction. It can be the less-seen culprit of self-defeating problems. This includes preoccupation with status-based “success,” perfectionism. Another is being controlling and rage.
Making healthy choices and stopping self-destructive behavior are critical for success. Breaking bad habits can be challenging. That is why these tips can help you stop unhealthy behaviors before they lead to a relapse.
Break the cycle of shame
What is shame? It is a negative feeling directed at yourself. Instead of saying to yourself that you did a bad thing, you say to yourself that you are bad. Often, to stop feeling down, a person will resort to self-destructive behaviors. If a person will engage in such self-destructive behaviors, he will feel ashamed. Then, the cycle continues. Now, this is a cycle that is difficult to break.
You can start breaking the cycle by replacing little harmful behaviors. Replace those with actions that foster pride and those that are healthy. For example, tell the truth instead of telling white lies. Make positive lifestyle choices that promote good health and well-being. Take responsibility for your little messes. If you will let go of things that cause you shame, you will less likely be going back to those actions. Thus, you have gotten rid of shame and self-destructive behavior.
Make known the person you want to be
What matters to you most? If you were looking on your life later on and feeling peace or regret, what could you have done? We have our own values and those are at our core. Our values are there if we feel shame or feel bad or guilty. By way of internal conflict, shame and feeling bad tell us of who we are at our core. When we go against our own values, shame is there. Defining our values can motivate us in a positive way to align our behavior with who we want to be.
Do Not Believe Negative Self-Talk
It is hard to break a self-destructive habit. But what makes it harder to break is negative self-talk. It will not be true if you tell yourself you are someone bad or weak. To start stopping self-destructive behavior, identify and change harmful ways of thinking.
Rephrase a negative self-talk once you have it in you. For instance, you are telling yourself that you are weak. Instead, say to yourself that you are feeling weak but you can do this.
Write down the list of reasons why you want to break self-destructive behavior. Put it somewhere visible. This way, you are realistic rather than listening to self-destructive, negative thought.
Support from peers, friends, and family are very valuable. If you are trying to break a bad habit, input from others is very important. Tell them what behaviors you are trying to change. While holding yourself accountable, ask for help and encouragement from them. When you are having a hard time, know that you have a support system. Friends, peers, and family can cheer you on, empower you, and offer wisdom.