Stop Sabotaging Yourself and Your Mental Health

We may be great with helping others, but man can we be terrible at helping ourselves.

By: Jason Suerte Felipe

There are many ways in which self sabotaging can manifest itself. Some common ways being: procrastination, self medication, comfort eating and forms of self-injury. But there are also subtle ways such as “having an accumulation of dysfunctional and distorted beliefs that lead people to underestimate their capabilities, suppress their feelings, or lash at those close to them.” And there, my friends, is where my self sabotage lies.

There have been moments in my life where I felt down, and in these moments, I tend to block myself off from my emotions and those around me. Not because I want to, but because I have fully convinced myself that my problems are not important and do not matter. Even in my darkest times, I have failed to reach out until the moment has passed or when I am at a breaking point. And clearly this behavior is not healthy, nor is it safe.

I have had my fair share of breakdowns and have shared my darkest moments with my friends. And a common question I receive is: Why didn’t you tell me this sooner? And my answer is always: I didn’t want to be a bother.

And that’s just terrible and heartbreaking isn’t it? Knowing you have family and friends who you know would understand, but keeping all the pain inside anyway because you feel like no one would care. It’s devastating wanting to ask for help, but not having the strength to. Feeling the moment where words are just words, and they don’t matter anymore.

During moments like this, I found myself getting depressed. I wasn’t eating as often. I secluded myself from family and friends. I felt anxious and lost interest in my hobbies and creative pursuits. And soon, a feeling of hopelessness waved over me. My mental health was becoming unstable, feeding my inner thoughts until the voices in my head said “…. just do it.”

Now, I understand that people have different outlets of helping them in these moments. And I also understand that there are people who can’t get the help they need. Which is why it is important to pay attention to your emotions and behaviors as well as others. Fortunately I have a close circle of friends I can trust when I need to vent out or give me advice and call me out when I’m being stubborn. And I know for most people it can be extremely difficult to ask for help. But it’s important to know when to ask for help and get the help you need. Weather it’s from family or friends, or a professional.

Self sabotage can be damaging for our physical and mental health. But by changing your perspective and developing compassion for ourselves, we can get better. And yes, easier said than done. But we all have to start somewhere and acknowledging we have a problem is the first step. According to Psychology Today, “People aren’t always aware of their own self-sabotage, or the damage it is causing, because the effects of their behavior may not show up for some time. Unfortunately, connecting a behavior to self-defeating consequences is no guarantee that a person will disengage from the behavior. Still, it is possible to overcome almost any form of self-sabotage.”

So, Have Self-Compassion and Ask For Help! You are worthy and deserving of a better life. There will be ups and there will be downs, but with time you will get there.

Baby steps.

Do you self-sabotage? What are some things you do to help? Share with us in the comments!

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