Top Ways We Punish Ourselves and Ruin Our Body and Mind

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Self-punishment is now at epidemic proportions. You’ve seen it and, in fact, you most likely do it. Nations, communities, church groups, even schools condone it and practice it. It’s silently pervasive, and there are countless ways to do it and even more reasons why we do it.

You might be shaking your head saying “Not me!” but chances are that you are merely on autopilot, programmed when you were very young, and you have no idea that you indulge in such behavior.

Some of our stress related emotions and behavior serve a real purpose but rather than resolve our issues, we simply complain about them. Have you ever heard an incredibly beautiful model say in an interview that she hates hernose, legs, butt, whatever, and that she has no real friends, and you wonder how someone who looks like that could be so unhappy and hate their bodies? Deep down inside we all hate something about ourselves, and we are taught to do this. This goes far beyond modesty, friends. We punish ourselves for being what we are and this is not a good thing, regardless of what the media tells us.

When we punish ourselves, however, we are only hurting ourselves. It’s depressing and when we are depressed we tend to eat things we shouldn’t, we don’texercise like we should, and we sit up watching sitcoms that make us laugh because that’s the only place we find happiness anymore. Be honest. Does life feel like that for you? Find out more why you can never find happiness.

Then this self-punishment you are indulging in needs to be stopped now. Not after the holidays, not after winter is done, not after the Walking Dead takes its winter break: today!

Take a look at the top ways most people tend to punish themselves. Do any of these sound like you?

  • Refusing to ask for help, even if you really need it?
  • Inviting or keeping hurtful, negative, or unavailable people into your life?
  • Allowing yourself to live in a messy, disorganized house that makes you feel negative, depressed, and bad about yourself?
  • Procrastinate about everything so that you feel bad because your life is messed up?
  • Do you live on junk food because you see no point in “rewarding” yourself with healthy foods?
  • Do you drink to excess or do drugs?
  • Do you isolate yourself from friends, potential friends or family?
  • Do you say yes to everyone and everything, and then hate yourself because you are tired and stressed out?
  • Do you waste your time on Facebook, YouTube, or play hours of video games?
  • Do you withhold your true feelings and true self so that you feel isolated?
  • Do you go along with everyone else rather than speak up if you disagree?
  • Do you deliberately sabotage possible romantic relationships?
  • Do you deliberately antagonize people until everyone leaves you alone?
  • Do you spend money you don’t have?
  • Do you indulge in anger, resentment, hatred, or negative thinking every day?
  • Do you tell yourself that you are worthless, fat, ugly, stupid, incompetent, or any other type of regular criticism?

These are just some of the ways we punish ourselves and hold ourselves back from living truly happy, fulfilled lives. You can make excuses if you want. You can say that you “have to” say yes to people or they won’t like you (even though it makes you hate yourself), you can say that you “really need” all those things you spend your money on (as if you really NEED another pair of black shoes) or you can sit up and decide that you are going to make the changes you need so you can be happy. Why should you do that? Because you deserve it!

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happy or sad. what mood i have today

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Here are a few tips that can help get you started:


1.  Stop Lying to Yourself

Telling yourself that this one doughnut isn’t going to kill you is a lie, because you know you aren’t stopping at one doughnut and you do this every morning! Problems will not just disappear like magic, it’s true, it takes some work, but won’t it be worth it to be happy?  There are plenty of people in your life who will lie to you; you don’t have to lie to yourself.


2. Stop Procrastinating

This is perhaps one of the worst things we do to ourselves. We don’t do what we should now, which sabotages our future. If you have a problem, deal with it. If you have things you need to do, then do it and be done with it. When you don’t pay your car insurance on time, for example, not only will you have to pay a late fee or reinstatement fee, but if you have an accident during that small timeframe, you are going to be in a world of hurt. Get up, get dressed, show up, pay your bills, eat right, get some exercise, take care of business, and then go have fun. Life is so much easier this way, it really is!


3. Stop Buying Happiness

So many Americans are guilty of this. We are told by the media that if we just had “blank,” fill it in with whatever you like-a new phone, a more expensive car, a better apartment, a new living room set, whatever it is, and then we would be happy. It’s true, you will feel happy. For about a day. Then that “new” thing is now a “used” thing. Guess what? There is always going to be something newer, more expensive, better, or something you don’t have. ALWAYS. There is no end when you start trying to buy your way to happiness. Plenty of poor people are very happy because they nurture relationships and experiences, not things.


4. Stop Living in the Past or the Future

Yesterday is dead and gone. It isn’t coming back. You can sit around wishing that so and so would come back into your life, or that you could go back to simpler times, or to times before something tragic happened. You cannot change the past, so turn away from it and look at today. Yes, today is influenced by what happened yesterday, but today is completely within your control. Also, don’t live for the future. If you wait for that special person, that perfect time to have a baby, after you get a promotion, after you make X number of dollars per year to do what you really want to do, that time never comes. Remember yesterday, it has some valuable lessons and plan for tomorrow, so you can have the life you want, but live in today.


SEE ALSO: 10 Things Happy People Understand

5. Stop Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Things to be Different

If you keep eating those curly fries and not going to the gym, why are you surprised that you aren’t bikini ready when summer rolls around? Did those fries suddenly become calorie free this year? If what you are doing isn’t working, try something else! What’s the worst that could happen? If you don’t have success with method 2, that’s OK, method one didn’t work either, you haven’t lost anything, but what if method 2 works??  Don’t think of it as failure, think of it as something you learned that didn’t work, then try something else!

Change can be scary, but it is the only thing that is constant in life. Try it!