- Make a mountain out of a molehill – I used to come home at night and talk to my husband about all those little things that had gone wrong during the day. It might just be one little thing, but I managed to make an evening’s conversation out of it. Not so good for personal wellness. The only thing this accomplished was to make me dread going to work the next day!
- Lose sleep by worrying excessively! This is a habit I learned from my mom (I know there’s a gene for eye color and other physical traits; is there one for worrying, too?) Tossing and turning over work stuff, teenage daughter issues, and of course, my all time favorite, money, or what I perceived as a lack of it. (Yet God has always provided – go figure!)
- Let pessimism clutter your mind – This is easy to do when I watch too much television news. So I avoid watching the news channels, which are always filled with all the dark side of life. (By the way, did you know that there’s actually a Good News Network on the Internet? I just found it tonight and popped it into my AOL favorites)
- Think “can’t do,” rather than “can do.” Since I’ve started writing this blog, there have been many times that I’ve been filled with self-doubt and fear (two of the worst enemies of our well-being). When I allow myself to dwell on these enemies, I end up living “inside the box,” rather than moving forward with my life.
- Compare yourself to others, with envy – Envy is self-defeating. If I find myself feeling envious of others, I channel that feeling by motivating myself to change my own life circumstances in some way.
- Cling to anger and resentment over your past – My dad was an alcoholic. For many years, I resented his actions. As I grew older, however, I realized that he had serious issues, depression being one of them. He lived in emotional pain that never ended. When he died, I actually wrote a eulogy for him – and in the process, I discovered the gifts that he had given me during his lifetime.
- Live with the “victim” mentality. I used to get angry at my mom when I was a teen and she’d say, “Don’t forget to send your dad a card for Father’s Day, or he might start drinking.” If he could blame me for his actions, he could avoid looking inside himself for real answers to his problems. And he could avoid taking responsibility for his life.
- Be a crabby grouch – Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a bad mood and you take it out on the cashier at the gas station, or the clerk at the grocery store, you get the same crabbiness in return? I have. But when I’m kind and empathetic toward others, I tend to get the same good stuff in return.
- Take yourself so seriously that you forget how to laugh at yourself. In middle and high school, I was often embarassed about myself because I just didn’t “fit in.” What’s great now is that I’ve used those bad experiences in this blog and find them to be pretty darn funny. Even now, at the age of 53, I know I sometimes do goofy things, or make silly mistakes. So what? The ability to laugh at our own goofiness is key to surviving the craziness of this world. And, laughter is good for our health.
I tried to think of a 10th way to sabotage your wellness, but ran out of ideas. Maybe you can help me. Can you think of ways that we mess up our emotional wellness?Tweet