Why we self-destruct and how to stop

© Glendali

In short, we self-destruct because we want to feel good.

It seems a very strange thing to say but wanting to feel good is behind self destructive behavior. Feeling good is natural to us and when we don’t feel good we will do whatever it takes to feel good again.

The problem is that the quick fix we choose makes us feel even worse after the short-term high. It’s dysfunctional because it doesn’t work. Self destructive behavior only makes things worse but it’s the way we’re wired…

In nature we couldn’t fall into this trap. There are no pizza trees, no ice-cream or chocolate trees.

There are no rivers of vodka :-)

Fish out of water

In nature, what makes us feel good would most of the time, BE GOOD.

In nature, we’d learn these powerful cause-effect relationships that would be very good for our health.

Here in the modern world, self-destruction is a pit-fall we can all so easily fall into — to reach for the quick solution that will make us feel good again RIGHT NOW.

And the further down you go the harder it gets to pull yourself out because stopping your “fix” takes you from bad to worse. The effect is feeling even worse. The urge to fix your bad feelings can be incredibly strong.

And more often than not, there is a physical, chemical dependency on the fix too. Another layer, another reason why it can be so hard to turn it around.

Often the cycle continues until there is a crisis point and everything goes wrong. By that time, a lot of damage has been done to relationships, energy, health, career, self-esteem and so-on.

And of course, the whole cycle is powerfully driven by HABIT. The cause-effect of “feel bad –> fix” becomes hard wired and automatic so we need powerful tools if we’re to turn things around.

The answers

Define your healthy life with clarity and move slowly toward it, carefully managing each step and being sure not to self-medicate any temporary bad feelings with the normal fix.

It takes incredible effort and will-power at first to lift yourself out of a self-destruct cycle. And you can feel so lost it seems there’s no way out.

But with the right tools you don’t have to wait until your life is in the gutter. You can begin to turn it around right now by being smart and taking it step by step.

It’s got to be one of the hardest things for us humans to do because we have to fight against the urge to fix our bad feelings right now.

If you feel like you’re self-destructing and feel lost then please know — there is hope.

You CAN be happy again.

The solution is in achieving the best lifestyle — moving slowly and surely towards it, giving your body and mind time to adjust along the way.

Self-destruction isn’t pretty. I’ve been there. But there IS a way out.

Click here to take the first step

Free chapter

Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.

Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
Or get the paperback…

Keep in touch

Get inspiration in your inbox from Happy Guide

7 thoughts on “Why we self-destruct and how to stop

  1. Mr.Michael kinnaird-Hello-The habit has gone to the pattern much worse.just talking to people my thought energy goes to abruptly every negative state way which goes against the people having no fault or little in them or whether the problems in them exist or not and thus make me forced to better to escape so that they may not get harmed by me to pass such negative informative thoughts between others too for which i am responsible.why to think wrong way and make others aware.How to break such thought energy habit and how i remain detached for personal problem of others.However this is happening unwillingnessly.
    Best Wishes,
    Imtiyaz Khan


    1. I feel for you Imtiyaz. What you must really understand clearly is that a happy state of mind is NOT just about mind control, it’s about your whole lifestyle. Your diet especially and crucially has a powerful effect on mood… for example, as I’ve been posting about recently, the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats plays a foundational role in controlling many body processes.

      I don’t know that much about you to be able to pinpoint what exactly is wrong. That is why our strategy is to CORRECT ALL FACTORS. By looking at your lifestyle and comparing it to the lifestyle laid out in the book, you can see where you are going wrong. Have you read the book?


  2. I have to admit, I always thought that my emotions controlled me and who I was…mainly because they coincided with what I wanted in life. Then in my early twenties my emotions and thoughts made me believe that I wanted to do something which I truly didn’t. Why? I don’t think I’ll ever really know though I think that it was because life wasn’t as exciting anymore (Though I honestly was contented).

    Now because of my previous beliefs it was very hard to fight this, so much so that I got anxious doing what I actually wanted to do. I ended up overthinking everything to the point that I rarely felt good about much I wanted to do, including helping others. So I made what I was fighting into an urge/compulsion, I would feel relaxed to give in despite not wanting to. Its funny how the brain works isn’t it? Its like when addicts relapse, they experience a temporary mental euphoria because they have given in and aren’t expending energy fighting it mentally. I began to wonder why I shouldn’t just give in, but in the end despite the immediate high….I knew it wasn’t me and what I wanted to do.

    Even psychologists agree that a conscious self is who you are and not overwhelming emotions/compulsions/thoughts. You have a CHOICE.

    I still struggle occasionally, mainly because of ruminating and over analyzing….but I am getting there. It is too easy to give into anger and especially fear. Remember that bravery is not the absence of fear, but the decision to act in spite of fear.

    Mike: I posted on here about a year ago and you were a source of reason for me. I think everyone appreciates the time and effort you put into replying to people’s problems. I’m taking some advice you gave to the OP, love and care for others and it’ll pay dividends. I’m banking on it :)


    1. Hi An Old Poster :-)

      Wow, you’ve covered a lot of ground there… seems you’ve spotted the cause of your occasional troubles… ruminating and over anal-ysing. Awareness is the first step isn’t it? So now you’re aware, you can spot yourself doing it and stop it :-)

      The best way out of overwhelming mental pickles is commitment to meditation… make it alllll quieeet, ahhhhhh, bliss :-) Yes, you are a conscious self but do you know that in your experience or just as an idea? Meditation can take you deeply into the experience. Then and only then is choice possible.

      I agree with you about bravery.

      Re love for others… the point is not to be concerned with whether you are loved, but whether you are loving. And that is not possible until you can simply be yourself, drop all ideas about yourself including the idea that you are loving. I say that love is what you are and the more you are in your place of choice… pure awareness, the more that love will shine through. That’s my experience. All else is egotistical.

      To get back to your real self is about committing to health and peace of mind. 100% believe that. It’s about feeling amazing and having no hang-ups, no chips on the shoulder, no axe to grind… just being yourSELF right here and now.

      We can get so confused when we become identified with our projected mental self-image. All that is BS. Drop it by committing to meditation, to living in the moment, by being aware of every single thought that pops.

      All the answers are SIMPLE. difficult at first, effortless at last.

      Thanks for writing in again AOP.



  3. claire, your story is so similar to a person i work with he has the same qualities and alomost mirrors him, he told me that people use him, for his wisdom, his work ethos and he is very kind, trustworthy, aloyal worker, but his employers take advantage by passing on work that should be done by a higher grade, he feels he is only good enough to be used, don’t get me wrong he likes being needed and relied upon but gets frustrated that others cannot see his need as well to be recongised for being himself not trying to impress or be seen as being always there to fall upon, if he is not they take offense.


  4. Hello Claire,

    You can help him by gently guiding him to the solution to his problem. What is your next step? Perhaps you could encourage him to look at Happy Guide or this web page?

    Perhaps you could decide what you would like to say to him and then wait for the opportune moment to say it. Perhaps you could check in on him regularly so he gets used to opening up to you and this way you’ll have more opportunity to say what you want to say.

    It’s hard to see sometimes that the solution to all problems is lifestyle and habits. The reason he does his bad thing is to feel good again and he’s developed a new habit of using his bad thing to fix bad feelings.

    Happy Guide has all the answers Claire. I would gently guide him to it and then you can both discuss how it applies to his situation. And of course, you can run anything by me if you need clarity on anything.

    Keep loving him in this way and he’ll see that there’s at least one person who cares :-) Ulimately the solution to feeling unloved is to love and care for others because what we give comes back with interest.

    Good luck and God bless,


  5. what are the steps that are need to help someone in a selfdestructive mode, the person i know, he knows what he is doing is wrong, and does it spontanous without planning to do it, but while doing it gets a thought that this is wrong but he follows through with the wrong action and feels remorseful after, how can i help this person to help themselves and to heal the hurt, pain, feeling of no body cares about him, or really loves him, for the outer person who would know him he comes across as happy very calm, gentle, inner confident, but unassuming, unobtrusive person, he has so much wisdom but he cannot seem to stop, how can i help him to feel better, about himself and to make the changes in his own lifestyle, to have more energy and love of himself, it is very sad seeing someone with so much potential self destructing himself


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s