• The Hey Mate Project

How to Conquer Self-Defeating Thoughts and Behaviours

Have you ever had a day where you just wouldn't get out of your own way ? A regular task seems too hard, your opinion of yourself and skill set SUCKS, and your normal cheerleader (yourself) is not there. The truth is the inner dialogue with yourself reflects your current mindset.

So here are some self-interventions, awareness and daily practices geared towards strengthening not only the body, but also the mind when it comes to self-defeating thoughts and behaviours.


Focusing on breathe can stop negative thinking in its tracks. Not only does it give you a break mentally it also relieves any tension in the body including aches and pains. Deep breaths (expanding your rib cage) slows down your thoughts, eases anxiety and helps reduce any racing hearts. Breathe exercises are a great way to help.

Log Off.

If you’re spending an excessive amount of time on social media and feelings of sadness, dissatisfaction, frustration, or loneliness are impacting your life, it may be time to re-examine your online habits and find a healthier balance.  Since it’s a relatively new technology, there’s little research to establish the long-term consequences, good or bad, of social media use. However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.

If social media is having an impact on your day to day feelings you can decrease your usage by doing the following:

  1. Use an app to track how much time you spend on social media each day. Then set a goal for how much you want to reduce it by.

  2. Turn off your phone at certain times of the day, such as when you’re driving, in a meeting, at the gym, having dinner, spending time with offline friends, or playing with your kids. Don’t take your phone with you to the bathroom.

  3. Don’t bring your phone or tablet to bed. Turn devices off and leave them in another room overnight to charge.

  4. Disable social media notifications. It’s hard to resist the constant buzzing, beeping, and dinging of your phone alerting you to new messages. Turning off notifications can help you regain control of your time and focus.

  5. Limit checks. If you compulsively check your phone every few minutes, wean yourself off by limiting your checks to once every 15 minutes. Then once every 30 minutes, then once an hour. There are apps that can automatically limit when you’re able to access your phone.

  6. Try removing social media apps from your phone so you can only check Facebook, Twitter and the like from your tablet or computer. If this sounds like too drastic a step, try removing one social media app at a time to see how much you really miss it.

Respond, Instead of React to Life

You can't control your life but you can choose how you respond to the situation. You can do this by being thoughtful and kind to yourself when responding. You can do this by meditating or using Wise Mind.

Wise mind means you are mentally and emotionally neutral, balanced and mindfully navigating though situations in life. You’re not acting out, acting impulsively or making decisions on the fly. You’re calm, thinking thoroughly through things, and checking yourself before wrecking yourself.

Final Thoughts

Distorted or unrealistic thoughts should never morph into core beliefs about yourself. If you succumb to distorted thoughts, you’re also self-sabotaging because you let these thoughts dictate your path in life.

Instead, rewire your brain using the self-interventions and awareness exercises so you can recognise your fullest potential, be the cheer leader you need in life and live the life you deserve.

Note. If you need a hand to implementing skills or want to explore this more, The Hey Mate Project can help.

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