Behaviours - Mind & Body Intertwined

Lisa, of Mind and Body Intertwined, started her blog whilst studying for her Bachelors in Psychology.  She has now received her Masters degree. During her studies, she found that the body and the mind are often working together to secure our happiness.  Lisa started researching the connection between the mind and the body and how they can compliment each other in daily life.

Read more about Lisa here.

Behaviours

Hi! My name is Lisa from Mind and Body Intertwined. During my studies, I’ve found how easy it is to get confused between normal behaviour and problematic behaviours. For instance, watching what you eat is generally considered healthy behaviour. However, there is a disease called orthorexia. It’s a form of anorexia where people get so scared of being unhealthy that they start to avoid certain food groups, which eventually can lead to undernourishment or even worse. Trying to eat less sugar is quite healthy, but not if you start to think that one banana is going to kill you, due to the fruit sugars in it.

I’ve personally experienced this when talking about dealing with your feelings. You’ve always been told that talking about your feelings is healthier than keeping them in or avoiding them. Laughing things away can therefore being considered as an unhealthy behaviour.

However, in my experience, it can also be very helpful not to take your problems too serious sometimes. Sometimes talking a lot about certain things can make them feel bigger than they actually are.

Quotes about Behaviours _ Mental Health Quotes _ Mental Health Awareness _ Kids Mental Health

Most disorders are normal feelings or behaviours that escalated for some reason. Feeling sad isn’t bad, depression is. Anxiety isn’t bad, but it is if it happens often and it’s stronger than it should be. If you apply for a job you really want, some anxiety is fine. It only becomes problematic when it paralyzes you or when it impacts every other part of your life and you can’t eat or sleep because of it.

Is It Unhealthy?

So, where is the line? When can you classify something as unhealthy? The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) has some common things to say about the differences between a disorder and a problem. In most disorders, common ways to actually identify things as problematic is when:

– The behaviour leads to suffering of the self or others
– The behaviour lasts for a certain amount of time (depends on the problem)
– How intensely are the behaviours/feelings?
– It doesn’t have another explanation (like sadness when someone close has died or medication)

Now, this doesn’t mean that the behaviour doesn’t pose a problem if this is not the case, but it is not necessarily a disorder. I do use these criteria for myself as a guideline as well. For instance, I know that if I drank too much or ate very unhealthy for a few days, I have depressive symptoms. However, they always subside in a few days and I know the cause, so I don’t have to worry my actual depression is coming back. However, it does mean that I might want to watch out for drinking too much or eating unhealthy in the upcoming weeks.

Finding a Balance

To conclude, I think doing something unhealthy doesn’t need to classify as a problem.  However, if the behaviours are done often, they are not common or explainable and it hurts you or others, you might want to do something about it. Everyone has ‘bad’ days, where we feel down or we are a little irresponsible, but they shouldn’t turn in to bad months. It’s all about some balance.

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Lots of love,

Lisa

Mind and Body Intertwined

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Healthy Behaviours vs Unhealthy Behaviours _ Behavioural Psychology _ Mind and Body Intertwined (1)