With health, the tendency is to focus on the physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions. However, there’s one more aspect that people aren’t aware of: behavioural health. Many think that this is interchangeable with mental illness, but it isn’t. Neurological and biological factors can affect the latter while the former relies significantly on a person’s behaviour and choices.
With that, let’s look at some examples of behavioural health issues.
It’s likely that most of you readers have tried out some form of gambling at some point. Maybe it’s buying a scratch card, betting on a sports team against your friends, or trying your luck with the lottery. As long as you don’t spend too much money on your bets, it doesn’t do much harm.
However, some people don’t know when to call it quits. It’s easy to become hooked on gambling. After you’ve pulled the lever on that slot machine, you tell yourself, “just a couple more tries.” Before you know it, you’ve lost all your money. It’ll start with all the cash you have for the night then escalate to losing all your life savings.
Gambling is a negative behaviour that can then affect other aspects of your health. When you suffer from significant financial losses, this can lead to depression, isolation from peers, and anxiety.
“Alcoholism is a complex disease, which has been misunderstood and stigmatized.” That is according to Cynthia Mascott, LMHC. An occasional drink never hurt anybody. Some researches even show that drinking certain alcoholic beverages now and again is right for your health. At the same time, alcohol also has a social role: you drink when bonding with friends, celebrating successes, and mourning losses. But again, such is only healthy in moderation.
Many of us start to turn to alcohol during difficult periods in our lives. This sort of behaviour can lead to dependence. We begin to use this as a crutch and coping mechanism. This practice, of course, isn’t proper as it only means that we’re running away from our problems. Instead of facing them head-on, we deflect them and turn to a harmful practice. It likewise has unfavourable effects on us physically and mentally.
If you’ve ever seen Parks and Recreation – or at least been on the internet, – you know how important it is to “treat yo self.” While it’s good to practice self-care, people usually take this saying to the extreme. Instead of occasionally treating yourself, it instead leads to overindulgence.
This immoderation often comes in the form of spending. Thanks to online shopping platforms such as Amazon, you don’t even have to leave your home. Your next gift to yourself is a click away. Before you know it, you’re checking out a dozen of items while you’re still awaiting last week’s package.
Again, this practice is not something you want to keep following. This compulsive behaviour can leave you with financial problems, and a problematic concept of what you deserve to have. Remember, you won’t be able to find online something that can magically solve all your problems. “When it comes to your money, you always have the power to make a difference, so recognize that choices exist for you to improve any financial problem.” A reminder from Bahareh Talei, Psy.D.
Being A Workaholic
Being dedicated to your career is undeniably a good thing. It’s a positive way of spending your time, and it allows you to grow professionally and personally. But again, anything in excess is harmful. If you find yourself willingly spending a lot of time at the office outside of your work schedule, you may be a workaholic.
Many see this term as a positive trait. However, this quality should not be the standard for a good work ethic. Being a workaholic can mean working to the expense of other aspects of your life. Relationships may fall apart, your health may deteriorate, and you may feel emotionally distressed over time.
What initially comes to your mind when you open your eyes in the morning? Many of us today will answer with, “my phone.” We use our phones as alarm clocks as well. But after turning that alarm off, we tend to head on to Facebook. Moreover, this is often the same activity we have right before bed. Our days start and end with us surfing the web. Jim Taylor Ph.D. believes and said, “There is also little doubt that all of the new technologies, led by the Internet, are shaping the way we think in ways obvious and subtle, deliberate and unintentional, and advantageous and detrimental.”
Many of us can still function day to day. However, there are those of us who neglect other aspects of our lives because of how much time we spend online. People forgo work to play games online, replace real friendships with chats, and some of us even forget to bathe since we’re so caught up on the latest news.
Behavioural health refers to how your habits and behaviour can affect your overall health. Developing an addiction to things such as alcohol, gambling, and work are some common issues for this aspect. The key to solving it is getting proper help to correct your behaviour. From there, you start moving towards holistic well-being.