Hate takes a toll on a person’s health—mentally, emotionally, and physically! When we feel hatred, we’re releasing stress hormones in our brains. The long-term effect of living with stress leads to inflammation in the body, which opens the door for several other health conditions.
If you just did a mental rundown of the people in your life and determined you don’t hate anyone, you might think you’re off the hook. But not so fast. Enemies don’t only come in the form of humans. Here are three things we do in life that you may be making an enemy of—often without even realizing it.
While the goal is to always be in progression and learning, it’s important not to obsess over how productive you are every second of every day. For some high achievers, resting and slowing down might almost feel like bad words. When you feel the need to always be doing something, you’re on the highway to burn out. Without even realizing it, you might have made the idea of stagnation into your enemy. Rest is important—even if it is intentional and scheduled into your calendar. Remember—a phone isn’t very reliable when it’s on 1%. Similarly, if you don’t take the time to recharge, you won’t be as efficient, productive, and reliable. Work smarter, not harder.
Stillness and Peace
Are you guilty of overthinking? Do you find yourself creating problems in your life that aren’t necessarily problems so you can have something to solve? Do you lie awake at night with your thoughts racing with “what if” scenarios? If so, you might have made stillness and peace an enemy in your life without even realizing it. The irony is that oftentimes that is the one thing we are after, and yet we sabotage ourselves without even realizing it. Practice gratitude when you catch yourself overthinking to help shift your focus back on everything that is going right versus what is going wrong.
Freedom of Self
Similar to peace is the freedom to walk in your own belief system and take control of your life. If the human spirit yearns for freedom, why do so many of us find ourselves people-pleasing our way through life? When we people please, we sacrifice what we want or agree with to allow the other person to get what they want. Without realizing it, you have made boundaries and the freedom to be yourself your enemy. It is not always a conscious decision or choice, but it is important to start having self-awareness around when you are likely to people please. You can only disregard your inner voice for so long before it starts to take a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Just like we can make idols out of anything and anyone, we can do the same with an enemy. We often have no idea these enemies are lingering in our lives, even though we may feel their effects.
“When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.” –Dale Carnegie