Some people are naturally drawn to high-risk behaviors. This may involve taking drugs or alcohol, engaging in promiscuous sex, gambling or getting into physical altercations. There are many different ways this tendency can manifest, but all can be dangerous. In some cases, such actions can have legal consequences. They can also be harmful to your health, employment and relationships. If you or someone you care about engages in high-risk behaviors, the following tips can be helpful.

Identify When You Engage in This Behavior

If you want to overcome your habit of engaging in high-risk behaviors, you will first have to admit that you are making dangerous choices. If you attempt to rationalize or underplay it, you will never be able to make meaningful changes. It's also essential to identify the specific situations that bring out this behavior. High-risk behaviors don't happen in a vacuum, but within particular times or places. When you learn what circumstances tend to bring out this side of your personality, you can make a conscious decision to avoid these situations. For example, if you tend to get drunk every time you go out with certain friends, you may need to take a break from spending time with this group of friends.

Find Acceptable Outlets

In some cases, you can find a safe and socially acceptable outlet for behaviors that might otherwise be dangerous, illegal or otherwise problematic. For example, if you crave physical danger, you might take up a sport like rock climbing, deep sea diving or mixed martial arts. If you crave the excitement of gambling, you might become an expert in speculative investments such as futures or Forex. This may not be a complete solution, but it can help make it easier to manage your situation. You should also identify the cause of your behavior and, if necessary, control any chemical imbalances that might be contributing to it.

Get Professional Help

If your high-risk behaviors are causing a serious problem for you or those close to you, you may require one or more types of professional help. You should seek a therapist or counselor who is familiar with the specific type of issue you are facing. There is evidence that even brief therapy can help control high-risk behavior. Group therapy can also be helpful, as it provides a safe environment where you can talk openly with others who have the same issue. If your high-risk behavior has caused problems with the law, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney. If your behavior has harmed your health, get advice from a physician you trust.

Join a Group of People Who Share Your Problem

There are many groups that are dedicated to helping people overcome addictions as well as other high-risk behaviors. Some of these are traditional 12 Step type programs, but there are many others as well. Most cities now have a wide variety of groups that are very specifically targeted. If there isn't a group that meets your needs in your area, you may be able to find an online support group. It can be helpful to join a community of people who understand what you are going through and where you can share strategies and solutions.

High-risk behavior can not only hurt you, but also the people you are closest to. What may seem like short-term fun can have disastrous long-term consequences. That's why it's important to be honest with yourself and do everything you can to overcome these tendencies. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.