Habits That Negatively Impact Mental Health
We’ve all had times when we feel drained or exhausted but we’re not sure why. Or you suddenly find yourself in a bad mood and feeling down even though nothing happened. That’s just what you think, but in fact there are several habits that we all do in our day that have a negative impact on our mental health. The good news is, once you’re aware of these habits and their effect on you, you’ll be able to manage them and how much time they take up from your day. Leading you to have more control over your mental health and avoid any “surprise” bad moods. Below are the most common habits:
1. Slacking on sleep – not sleeping well for a few nights can make you feel grumpy and out of focus, but a habit of poor sleep can wreak havoc on your mental health. Research shows that people with mental health problems tend to sleep poorly. It has been reported that 60% to 90% of patients with depression also have insomnia.
2. Lack of Exercise – Regular exercise causes the body to release endorphins and other “feel good” hormones, suppress immune system chemicals that worsen depression and increases body temperature which creates a calming effect. All of which has been proven to ease depression and anxiety. Exercising regularly can also boost confidence, distract you from worrying, improve social interaction, and help you cope with life stresses in a healthy way. But be careful not to fall into bad exercise habits such as exercising irregularly or not at all or exercising to the point of exhaustion.
1. Obsessing over social media – A survey of adult social media users shows that 62% of participants reported feelings of inadequacy and 60% reported feelings of jealousy from comparing themselves to other social media users. While 30% said that using social media made them feel lonely. Additionally, too many social media platforms may be dangerous to your mental health and result in an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Therefore, when it comes to social media, we must ask ourselves “how much is too much?”
2. Overuse of smart phones – Mental health professionals now worry that excess smartphone use can cause a form of addiction, with users compulsively checking for notifications and updates in fear of missing out. Recent research has shown that compulsive or excessive use of a smartphones could worsen symptoms of depression, anxiety, chronic stress and/or low self-esteem. Being always alert and aware of distressing news, being disappointed when not receiving good news in notifications and constantly witnessing arguments or debates on social media can all take a toll on your mental health.
3. Procrastinating – Majority of us don’t realize that procrastinating can have much longer-lasting effects on your mental health. When you put off a task because it is daunting or gives you anxiety, you end up creating even more anxiety as your deadline approaches. Alternatively, it would be better to create a structured plan for your tasks and craft simple but useful to-do lists in your everyday life.
4. Multitasking – Multitasking seems like a way to increase productivity, but it can leave a person feeling overwhelmed and off-center, and end up actually lowering productivity levels. Instead, it is more effective to try to accomplish one thing at a time by breaking a single task into smaller steps. By directing all your energy on one task, you will do a better and faster job in completing your tasks while feeling more in control.
1. Negative thinking patterns – Our brains are wired to have primarily negative thoughts. If we don’t actively fight these thoughts, then we lose before we even begin the day. Our thoughts become our beliefs, which dictate our daily actions and overall presence in the world.
2.Perfectionism – Seeking excellence and doing your best when trying to achieve goals is a healthy habit that can increase your chances of success. But the need to be perfect all the time can actually undermine your efforts. Habits of negative perfection can take several forms such as setting unattainable standards, dissatisfaction with anything less than perfect, constantly worrying about failure or disapproval, and feeling like you’re not good enough when you make mistakes.
3.Guilt – The seeds of guilt are usually sowed during childhood, when you learned to “clean your plate because there were starving kids in the world” As an adult, the emotional grip of guilt may have matured too, leaving you to feel guilty about ordinary daily activities such as leaving your family to go to work, or not being able to finish your to-do list. Suddenly, you may find yourself constantly feeling guilty and not being able to focus your attention on one task.
4. Co-dependency – it’s a habit that limits your ability to enjoy a happy and healthy relationship. Co-dependency habits such as sacrificing yourself to take care of another person and putting someone else’s desires ahead of your needs can rob you of your individuality while endangering your health and wellbeing.