It’s easy to relegate our mental health to the background because we don’t know what exactly to do to keep it in check. The truth is just like we make sure to eat the right foods and exercise to stay on top of our physical health, our mental health needs extensive care as well. You may go about your daily life without really thinking too much about how certain habits affect you mentally.
With that said, here are six habits that are endangering your mental health.
- Too much self deprecation and negative self talk
We easily fall on self deprecating jokes as a way out of awkward situations but what we don’t realise is that making such jokes about any aspect of yourself is often a nod towards low self esteem or having a negative image of yourself. It can be an unhealthy coping mechanism you fall back onto every time you face an uncomfortable situation. Similarly, others try to fish for compliments by making negative comments about themselves so that others can compliment and validate them; their self worth depends on others’ validation. Former Mrs Canada titleholder and 2021 International People’s Choice Award winner, Patricia Celan, a psychiatry resident at Dalhousie University, explains that making negative comments about yourself serves to cement those beliefs and reinforces brain pathways for negativity. On that note, be conscious of the words you say to and about yourself regardless of whether or not you believe it as an individual.
- Procrastinating and disorganisation
You must’ve heard that procrastination is the thief of time but you’re probably unaware that it also eats away your mental health. Basically, it’s an avoidance strategy. It raises stress levels and lowers levels of well-being. Chronic procrastination can also result in low self confidence, reduced energy and poor performance at work or at school. This leads to poor mental health down the road. Life just begins to move slow…
It is a feeling of life passing you by. When you don’t have a daily routine or order, it provides hopelessness about your future and a lack of faith in yourself. Having a routine creates predictability which does wonders for your mental health as well as your physical and emotional health.
- Checking your phone too much
Smartphones are basically a part of our hands now. We use them for literally everything. For studies, research, assignments, work appointments, social media, connecting with friends and family and checking the weather or news. However, did you know that checking your phone too often is also a cause of mental distress? But hey, don’t take my word for it. A research conducted in the University of Gothenburg show a close propensity for depression in individuals who checked their phones too often. Especially after you’ve just woken up or before you go to bed. It causes mood and sleep dysregulations. NB: This can also create tension and can cause pain in your neck and spine area.
- Overspending and not having a budget
How closely do you keep a budget when spending money on things you enjoy? Once in a while it is fun to go overboard and treat yourself with stuff you like, it’s like a reward. However, overspending as a habit is actually harmful to your mental and financial health. Not having a budget can spell disaster as it creates money related stress. We have the ability to reduce or eliminate financial stress but sadly, we live with the worry it creates every day. We spend too much time trying to justify our actions instead of changing our habits. While living on a budget might not be something you enjoy or want to do, it can have great benefits for reducing stress about money.
- Not enough alone time
It’s true human beings do require a healthy amount of social interaction and that amount is unique to everyone given their personalities. The threat to mental health starts when you’re putting too much time into being around people instead of having time to be by yourself. One of the benefits of being alone is listening to your body and using that time to reset and get more ‘me’ time and to continue to discover and create your own identity. It can be exhausting to be around people all the time. So having a time where you are fully yourself in your own space is extremely important.
- Worrying too much about being nice
Do you agree that kindness is a virtue that the world can always use more of? It’s a balance between being generous and open whilst having boundaries and focusing on respect. A research conducted in the University of Oxford in 2017 showed that kindness boosts happiness not only for the recipient but for the giver. However, there is a but. There always is. When you start to think too much about being nice. It is harmful to your mental health. Yes, that’s because you’re not operating from a place of genuine honesty and kindness. You are trying to be liked or going with a flow you don’t want to be going along with. You easily get exhausted and you’re constantly unhappy because pretending is a tiresome 24/7 job. You worry too much about what people think and put their needs above your wants and needs. If you especially don’t enjoy spending time with someone, you need to remember that it’s not mean to limit your time with them. We are allowed to not like people and we don’t owe them anything more than basic human respect. While you can’t change habits overnight challenging yourself to start with just one can have a big impact on your mental health going forward. Keep doing your best and don’t forget to rest.
Thanks for sticking with me to the very end. Peharps you have more tips in the bag which could be very helpful, feel free to leave a comment with your experience, feedback or suggestions. If you found this blog post helpful be sure to hit the like button and share it with others too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.✨❤️