We all have some “bad” habits. From biting our nails to procrastinating on work to eating too much junk food. While having bad habits is part of being human, sometimes they turn “toxic” and can negatively affect our mental health. From time to time, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate how much our habits are hurting us. But sometimes it’s hard to realise what habits are “toxic” because some of those habits can seem like good ones, like caring for others. Now, there’s nothing wrong with caring for others, but if you constantly care for others at your own expense, it might be a toxic habit that’s keeping you from pursuing your own well-being. We singled out 10 bad habbits for your mental health.
Also read: 10 simple tricks to relieve stress
Taking pictures of EVERYTHING
Haphazardly snapping pictures may hamper how you remember those moments, according to a study published in Psychological Science. In the study, participants took a museum tour, observing some objects and snapping pics of others. Afterward, they had a harder time remembering the items they photographed compared with the ones they looked at. The lens is a veil in front of your eyes and we don’t realize it’s there.
Put the camera down sometimes and enjoy the moments. You’ll feel more satisfied and happy while accualy paticipating without taking pictures.
Lack of Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle is bad for your waistline, your heart and, as it turns out, your mental health. We all know that exercise is important for our health, but for some of us, maintaining a consistant fitness routine can be elusive. One key to staying consistent with exercising is finding an activity that you enjoy. Search for something that gets you excited. Watch the video for the other easy ways that you can stay motivated.
Regular exercise may ease depression by releasing endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals, suppressing immune system chemicals that worsen depression, and increasing body temperature to create a calming effect. Exercising regularly can also give you confidence, distract your mind from worries, improve social interaction, and help you cope with life stresses in a healthy way.
Bad exercise habits that affect your mental health include exercising irregularly or not at all, exercising to the point of exhaustion, practicing bad form, and engaging in only one form of exercise.
Although common, procrastination can be dangerous for your mental health. Putting off tasks can cause stress and anxiety. If you’re avoiding the task because it makes you anxious or because you’re afraid of failing, then procrastinating just makes completing it more nerve-wracking. Our advice is that before you finally tackle your problem head-on, do something that helps you ease stress: listen to music, go for a run. Engaging in an activity that helps disintegrate the anxiety. This way you can insert a bit of fun into it, instead of stress.
Not enough sleep
Sleep is a source of physical and emotional resilience. By providing your brain and body an opportunity to recover from the difficulties of the previous day, sleep helps you rise to the challenges of tomorrow. Losing sleep for one or two nights can make you feel groggy, grumpy, and out of focus, but a habit of poor sleep can wreak havoc on your mental health.
Adults need to sleep an average of seven to nine hours per night. Catching sufficient sleep is healthy for many reasons, some of which may surprise you. Researchers think poor sleep can result in mental health problems, according to Harvard Mental Health Letter, and that treating the sleep disorder can help relieve mental health symptoms.
You’re never alone
You are always on the go, between kids, work, marriage, and other activities, you never take time for yourself. This can be harmful to your mental health. Alone time can help you unwind, increase your productivity, discover yourself, find your own voice and think deeply. It is important to find time for yourself, whether it is 10 minutes, an hour, or a day. Without taking the time to do things for yourself, depression and anxiety creep in. Set aside some time every day to disconnect and spend time with yourself.
Overuse of a smartphone
If you can’t remember when was the last time that you were completely electronic-device free, that’s not a good sign. Using a smartphone is a very rewarding activity. An endless variety of apps, messaging systems and websites trigger positive feelings.
Habitual smartphone use, however, causes you to check your device constantly in fear of missing out. With all the devices we have, it tends to overstimulate us and if we are always on, then we never truly rest and regenerate our bodies and our minds. Eventually, this can manifest itself as depression or anxiety.
Some mental health professionals worry excess smartphone use can cause a form of addiction, with users compulsively checking for notifications and updates. Compulsive or excessive use of a smartphone could worsen symptoms of depression, anxiety, chronic stress and/or low self-esteem.
We’re all guilty of multitasking: we take lunch at our desks, scroll through Facebook while watching TV, and text pretty much constantly. Research shows that although many people believe they’re being more productive by multitasking, that’s not actually the case. It just leaves us stressed out, oblivious to our surroundings, and unable to communicate effectively.
You should put down the phone, turn off the television, and pay attention to what you are doing and what is going on around you. Allowing your brain to process everything that is happening to you in real time may be the best thing you can do for your mental health.
Everyone has negative thoughts now and then, and occasional feelings of failure usually pose no mental health problem. Fostering these negative thoughts can create a failure mindset which can interfere with your ability to succeed. Ugly thoughts that say your life is bleak, miserable, and without hope or meaning can become good company on sleepless nights, and prevent you from making forward progress during the day. Left unleashed, continual thoughts of failure become habit.
Thoughts and feelings of failure inflict terrible damage on mental health, leading to anxiety and depression. Negative thoughts discourage you from setting goals, diminish the value of your natural talents, and magnify your missteps.
Simply sitting up straight can reduce symptoms of depression. Several other studies show good posture improves self-esteem and mood, but the results of the new study suggest that good posture increases positive attitude, reduces fatigue, and decreases self-focus in those with mild to moderate depression.
Such as how we feel can affect the way we walk, the inverse is also true. Researchers found that when subjects were asked to walk with shoulders slouched, hunched over, and with minimum arm movements, they experienced worse moods than those who had more pep in their steps. What’s more, participants who walked in the slouchy style remembered more negative things rather than positive things.
Taking life too seriously
You trip on a crack in the sidewalk, and instead of shrugging it off, you cower with embarrassment. If that sounds like you, it’s time to find some ways to laugh more. There are many studies showing the benefits of laughter on our health and this includes mental health. Laughter is the fast medicine for anxiety and depression.
Also read: How to improve mental health?