We all have our bad habits, some which affect us physically, others which affect us mentally, or emotionally. But the thing with bad habits is that they’re… bad. Shocker, huh? Although some common bad habits can range from skin-picking, to eating unhealthy, or using bad language, there are a few significantly damaging habits you could be partaking in without even noticing it. Let’s take a look at what they could be!
Before continuing this reading, this is a reminder that the following suggestions are meant to be taken as general guidance, and for educational purposes only. If you are struggling in ways that are significantly impacting your mental health, please seek help from a specialized professional.
1. Being Dishonest
Lying is a human instinct we all have in order to help us survive in the real world. Although a few white lies from time to time can allow you to feel better about yourself, avoid hurting people’s feelings, maintain good relationships, or even look after your own safety, being dishonest too often is proven to be mentally draining and harmful for the health of a relationship in the long run. According to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the consequences of lying can include increased risk of being penalized, threatened self-worth, and eroded trust in society. While it may feel better to lie in the moment, you could significantly risk the trust between you and the other person. What you might think is an insignificant lie can snowball into a false narrative that you will be consumed with maintaining. Being honest can be far more beneficial in keeping a healthy relationship with the people in your life- plus with keeping your conscience guilt-free!
2. Complaining Too Much
Do you tend to complain excessively? You might have good reason to do so, but the thing is, complaining about a situation doesn’t exactly do anything to make it better. Next time you are faced with a less-than-ideal situation, give yourself a moment to vent (to any caring person you trust), process the situation, and come up with a plan of action for what you’re gonna do about it. But “what if I don’t have any control over the situation?”, you may wonder. When you know you can’t do much to change something, this is where you take control of the way you react to it. You don’t have to mask your negative or unhelpful emotions, but the best thing you can for yourself and anyone involved is to deal with them productively.
3. Dwelling on Past Mistakes (and Neglecting the Present)
We all have our moments of regret. About things we may have done wrong in the past, moments that could have gone differently, opportunities we should have taken advantage of, mistakes we could have avoided, and experiences we should have steered clear from. It is quite normal to ruminate on the past, but being stuck in the past for too long can be a leading factor to an unhealthy mind. As Akina Chargualaf, entrepreneur, writer and content creator, puts it in her article with Lifehack, “Dwelling on the past means reading the same chapter over and over again while expecting the ending to change. It’s reopening wounds and allowing opportunities for self-sabotage. Dwelling on the past is the biggest roadblock from moving forward, and life will move forward whether you’re on board with it or not.” Remind yourself that the experiences you have been through have led you to who you are and where you are today. It would be in your best interest to take each mistake as an opportunity to improve, rather than seeing them as experiences that define you. Keep moving forward!
4. Being a People-Pleaser
Why do some of us tend to be people-pleasers anyway? According to the licensed therapist, Courtney Glashow, LCSW, some of the reasons for this include that you want to avoid conflict, you fear rejection/disappointing others, you want to fit in, you don’t want to experience guilt for rejecting someone else, or your self-worth comes from external validation. And all of this usually comes from this one culprit: lack of self-love. Being a people-pleaser only puts you on a wild goose chase to become the “perfect” person, or to be loved and appreciated by everyone. But the truth is, no matter how hard you may try to please people, there will still be those who don’t appreciate your worth, or mistreat you, or take advantage of your unconditional generosity. It’s important to set boundaries for yourself and to learn to say no to people because you just can’t put so much pressure on yourself to please everyone. It’s not worth being mentally depleted for something that others may not even notice. Give yourself the love and appreciation you deserve before you get to too low of a point where you depend on others to do this for you.
5. Fantasizing About Your Future (Instead of Working Towards It)
Do you get lost in your wild day-dreams, seeing yourself as a rich, successful, happy, loved person- maybe even all of the above? Don’t get me wrong- it’s great to visualize your goals, and feel inspired, but allowing yourself to lose track of where you are on your path to success can only hinder you from reaching from the stars. Have a dream you wish to come true? Well what can you do to make it come to fruition? How can you achieve your goals? Make your visions come to life? Come up with a plan, and commit to it. Make the best of your time to productively and healthily work towards making a great future for yourself, and you will reap the rewards of your own hard work.
We hope you found these tips helpful. It can be hard to break these habits, but identifying them and understanding why they are so harmful to continue is a great first step to eliminate them. Best of luck on your journey!
Chargualaf, A. (2021, January 25). How to Stop Dwelling on the Past and Move On for Good. Lifehack. https://www.lifehack.org/845040/dwelling-on-the-past.
Chu, M. (2019, October 2). 20 unhealthy habits you need to stop doing now. Thrive Global. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/unhealthy-habits-you-need-to-stop-doing-now/.
Glashow, C. (2021, February 23). 11 Reasons Why You Are a People-pleaser. Anchor Therapy, LLC. https://www.anchortherapy.org/blog/11-reasons-people-pleaser-hoboken-jerseycity-hudson-county-nj-therapist-counselor.
Kreps, S. (2020, May 15). 5 Habits You Need to Quit Right Now. Modern Simplicity. https://modernsimplicity.org/2016/09/5-habits-you-need-to-quit-right-now.html.
Reed, T. (2020). 5 Habits You Need to Quit Today. YouTube. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uemV1jpeeys.
Wiltermuth, S., Newman, D., & Raj , M. (2015, May 26). Character & context. SPSP. https://www.spsp.org/news-center/blog/the-consequences-of-dishonesty.