6 Signs You’re Hurting Your Mental Health

This article is for educational purposes and is based on personal opinions. This article is not a substitute for professional advice, but for general guidance. We advise you to always listen to your intuition and always do what is right for you.

Have you recently been feeling that coping with stress and difficult life situations is becoming harder and harder? That’s completely understandable considering the kind of year that 2020 was for everyone. The coronavirus global pandemic definitely had an effect on the overall mental health of everyone as it forced families and loved ones to stay apart, it caused many people to lose their jobs and economic security, and more than anything, it introduced a huge change to how people planned their daily routines. All of these paired with the usual stress of daily life could definitely have a negative impact on your mental health.

However, the global pandemic will not last forever as vaccines and general knowledge about it steadily advance, so chances are that things will get better over time on this front. As such, it is very important for you to focus on the things that you can control, such as daily habits or behaviour that are playing a big part in hurting your mental health. To address this, I will be discussing 6 signs that you’re hurting your mental health as a way to raise awareness and hopefully provide some general guidance on the topic.

You fish for compliments with negative self-talk

How much do you like it when people compliment you? Well, everyone enjoys being complimented to different degrees. However, if you resort to negative self-talk just to get compliments from people, then this is one of the signs that you are hurting your mental health.

According to Patricia Celan, a mental health professional, constantly making negative comments about yourself promotes brain pathways for negativity (Flynn, 2020). As such, you will only be hurting your own self-esteem and mental health, which can very easily spill over other parts of your life such as your relationships, work-related performance, etc.. To avoid this, it is recommended that you try to express positive thoughts about yourself and give your self-confidence a boost that will certainly help you.

You’re constantly trying to be productive

Are you someone who tries to fill out their daily schedule to a point where you are always doing something productive? Although being as productive as possible is a good thing, people tend to forget that their bodies and minds also need breaks. If you are constantly doing something without taking necessary breaks, then this is a sign that you’re hurting your mental health.

According to Dr. Anna Yam, PhD, clinical psychologist, people tend to focus so much on being productive that they don’t allow their brains to take a break and process all the input and information that has been gathered throughout the day (Flynn, 2020). This will heavily compromise your mental health and ultimately make you feel very anxious and irritable. So, a good way to address this is to remember that sometimes doing nothing and relaxing might be the most productive thing you can do.

You worry too much about being nice

Do you constantly worry about being nice to everyone? While being nice is a trait that most people find pleasing and attractive, constantly worrying too much about it is a clear sign that you’re hurting your mental health. Robert Taibbi, L.C.S.W. states that worrying too much about being nice can have a number of negative effects on your mental health such as repressing emotions, building resentment, periodic burnout, amongst other things (Taibbi, 2018). You will find yourself sacrificing time and energy on things that you don’t even want to do. It’s important to remember that it’s okay if you don’t like some people, you don’t owe them anything more than basic human respect (Flynn, 2020).

You bottle up your feelings

Have you ever felt emotions such as anger or sadness, but just tried to ignore it? Suppressing your emotions is never a good idea, and it’s one of the biggest signs that you’re hurting your mental health. According to a study conducted in the University of Texas, not acknowledging your emotions, and trying to suppress them actually makes them stronger (Cousins, 2018).

Also, Victoria Tarratt, provisional clinical psychologist, expresses that you’re not only placing additional physical stress on your body, or risking an emotional outburst by suppressing your emotions, but you are also increasing the chances of suffering problems with memory, aggression, anxiety, and depression (Cousins, 2018). So, no matter which emotion or feeling it is, make sure that you address it as soon as you identify it to avoid bottling up.

You start and end your day on your phone

How often do you use your phone when you’re in bed? Yes, technology has developed so much that some people have started to consider it a necessity. However, starting and ending your day on your phone might actually be a sign that you’re hurting your mental health. According to psychotherapist Kelly Bos, starting and ending your day on your phone is bad for your mental health because of the barrage of things that you try to address and keep up with, as well as the temptation to get distracted that comes with being on your phone on bed (Flynn, 2020). Over-stimulating your mind as soon as you wake up, or when you’re getting ready to go to bed will have negative effects on your mental health, so Kelly Bos recommends leaving phones and technology out of the bedroom entirely.

You’re always hoping something better will come along

Do you consider someone ambitious? Hoping for better things can be a great motivating force that will help you achieve even your wildest dreams and goals. However, if this ideology of always wanting something better is obstructing you from appreciating what you currently have, then it might be a sign that you’re hurting your mental health. You might also get caught up in the thought of “what could have been”. According to therapist Jaime Kulaga, PhD, practicing gratitude will allow you to appreciate the things that you have and take your mind off the next thing. This will allow you to take a step back to see all the things that you have worked for and achieved until now, giving you a much-needed confidence boost (Flynn, 2020).

To conclude this article, if you are familiar with any of these behaviours, then chances are that you are hurting your mental health. Hopefully, this article can provide you with some more information that will allow you to understand why you might be doing some of these things and give you some general guidance as to how you might go about addressing them. Of course, in the end, it all comes down to what you feel is best for yourself and your mental health well-being.


Cousins, L. (2018). ARE THERE DOWNSIDES TO ALWAYS TRYING TO BE POSITIVE?. Retrieved 15 March 2021, from https://www.hcf.com.au/health-agenda/body-mind/mental-health/downsides-to-always-being-positive

Flynn, C. (2020). 25 Secret Ways You’re Hurting Your Mental Health Without Realizing It. Retrieved 15 March 2021, from https://bestlifeonline.com/hurt-mental-health/

Taibbi, R. (2018). The Dangers of Being Nice. Retrieved 15 March 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/fixing-families/201807/the-dangers-being-nice

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