6 Tiny Habits That Destroy Your Mental Health

You probably already know that not eating well, foregoing exercise, and lacking sleep worsen your mental state.

But what about the less common factors?

Do you perhaps compare yourself to others often?

Are you constantly plagued with negative thoughts?

You might be surprised at how your simple thought patterns are detrimental to your mental wellbeing.

So let’s dive right into it.

Here are 6 tiny habits that destroy your mental health.

FRIENDLY DISCLAIMER: This is a disclaimer that this article/video is for informative purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Please reach out to a qualified healthcare provider or mental health professional if you are struggling.

1. Frequently comparing yourself to other people.

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels

How can I look like her?

Does my body resemble his?

Why can’t I be more like them?

At some point in their life, a person has compared themselves to another.

It’s normal.

It may be a form of self-reflection, and it helps you see which areas you would like to improve on.

But as much as these can be a source of motivation, they can also be quite detrimental.

Especially to your mental health.

Daniel Tempesta, LCSW, Contributor for HuffPost Contributor platform, wrote three reasons why you shouldn’t do this.

It damages your sense of self.

You’re comparing yourself to inaccurate information.

It doesn’t actually help you achieve your goals.

Most of the time, you are probably comparing yourself to entities you see on social media.

It helps to realize that content on the internet is curated to look that way.

It was made to be appealing.

But it doesn’t necessarily mirror realistic standards.

The act of constantly comparing yourself to others breeds feelings of envy, low self-confidence, and depression (Tempesta, 2014).

Having this habit means you’re playing a losing game.

So instead, try to focus your energy on what you have.

Which parts of you do you love?

Which do you not like as much?

Identify these and know that it is normal to be different.

From there, you can slowly work on becoming a better you without the pressure from others.

Go, you!

2. Keeping negative thoughts.

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There is so much around you.

Literally.

The constant influx of news, information, and events can sometimes overwhelm your brain to the point of exhaustion.

This feeling of stress is enhanced especially if you’re consuming binge-watching the news or reading a lot of negative reports.

Are you constantly anxious?

Do fearful thoughts keep you up at night?

Those might be signs that you’re keeping negative thoughts.

Having a good mental state means being able to regulate your thought flow and emotions.

So if you notice an instability, it might help to look for relaxing methods that suit you.

Perhaps yoga, meditation, and regular breaks may help.

Stay positive!

3. Not knowing how to say no.

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Do you experience difficulty saying “no”?

Sometimes, you don’t notice you’re trying too hard to please others.

It might even be at the expense of your own mental wellbeing.

According to Dr. Vanessa Bohns, assistant professor of management sciences at the University of Waterloo in Canada:

Saying ‘no’ feels threatening to our relationships and that feeling of connectedness.

You want to affirm or assure others that yes, you are a part of that relationship and yes, the relationship is still intact.

But to what end?

It has probably been ingrained in you that putting yourself first and saying no is bad.

But it’s really not.

Saying no gives you an opportunity to rest, prioritize your own goals, and set boundaries.

So… how do you do it?

Simple tip: Just be yourself.

Try to thank them for approaching you then decline them in a straightforward way.

Short, honest, but respectful.

Remember that it’s not the end of the world and people will also get where you’re coming from.

After all, they’re humans, too!

So, don’t worry. Give yourself the time it deserves. 

It’s worth a shot for your own mental health.

4. Blaming others all the time.

Photo by Uriel Mont from Pexels

Do you like to point fingers especially when someone does something wrong?

Blaming people is often easier than taking responsibility.

It relieves you of consequences and saves you some bad hits on your reputation.

But it won’t improve your mental health.

It can distract you from the constructive task of self-reflection (Golden, 2018).

Spending your energy blaming others also doesn’t do anything to contribute to the solution.

Nothing gets done and your stress will pile up.

So how can you learn and empower yourself without the experience?

That’s why it’s much better to take matters into your own hands and be productive.

Remember: It’s easy to point fingers at someone and blame them.

Until you realize most of your fingers are pointing back at you, too.

You are a hero.

And you are more than capable of taking on that responsibility.

5. Keeping toxic relationships.

Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding from Pexels

Are you the type of person who gives second chances?

Sometimes, being too kind puts you in bad situations.

And that may happen when you remain in relationships with toxic, manipulative people.

These people are the type of force you into doing what you want, are inconsistent with their actions, and make you feel uncomfortable around them.

Do you know someone with these qualities?

If you do, then it’s much better to address these issues directly or put some distance between you and that person.

Please remember that they are not your responsibility.

You shouldn’t feel bad for not being with them.

Stay strong. There are a lot of better people out there who would be lucky to have you as their friend.

6. Not asking for help.

Photo by Angela Roma from Pexels

Do you frequently experience burnouts?

This may be an indicator that you’re working too hard.

Remember that asking for help is okay.

“People are hardwired to want to do things on their own and be independent-minded,” M. Nora Bouchard, an executive and leadership coach says.

You’re every bit as strong even if you ask a little bit of aid along the way.

It isn’t easy to practice, because you’ll probably end up wanting to do everything by yourself again.

But it helps to remind yourself that there are always people willing to help.

Try and shift your perspective.

Just as how you’re ready to help someone,

Someone is ready to lend you a hand, too.

And you deserve to take it.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Can you relate to those mentioned above?

Which one do you find yourself doing the most?

Please share your responses in the comment section below. We appreciate hearing about your experiences!

If you know someone who can benefit from reading this, please don’t hesitate to share it with them.

Thank you so much for reading. Until next time!

REFERENCES

Careers in Psychology. (2021, September 4). The Ten Worst Habits for Your Mental Health | CareersinPsychology.org. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://careersinpsychology.org/ten-worst-habits-mental-health/

G. (2020, June 19). 20 Bad Habits Interfering with Your Mental Health. GR8NESS. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.gr8ness.com/bad-habits-hurting-your-mental-health/

Golden, B. (2018, November 10). 7 Consequences of Blaming Others for How We Manage Anger. Psychology Today. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/overcoming-destructive-anger/201811/7-consequences-blaming-others-how-we-manage-anger

L. (2021, September 20). 10 Toxic Habits Destroying Your Mental Health In 2021. WorkoutFrolic. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://workoutfrolic.com/10-toxic-habits-that-destroy-your-mental-health/

Mind Tools Content Team. (n.d.). Stop Playing the “Blame Game”: Finding Solutions Rather than Finding Fault. Mind Tools. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_56.htm

Rakshit, D. (2020, December 22). Why Some People Have Such A Hard Time Saying ‘No.’ The Swaddle. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://theswaddle.com/why-some-people-have-such-a-hard-time-saying-no/

Raypole, C. (2019, November 21). Do’s and Don’ts for Dealing with Toxic Behavior. Healthline. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-deal-with-toxic-people

Sharp. (2020, July 31). Which bad habits lead to bad moods? Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.sharp.com/health-news/which-bad-habits-lead-to-bad-moods.cfm

Stieg, C. (2021, January 12). Everyone needs help during the coronavirus pandemic—here’s the psychological reason why asking for it is so hard. CNBC. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/22/why-asking-for-help-is-so-hard-and-how-to-get-better-at-it.html

Swallow, S., & Kuiper, N. (1988, January 1). Social comparison and negative self-evaluations: An application to depression. ScienceDirect. Retrieved June 7, 2002, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0272735888900499

Tartakovsky, M. M. S. (2021, June 14). How and When to Say No. Psych Central. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/learning-to-say-no#why-its-hard

Tempesta, D. L. (2014, February 16). Why You Should Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. HuffPost. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/comparing-yourself_b_4441288

WebMD Editorial Contributors. (2020a, December 3). Signs of a Toxic Person. WebMD. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/signs-toxic-person

WebMD Editorial Contributors. (2020b, December 4). Burnout: Symptoms and Signs. WebMD. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/burnout-symptoms-signs

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