Hey Psych2Go-ers. Nice to see you again.
In our current climate, we have a pretty good idea of our physical health and well-being. We know which foods are better for us and the importance of exercise, if we are able to. We however don’t put a lot of emphasis onto our mental health. It’s seen as irrelevant or something secondary in our lives. We are more willing to take the threat of a physical illness or injury more seriously than the well-being of our minds.
Social media, although having had a few benefits for society, the malefic benefits are well-documented as well as having a more negative effect on our self image and mental health.
While we go about our daily life, we don’t really think too much about how certain habits affect us mentally, so here are 7 habits that are endangering your mental health.
- Too Much Self-Deprecation & Negative Self Talk
Self-deprecating jokes are quite popular. But the truth is, having a negative image of yourself is not funny. Another habit connected to this is fishing for compliments by making negative comments about yourself so that others can compliment and validate you.
With fishing for compliments, you’re doing more harm than good. Patricia Celan, MD, a psychiatry resident at Dalhousie University, explains that “making negative comments about yourself serves to cement those beliefs and reinforces brain pathways for negativity. ”
- Poor Sleep
In our lightning bolt paced world, we have so much to do and not enough time to rest. It seems as though our tasks and responsibilities are piling up and we don’t have any down time. Some of us might even think about work when they would be better off just switching their brains off for a second. We become so busy and productive that we forget to get proper sleep.
Getting poor sleep can result in being irritable, being easily overwhelmed and having difficulty concentrating, explains Patricia Celan, MD. She states that with people with mental illness or those who might be vulnerable to mental health issues, “Sleep deprivation can even trigger a mental illness episode.”
- Checking Your Phone Too Much
This point is one many of us participate in because smartphones are basically a part of our hands now. We use them for work, appointments, social media, connecting with friends and family and checking the weather or the news.
However, according to the University of Gothenburg, checking your phone too often especially when you wake up and before going to bed can create mood and sleep problems, “tech neck” which creates tension and can cause pain in your neck and spine area.
- Procrastinating & Disorganization
You might have heard that procrastination is the thief of time, but it also eats away at your mental health. By not setting goals, you feel like you have no purpose or direction in life and that can lead to a very dark place. It’s an avoidance strategy that raises stress levels and lowers levels of well-being. Some people set goals but they neglect them and others don’t set them at all. Chronic procrastination can also result in low self-confidence, reduced energy and poor performance at work or at school, which leads to even higher levels of stress can lead to poor mental health down the road, including “a feeling of life ‘passing you by,'” says Forrest Talley, PhD, a California-based clinical psychologist.
When you don’t have a daily routine or order, it provides a hopelessness about your future and a lack of faith in yourself. Therapist and wellness coach Onnie Michalsky, LCPC, NCC, founder of Michalsky Counseling and Health Coaching explains that creating a daily routine “predictability does wonders for our mental health, as well as our physical and emotional health. ”
- Overspending & Not Having A Budget
Spending money on things you enjoy once in a while is fun and it’s like a reward. You work hard for your money and you want to enjoy it! However when you overspend, that is a habit that’s actually harmful to your mental and financial health. Not having a budget can spell disaster for you. It creates money-related stress.
Derek Mihalcin, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Oakwood Counseling Center in Warren, Ohio explains that “We have the ability to reduce or eliminate financial stress, but sadly, most people don’t do anything and 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 but it can have great benefits for reducing stress about money and you can still get to be a material girl💅🏽
- Not Enough Alone Time
It’s important to have time to enjoy your hobbies and hangout with friends and family. As human beings, we require healthy amounts of social interaction and that amount is unique to everyone. The threat to your 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 to 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
Kindness is a virtue that the world can always use more of. It’s balanced between being generous and open whilst having boundaries and focusing on respect. A 2017 University of Oxford study showed that the positive effects of kindness boost happiness, not only for the recipient but for the giver.
When you start to think too much about being nice,however, that is harmful to your mental health because you’re not operating from a place of genuine honesty and kindness. You’re just trying to be liked or going with a flow you don’t want to be going with. You worry too much about what people think and putting their needs above your wants and needs. If you especially don’t enjoy spending time with someone, licensed health counselor Dawn Friedman states 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.”
I hope this small list has shed some light on some habits you might have that you didn’t realize that you engaged in. It’s not a judgment on anyone’s lifestyle. It only aims to remind you to take care of yourself and understand that these daily habits can be reduced with a better routine for your mental health. While you can’t change all of them 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!
*AMPLIFY, N. (2021, September 27). These habits are endangering your mental health. Newsweek. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.newsweek.com/amplify/nirvana-cbd-habits-endanger-mental-health
*Catron , E. (2019, February 28). 20 Ways Your Cell Phone Harms Your Health. Best Life. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://bestlifeonline.com/cell-phone-health-risks/
*Crump, J. (2021, April 18). 8 daily habits that Harm your mental health. WorkPlaceTesting.com. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.workplacetesting.com/8-daily-habits-that-harm-your-mental-health/2/5534
*Geraldine. (2020, May 19). 20 bad habits interfering with your mental health. Google. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.gr8ness.com/bad-habits-hurting-your-mental-health/amp/
*Flynn, C. (2020, July 15). 25 secret ways you’re hurting your mental health without realizing it . Best Life. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://bestlifeonline.com/hurt-mental-health/