Have you wondered if you’re doing things that are bad for your mental health?
From day to night, you do things that affect your day for better or for worse. Oftentimes, you may not even notice that the things you do are harmful to your mental health.
Let’s look at 8 things that could be destroying your mental health.
You Are Perfectionist
Are you someone who constantly seeks perfection?
Constantly worrying about failing to reach your expectations can leave you in a spiral of depressive, anxious, and guilt-ridden thoughts. The truth is, not even the best of us can achieve perfection. Sarah Egan, a Curtin University in Perth research professor, says that the higher your perfectionism is, the more likely it is that you’ll suffer from more psychological disorders. To help reframe your mindset, start by being receptive to feedback and not comparing yourself to other people.
You have a Phone Addiction
When you wake up in the morning, is checking your phone the first thing on your mind?
We all love how technology allows us to reach information in just a matter of seconds. But an overdependence of technology comes with its own set of issues as well. Research shows that using your smartphone too much can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress. To alleviate your phone temptation, try to set up some chunks of time away from your phone. This can be hard at first, but as time passes, you’ll be less prone to needing your phone once boredom strikes you.
You’re Missing Out on Sleep
Do you constantly miss out on sleep every day of the week?
While people may flex over their lack of sleep, the best types of people are the ones who sleep a square 8 hours a night. Sleep deprivation not only worsens your physical health, but also can cause fatigue, irritability, and difficulty focusing. Sleep may sound like a boring thing to do – but your body absolutely needs a proper sleep routine to be in its best shape.
You Stay in Toxic Relationships
Are you hopeful that your relationship will change, even if your partner hasn’t been very nice to you?
Staying in toxic relationships can have a devastating impact on your mental health. You’re dismissing your own well-being and mental health in favor of another person, and this habit tends to be heavily one-sided. Sabotage, gaslighting, and abuse are some of the effects of staying in a toxic relationship. Find the red flags, reach out for support, and give yourself time to process this traumatic event. Realize that healthy forms of love still exist out in the world and that you’re absolutely deserving of it.
You Don’t Ask for Help
Do you loathe working on a team, thinking you can do better than everyone else? Or maybe you just would rather keep to yourself?
The feeling of not asking for help is like drowning in a pool, unseen, with people just standing by the edges. The journey towards a fulfilling and mentally healthy life picks from both an individual journey and a shared experience. If you’re struggling alone, opening up might seem like a harrowing ordeal, or even impossible if the cause of your problems is from the people close to you. If that’s the case, contact an outsider like a mental health professional and give yourself a chance to flourish.
You Compare Yourself to Others
Do you look through social media stories and constantly compare yourself to other people?
With everyone sharing their highest moments in their Instagram stories or Twitter feed, you might harbor a sense of insecurity with the achievements of others. Whether your friend’s on vacation or an acquaintance is getting married, or an old classmate gets a promotion — understand that their hidden selves are not as glamorous as they make them out to be.
Instead, look inwards and focus on your own self-improvement rather than one-upping people who’re dealing with their own journey.
You Keep Self-Sabotaging
Do you notice behaviors that you do that are destructive and cause pain in the end?
Oftentimes, your fears might get the better of you, causing you to paralyze in fear and uncertainty. By doing this, you’ll let a promising opportunity slip away, and close the doors to your own progress. To help reframe your thoughts, try to get to the root causes of your actions, and take small, meaningful steps to better yourself day by day. They don’t have to be big goals. Just consistent. And later on, you’ll realize how these steps snowball into making you a better version of yourself.
You Don’t Practice Gratitude
Did you know practicing gratitude can boost your mood?
Gratefulness allows you to celebrate the positive things of your life. Robert Emmons of UC Berkeley found that gratefulness comes with an abundance of mental health benefits. It improves sleep, makes you feel more alive, and also makes you feel less lonely. One way you can practice gratitude is by writing down a small list of things you’re grateful for in a journal. By listing things daily, you bring to light things that make you happy, which in turn improves your mood as well!
Do you relate to any of the signs above?
Taking care of your mental health, especially in the face of a time like this, is more important now than ever. We hope that you’ve recognized these things that destroy your mental health – and look towards turning it around by performing small, incremental changes!
That’s all for now, Psych2Goers!
Ruggeri, A. 21st February 2018. The dangerous downsides of perfectionism. BBC
Elhai J., et al. 2017. Problematic smartphone use: A conceptual overview and systematic review of relations with anxiety and depression psychopathology, Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 207, Pages 251-259, Retrieved at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.08.030.
Davis, K. FNP. July 23, 2020. What to know about sleep deprivation. Medical News Today. Retrieved at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307334
Carr, D. Aug 8 2015. 3 Reasons to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. PsychologyToday. Retreived at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/bouncing-back/201508/3-reasons-stop-comparing-yourself-others
Ritchie, D. June 3 2020. 9 Mentally Unhealthy Habits to Ditch. Retrieved at https://www.calendar.com/blog/9-mentally-unhealthy-habits-to-ditch/