Nine Bad Habits That Can Hurt Your Mental Health
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coaching
Certain bad habits can cause problems that negatively affect your mental health. Being aware of them can help you check yourself to ensure that you are experiencing negative mental health issues based on bad habits instead of something else even more troublesome.
1. Bad Posture: You might not think of something as physical as poor posture to cause problems with mental health. However, if you tend to slouch and sit incorrectly, your mood might go with it -- especially if you tend to experience back pain from your bad posture. And if you don't now, you probably will as you age.
2. You are Prone to Perfectionism: Some people think "perfectionism" is a positive attribute to have, but the fact is, having perfectionist tendencies is not a good thing. It could mean that you are procrastinating more or may be fearful of your life, including success as well as failure.
3. You Experience Guilt Easily: One of the worst emotions you can allow yourself to feel is guilt. Guilt is a useless emotion that is usually not even based in reality. If you feel guilty regularly, you probably don't feel loved, supported, or cared for, negatively affecting your mental health.
4. You Don't Exercise Regularly: Being sedentary is one of the worst habits many people can engage in regularly. Some studies suggest being sedentary is worse than smoking. That isn't good! If you sit for more than four hours a day, you need to incorporate intentional exercise into your daily activity to avoid mental health problems. When you don't move as much as you should, you could end up feeling depressed.
5. You Have a Negative Mindset: If you've allowed yourself to develop the habit of thinking negatively about things all the time, it is time to turn your thinking around. Negative thinking leads to anxiety and depression, along with feelings of powerlessness.
6. You Use Social Media Too Much: Reading social media posts too much is a proven bad habit for your health--especially your mental health. The main reason is that people tend to share and post more negativity than positivity.
7. You Don't Have Downtime from Screen Time: If you transition from your work computer to your home computer to your TV, that's way too much screen time. In addition, the light emitted by computers and TV screens can interfere with your circadian rhythms, causing insomnia or daytime sleepiness. This is why having your computer and TV in a room other than your bedroom is essential.
8. You Don't Get Enough Sleep: If you have a habit of staying up late and not getting enough sleep, you must try to ensure that you sleep between 7 to 10 hours a night. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep, but if you're always tired, it affects your mental health and makes it harder for you to deal with day-to-day issues.
9. You Don't Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water daily ensures good health, especially mental health. Unfortunately, many people walk around partially dehydrated and don't realize it. If you are not keeping track of your water intake and you always feel tired, consider that it may be the lack of water that is at the root of your fatigue. When you feel tired, it affects your mental health and makes you foggy and unable to make good decisions.
These nine bad habits can lead to poor mental health because if you engage in one--or a combination--of them, you will not be operating at your very best. To ensure your mental health remains as healthy as possible, therefore, try to reverse any bad habits you may engage in regularly as quickly as possible.
You'll be glad you did.
Until next time.