Whether you’re a business owner, manager, teacher, Uber Driver, stay at home mom, or retired, we all know that our mental health is super important. We always need to be on our game, and when we are depressed, tired, mentally exhausted, or unable to focus, we can often find ourselves failing at the things we love the most. What you might not realize is that there are common bad habits you could be engaging in every day that are negatively affecting your mental health. Here are nine you need to be aware of if you want to get a head start on having the best mental health.
- Bad Posture – You might not think of a physical habit, such as the way you sit can cause problems with mental health. However, when we slouch, hunch our shoulders, or have other habits of bad posture, the effects can include chronic pain, nerve issues, and other physical issues that significantly impact our mood. If our bodies don’t feel good, our minds usually don’t as well. Chronic pain and tension due to bad posture can also decrease focus and productivity.
- Perfectionism – Some people think “perfectionism” is an excellent quality to have, but the truth is, having perfectionist tendencies can hinder our mental health and have negative impacts on your goals. Perfectionism can often cause anxiety, depression, and paranoia because of the drive always to be perfect and fear that what you’ve done isn’t good enough. This train of thought can also waste time and be inefficient for reaching goals related to productivity.
- You Experience Guilt Easily – One of the hardest emotions to deal with is guilt. When we feel bad about something we have done or caused to happen, the guilty feeling can cause us to lose focus, be consumed with the negative feeling, and lead to feeling burdened, sad, and unhappy with ourselves.
- You Don’t Exercise Regularly – Being sedentary is one of the worst habits you can have for mental and physical health. Numerous studies have shown that workers that frequently sit such as truck drivers or office workers, should make intentional exercise part of their daily routine. Exercising releases hormones from our brain that can increase our levels of happiness and decrease our stress. Daily exercise is the key to a healthy mindset.
- You Have a Negative Mindset – If you’ve allowed yourself to develop the habit of always thinking negatively about things, it’s time to turn that around. Negative thinking leads to anxiety and depression, and feelings of powerlessness. Some examples of negative thinking include negative self-talk, being pessimistic, always thinking of the worst scenario or outcome, and having a lot of doubt.
- You Use Social Media Too Much – Reading social media posts 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. Social media can also be addicting, which can take time away from work, family, friends, and other aspects of your life.
- 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. The light emitted from screens can interfere with your circadian rhythms, causing insomnia and daytime sleepiness. Blue light from too much screen watching can also cause migraines and headaches, which can affect mental health by creating pain that leads to a negative attitude.
- You Don’t Get Enough Sleep – If you have a habit of staying up late and not sleeping enough, you need to try to ensure that you do sleep between 7 to 10 hours a night. Everyone needs different amounts, but if you’re always tired, it will affect your mental health and make it harder for you to deal with issues. Our bodies need the downtime to rejuvenate, and when we are tired, we often find ourselves to be more irritable, rash and muddied in our thinking.
- You Don’t Stay Hydrated – Drinking enough water and liquids each day is an essential component in ensuring good health. Many people walk around dehydrated and don’t realize it. A lot of times, when we are feeling sluggish, tired, have headaches, or feel dizzy, the culprit is dehydration. Most doctors recommend that you drink at least one gallon of water per day. There are plenty of measured water bottles to help you keep track of your water intake throughout the day.
These bad habits can lead to poor mental health due to the fact you’re not going to be operating at the top of your game. If you want to ensure your mental health remains as good as possible, try to reverse these bad habits by focusing on a healthy lifestyle and making good choices for your mental and emotional well-being.