Skip to main content

It can be a hard pill to swallow, but our habits can impact our overall well-being and lives for the best or the worst. Put simply, if you have good habits, your mental health can improve, but if you have good habits you can destroy your mental health.

This might be frustrating to hear if you have bad habits, and you don’t want to change. And I am not saying that your overall mental health is to blame on you. What I am saying is that your daily habits can greatly improve or worsen your overall condition. The good news is, that you can change your habits and if you do, you should be able to help yourself quite a bit. Below, I have gone over 8 habits that damage your mental health.

1. You skip exercise.

Exercise is not just for weight loss or even weight maintenance. It’s far better for your mental health and overall well-being than it is for keeping weight off. That isn’t to say that exercise doesn’t burn calories. But, it also increases blood oxygen, promotes better sleep, and balances your hormones, all of which are key to your mental health. Even 20-30 minutes each day is enough to help a lot.

2. You procrastinate.

Whenever I procrastinate, I immediately feel stressed. There is something that is empowering about taking initiative and getting things taken care of immediately versus waiting. It can be tempting to put off something stressful, but the longer you put it off, the longer you get to sit in your stress. And who needs that? Once you face it and do it, you will realize it wasn’t as bad as you thought. If it was, at least you got it over with, right?

3. You engage in constant negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk is a bad habit and one that can destroy your mental health. Oftentimes, it happens because we have been talked to badly by someone else, so their words consume our mind. We might call ourselves lazy, dumb, or even incompetent. And the more you repeat these phrases to yourself, the worse you are going to feel. When you hear these thoughts taking over, change them. Replace “I am just lazy,” with “I am doing the best I can, I have accomplished x, y, and z, and I am going to take care of what needs to be taken care of. I am strong.” You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish this way.

4. You take life too seriously.

When something bad happens, do you take the position that it’s the end, that there is no point in trying, and immediately give up? Or, if you trip and fall do you want to go hide in a cave somewhere? If this is you, learn to loosen up. Life is not meant to be taken so seriously. Enjoy yourself a little and learn to laugh at yourself.

5. Your sleep schedule sucks.

Sleep is so important for our emotional and mental health. Without sleep, our mind does not have time to rejuvenate and mend itself, which can leave us in a state of endless stress. I don’t know about you, but pouring from an empty cup is a pretty card, save yourself the trouble and get some rest.

6. You mistake feelings for facts.

You may feel like you aren’t smart enough or aren’t good enough when in reality, that isn’t the case. Just because you feel something doesn’t mean that it is reality.

7. You miss out on opportunities to be mindful.

In an increasingly engaged society and the world, it can be hard to tear away. You might find yourself with a moment alone and suddenly freak out, grabbing your phone and trying to scroll through Instagram. The problem with this is that our minds need downtime. You don’t need to always be stimulated. Taking a moment just to be present where you are at is extremely beneficial to you.

8 You refuse to take down time.

When it comes to the end of the day, but you are still pushing yourself, never allowing yourself to enjoy the moment, you are going to end up burned out. Take a moment to breathe, sit back, and reflect. You don’t have to always be going, going, going, to enjoy life.