Habits That Endanger Your Mental Health

A change in bad habits leads to a change in life. 

It is a well-known fact that bad habits can make you sick. Having a high cholesterol meal, and eating lots of dairies, processed foods can mess with your health and can increase your risk of several diseases. Just as they affect your physical health, some bad habits can have a significant impact on your mental health. These habits can make you more susceptible to mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Since brain and body are often codependent on each other, you can live a better/ work on your well-being life by doing things that are beneficial for your mind and body

Since mental health is not tangible, it is something that most of us ignore or neglect. You might be facing overwhelming stress which is making it difficult to sleep, but you instead listen to music and get a sleeping pill for the same. Imagine if you had sprained your ankle, how would you deal with it? Mental health is not greatly emphasized and we often go about our lives without thinking much about it. Here, we will be discussing some bad habits that might be sabotaging your mental health.

    1. Self-depreciating or negative self-talk
      In a situation where the outcome is uncertain- announcement of a result, when your partner asks you “to talk to them”, or when you are going on a trip, you might find yourself talking bout how things can go down. These sentences usually start with a “What if…” and have endless negative possibilities. This is your negative self-talk and these are just your thoughts, not facts. Moreover, self-deprecating by fishing for compliments from others, or making self-deprecating jokes about yourself reflects low self-esteem. Both of these might cement negative thoughts in your brain and reinforce brain pathways to negativity.

    2. Poor Sleep
      Sleep provides you with physical and emotional resilience. When you are well-rested, you are better able to recover from past difficulties and undertake future challenges. Losing a good night’s sleep can result in brain fog, confusion, dizziness, and lack of focus but a poor sleeping schedule can wreak havoc on your mental health. It can make you inattentive, easily irritable, and overwhelm your ability to cope with daily life. According to research people with mental health problems tend to sleep poorly.
      According to Harvard Mental Health Letter published by Harvard Medical School researchers think poor sleep can result in mental health problems, and that treating the sleep disorder can help relieve mental health symptoms. For those who are at risk of developing a mental illness, poor sleep can also trigger an episode.

    3. Checking phone or social media frequently
      FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has led us all to use our smartphones more frequently than necessary. Essentially, phones have become a part of our hands and it is nothing to be proud of. Frequent usage of phones and social media is associated with pain and discomfort in the spine and neck also known as tech-neck pain. It is particularly harmful when used before sleeping or just after waking up.It can cause mental distress and compulsive or excessive use of a smartphone could worsen symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. According to recent research, frequent social media is linked to low self-esteem.

    4. Procrastination and Disorganization
      Contrary to how most people like to believe- predictability is good for your mental health. When you are organized in your daily life and have a fixed schedule, you are more in control of your life and can decide how to go about your day. Managing time is an effective and planned manner that solves most of your problems. Procrastination, on the other hand, is a thief of time and a source of distress. It makes you feel unbothered for a time but it feeds on your mental health. Disorganized behavior reduces the faith in self and can lead to feelings of hopelessness for the future.

    5. Not having enough “me time”
      Human beings are social animals and at times we all like to be a part of our groups and hang out with our friends. However, being around people all the time can be taxing. You can get exhausted physically and mentally. Alone time is necessary to understand yourself better and develop a greater understanding of your identity. It enables you to re-energize and hop back into your daily busy lives. Having some time to yourself in which you are fully you is crucial for all of us.

    6. Having a failure mindset
      Having a few negative thoughts occasionally is normal for everyone. However, if we start to focus on these thoughts, they can develop into a failure mindset that can interfere with our ability to succeed. These thoughts can suggest several negative things and possibilities that might keep you awake at night and can cause a poor lifestyle. If left uncontrolled, these thoughts of failure can become a habit. Thoughts and feelings of failure can inflict terrible damage on mental health, leading to anxiety and depression. Negative thoughts discourage you from setting goals, diminish the value of your natural talents, and magnify your missteps.

    7. Regret 
      It is an emotional state that is healthy only in small doses. Everyone has some regrets in life – taking a job, or buying a car – but regret should not be a daily habit. When practiced daily, regret can become a lifelong rumination over what could have been. A habit of regret can lead to depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and difficulty concentrating. Results from a study by Concordia University suggest regret can even negatively affect physical health.


We spend a lot of time justifying our behaviors rather than changing our habits. Poor posture, guilt, perfectionism, co-dependency on others, and overspending are other habits that can compromise your mental health. Making small changes in our everyday life can do wonders for our bodies and brain. Taking one step at a time can go a long way in improving our mental health.



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