The daily hustle and bustle of life are so demanding that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and adopt unhealthy habits. It could be your coping mechanism for dealing with a stressful situation or behavior from childhood that has followed you into adulthood
How do habits form?
All habits you have were once only a thought that crossed your mind. Then, you acted on it, turning it into a behavior over time.
Three components make up every habit: the cue, the behavior, and the reward.
- The cue triggers your brain to go into autopilot and let the behavior take over.
- The behavior is your actual habit.
- The reward is what you gain from performing the behavior. It reinforces the habit and makes you want to do it repeatedly without thinking about it.
If you think you’ve developed a bad habit, don’t worry. First, identify the cue and behavior and then find a way to change the reward.
Now that we have this out of the way, let’s discuss the bad habits that might affect your mental health.
1. Substance abuse
Everyone who has ever struggled with substance abuse has a tale about when their usage turned into abuse, whether that moment was weeks, months, or years ago. People who try drugs for the first time report positive feelings or a “high.” And humans have an innate need to seek out and experience whatever makes them the happiest again. This feedback loop causes individuals to increase their drug consumption to recapture the initial high they experienced.
But the high doesn’t last long and can severely impact your mental health. So if you or someone you know has been struggling with drug abuse, please get professional help. Delphi is an addiction treatment center with facilities located across the country to help you beat your bad habit with individual treatment plans.
2. You rely too much on social media
Social media has become a necessary evil in many ways. It keeps us connected to our loved ones, helps us network for business opportunities, and can be a source of entertainment. However, too much social media usage can affect our mental health.
What to do:
- Set time limits to your social media usage.
- Delete any apps that make it easy for you to access social media.
- Unfollow any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself.
- Find other activities to do that make you happy.
3. You often stay up late
We’ve all been there. You intended to go to bed early, but somehow you did just one more thing, and it was midnight. If you find that you’re frequently staying up late, it could be affecting your productivity and ability to focus.
When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re also more likely to make poor decisions, have a bad memory, and be grumpy. All these factors can negatively impact your mental health and well-being.
- Stick to a bedtime routine
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
- Get up and move during the day
- Keep a regular sleep schedule
- Relax before bedtime
- Practice meditation techniques before sleeping
4. You avoid conflict
Conflict avoidance can take many forms. Maybe you’re the type of person who runs away from arguments, or you’re someone who never speaks up for themselves. It can harm your mental health, leading to frustration and resentment. You might constantly ruminate on past arguments that you never had the chance to resolve.
Moreover, if you’re constantly avoiding conflict, your loved ones might feel like they can’t rely on you to be honest with them. It will cause mistrust and distance in your relationships.
How to overcome it:
- Start by identifying the situations where you tend to avoid conflict.
- Try to become more aware of your automatic thoughts and behaviors in these situations.
- Practice assertiveness in low-stakes situations, such as with a friend or family member.
- Work on building trust in your relationships so that you feel more comfortable being honest about your needs and feelings.
5. You can’t let go of your shame & guilt
Shame and guilt are two of the most destructive emotions we can feel. Not only do they prevent us from enjoying our lives in the present, but they also drag us down emotionally and prevent us from moving forward.
One of the best things you can do is forgive yourself for your mistakes and take away a lesson from them. Don’t dwell on the past or beat yourself up for things you can’t change. Instead, own your mistakes and try making things right.
If you think you’ve wronged someone, apologize when you feel like it and genuinely mean it. A half-hearted apology is worse than no apology at all.
6. You have a failure mindset
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m such a failure?” Or maybe you’ve said it yourself. Well, if you have, then you’re not alone. Many people have a negative view of themselves and their abilities. They believe they’re not good enough and will never amount to anything.
This kind of thinking is called a “failure mindset.” And it’s something you need to overcome to keep your mental peace and succeed in life.
How can you change your failure mindset?
- Become aware of your thoughts and the words you use to describe yourself.
- Pay attention to the negative thoughts that pop into your head.
- Once you become aware of them, you can change them.
Remember to block out the negative noise and start speaking kindly to yourself. Talk to yourself the way you’d like somebody to talk to you. Be encouraging and upbeat.
The habits you develop over time can significantly impact your mental health.
If you often find yourself staying up late, scrolling social media, or doing not-so-healthy things like drugs, you need a change. Bad posture, poor sleep habits, and a failure mindset can also negatively affect your mental health.
So, take some time to assess your habits and make some changes. Adopt some healthy habits and let go of the ones dragging you down. It’ll be no easy task, but it’s worth it for your mental well-being.