It’s not only the outside world that can affect our mental health. In fact, we can harm ourselves more than anyone else by lowering our mental stamina and our resilience to external factors.
We live in a society which is very harmful to our mental health. As sociologist Jean Twenge said, “Modern life is not good for mental health.” But it’s not because this world is crazy – it’s because we allow ourselves to go crazy with our actions and inactions.
Our habits dictate the outcome of our mental health the most. There are some which can boost your self-perception and your perception of the world, and there are some which are designed to destroy the same.
These 5 habits can bring a lot of harm to your mental health.
1. A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE
A sedentary lifestyle, or one which is lacking the necessary movement our bodies are designed to do, leads to apathy and lack of motivation. It has been shown that the lack of movement, aside from causing poor physical health, can also increase anxiety and depression.
In fact, exercise and movement have been largely suggested in the process of treating depression and anxiety.
2. A CONSUMERISTIC MINDSET
Many people think that things are meant to make them happy. The truth is, the more items you buy and hoard, the less happy you’re going to feel. It’s because you don’t invest in experiences which have a long-term effect on your mind, but rather focus on short-term moments of joy and satisfaction.
Short-term goals are good as long as they have an impact on your long-term goals. Call it the butterfly effect. If you let yourself feel ‘satisfied’ with things which have a very short-lived effect on your happiness, you will never experience true happiness. And you know where that leads.
3. SLEEP DEPRIVATION
Did you know about the direct link between anxiety/depression and lack of sleep? Sleep deprivation literally eats your brain, making most neural connection rendered useless and severely damaged.
Self-care means paying attention to your basic needs, among which sleep is also present. The lack of sleep causes memory loss, bouts of anxiety, depression, and a lot of other cognitive and mental disorders.
4. OVERINDULGING IN TECHNOLOGY
Technology is meant to make life easier, but some people are making their lives much harder with the excessive use of the same. Aiming for disbalances in any area of life eventually leads to mental health issues, and the same goes with technology.
In the case of smartphones, tablets, computers, and you name it, the main issue comes with the disconnection from the real world and the people you can genuinely connect with. We’re not designed to live in a virtual reality via technology – we are social beings in need of bonding and healthy eye-to-eye communication.
5. KEEPING YOURSELF CLOSED INDOORS
This one has so many red flags because you end up deprived of many essential things for your mental and physical health. First, you start lacking the essential sunlight we all need – making you more susceptible to developing depression.
Then, the constant isolation from the world and the lack of movement (as discussed above) also contribute to a whole mess inside your head. Finally, the lack of variety and the constant and unchanging environment you’re in make for a gray world which becomes unbearable for the mind.
So, before you start blaming others for the state you may have found yourself into, look closely into your habits and decide which ones should definitely go away.
You are most responsible for your health, both physical and mental. Take care of yourself, because nobody else is more capable than you to do that.