How to End These Harmful Mental Health Habits
By Genevieve Cunningham
Habits help to define us and make us who we really are. Many of us know of the good habits that we should have in our lives. A healthy diet, regular exercise, good hygiene -- these are just the beginning. But many already have a plethora of habits -- both good and bad -- that significantly impact our lives. This is especially true when it comes to mental health. With just a few bad habits, mental health can really suffer. If you're looking to improve your mental health, and thus your whole life, take a look at these habits to break today.
The Habit: Inactivity
Inactivity has become a big problem in our world today. So much that we do is behind a desk or computer. We may be more efficient than ever, but we're also more sedentary. And a lack of activity and movement has been linked to a heightened risk of anxiety and depression. So how do we break it? Slowly. Add just a few minutes of activity into your schedule, and increase it over time for better health -- both physical and mental.
The Habit: Negative Self-Talk
It's all too easy to get into a habit of talking to yourself in a negative way. And perhaps the biggest problem is that we often don't notice. Our inner voice is just our inner voice, and we get used to it. So how do we break this bad habit? First, listen. Is your inner monologue kind or harsh? Once you have identified your voice, make a conscious effort to tell yourself something kind at least three times a day, and let the habit grow from there.
The Habit: Solitude
In today's world, it's really easy to isolate yourself. Everything that we could need can be had with the push of a button. Food, entertainment, even friends … just click and you’ll find what you need. But as humans, we really need face-to-face interaction. So how do we break the solitude habit? Find an activity that involves people, and join in. A sport team, a volunteer organization, a group exercise class. Get involved, meet people, have real conversations. Before you know it, your mental and emotional health will see a significant rise.
Most of us have a mix of good and bad habits. And that's really OK … as long as we're not harming ourselves. Unfortunately, these habits may be doing just that! Get a handle on these bad habits, and you may notice an improvement in mental health and in life as well.
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