7 Bad Habits for Mental Health

Wardha Hussain Rizvi Feb 16 2015
7-bad-habits-for-mental-health

An especially bookish definition of mental health is ‘emotional psychological and social wellbeing which affects the way we feel act and think.’ However, mental health covers a broader range than that. It affects every aspect of one’s life from childhood to adolescence till finally adulthood. It alters the ability to manage and control stress, complete daily chores and maintain healthy relationships. Your approach to common everyday events can affect your mental health and lead to unhappiness, depression and unsatisfied life. Here is a list of habits that you might be doing that keep you from functioning to your best ability.

Bad habit no. 1: Bad Posture

Often people slouch while walking or sit with their back bent and stomach loose.  This gives an aura of exhaustion, sleepiness and untidiness. To look smart is to feel smart. Having a bad posture gives a negative impression and also attracts negativity. According to a study published in the “Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry,” subjects who were asked to walk in a sloppy manner with decreased hand movements and hunched over had worse mood swings and remembered more negative things than positive. Therefore, always keep your chin up, shoulders rolled back while you are walking for a better outlook to life.

Bad habit no. 2: Snap Happy

Here is one aimed at all the Instagram addicts, according to a study published in “Psychological Science” subjects took a tour of a museum while taking pictures of some of the objects while simply observing others. They had difficulty remembering the ones they had taken pictures of where as the ones they observed were remembered easily. Camera lens actually forms a veil in front of our eyes which takes away the ability to observe things while we are focusing on taking a picture. Hence, individuals more intent on taking pictures to ‘create memories’ actually lose focus of what is a precious memory. Instead of taking a picture, next sit back and soak up the beauty of the moment and have more fun participating in it.

Bad habit no. 3: Couch Potatoes

All the bed lovers and couch potatoes need to get up and get moving for the sake of their mental health. There has been plenty of research showing the correlation between physical activity and depression and inactive individuals are known to have higher risk of depression. Inactivity can lead to a build-up of toxins and when they accumulate in the body they effect mental health in a way that can lead to depression. Introduce exercise and physical activity in your life for a better you.

Bad habit no. 4: Toxic Relationships

In some cases, an individual can spend the majority of their time and effort trying to unsuccessfully satisfy their partner and failure to do so means they’re made to feel incompetent, selfish and boring. Relationships such as these that negatively affect your well-being are toxic relationships. Majority of the people do not realize that the sadness that’s seeping into their life is because of their spouse. If that’s your case you need help, either through a psychiatrist or friends and family, who can help you create coping mechanisms and change the situation or leave your toxic partner for good

Bad habit no. 5: No Laughter

Something’s in our life are meant to be laughed off instead of clinging to them and making them bigger than they are. If you are not laughing enough, you may be standing on the first step of the staircase to depression. Find out what gives you joy in life, whether it be a light hearted friend, surrounding yourself with kids or even a funny TV show, so that you can regain a balance and see the lighter side of life. Laughter is known to be the most rapidly acting medication for depression and anxiety.

Bad habit no. 6: Lack of Zzzz

Sleeping is a mechanism of nature that has provided us to repair and regenerate system breakdowns. A proper sleeping routine leads to better emotional and mental handling and a better metabolism. If you are not able to sleep properly or are suffering from insomnia you might need mental attention along with help from family members in creating a restful environment.

Bad habit no. 7: Not Enough ‘ME’ Time

Between your struggle to keep up with the office, housework and your family you might be missing out on important YOU time. Spending time on yourself is important because you need to connect with yourself and make sure your needs are being met. If you spread yourself too thin and never feel like what you want is important, bitterness, anger and depression can creep in. Make regular spa days, visit the gym, go out with friends or sit quietly with a book and enjoy time that’s just for yourself. The concept behind ‘me time’ is making an appointment with yourself and keeping it.

Wardha Hussain Rizvi

Wardha Hussain Rizvi:

Wardha is currently a student of M.B.B.S second year in Ziauddin University and aspires to be the best dermatologist in Pakistan. Due to her dissatisfaction with the current health industry she is doing her bit in creating health awareness by freelance writing for HTV, Pakistan's most effective health platform.