Updated: Sep 21, 2020
Have you asked yourself why your mental health is not improving? This is the kind of question a lot of people ask themselves when things go wrong regarding their state of mental health.
In our daily lives, we make choices, either big or small, that affect our mental well-being. Some of the little choices we usually overlook make a significant impact on our lives.
Welcome to Rose-Minded, a mental health blog and self-care brand supporting others through their journey. We love to encourage journaling, practicing self-care, and sharing your story to promote healing and recovery. Continue reading for guest writer Lawrence Samuel's article on bad habits you didn't know were affecting your mental health!
5 Surprising Bad Habits That Affect Your Mental Health
In this article, you'll find some surprising everyday habits that could be affecting your mental health more than you thought previously. So let's get started.
1. Inadequate sleep
The first habit we shall be discussing has to do with your sleeping habit. Sleep is generally referred to as a source of both emotional and physical resilience. It provides the human body and brain an opportunity to recover from the stresses of the previous day.
Good sleep helps the brain and the body rise to the challenges of tomorrow. When you skip sleep for a day or two it can make you restless and unsettled, but a poor sleeping habit over time can cause more damage to your mental health.
Research shows people who suffer from poor mental health do not have good sleeping habits. The Sleep Health Foundation also reports that 60-90% of patients with depression also have insomnia. The National Alliance on Mental Illness also reveals that more than fifty percent of insomnia patients are also diagnosed with depression.
Poor sleeping habits include getting too little or inadequate sleep, drinking caffeine late in the night, engaging in or ruminating on stressful situations, and using electronic devices before going to bed. There are many advantages of getting adequate sleep, including optimal brain performance, increased energy, and self-control, aside from the other health benefits.
2. Poor eating habits
If you are suffering from anxiety and depression, you may consider changing your eating habits and improving your diet to aid your treatment and recovery. Food and nutritional experts reveal that eating a lot of processed food like chips, bread, cookies, etc. substantially increases the risk of depression.
What you take into your body has effects on more than just your physical health. Form the habit of eating more fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, nuts, healthy fats, and other healthy, unprocessed foods. Consumption of processed foods such as sugar and trans fats enhance diseases' development, and can impact mental disorders; processed ingredients can affect the brain's learning and memory capacity.
To improve your eating habit, you need to adhere strictly to the following;
i. Eat Healthy Fats
ii. Don't Skip Meals
iii. Don't Start Your Day with Coffee
i. Eat Healthy Fats
Yes. Eating healthy fats will help your mental health. Reduce your intake of dietary fats because they contain more calories than protein and carbohydrates, but that doesn't imply you should completely avoid them for the sake of reducing your body weight.
Healthy food fats such as salmon, nuts, seeds, and herring help our body absorb useful vitamins from our foods and help the body stay satiated and minimize the risk of any heart-related disease. You must avoid eating saturated and trans fats and stick to healthy foods that will help maintain your body weight.
ii. Don't Skip Meals
Skipping meals doesn't make you shed those stubborn fats. An American Journal of Epidemiology shows us that people who cut their breakfast were four and half times more likely to be battling obesity. Eating small meals at regular intervals will help reduce hunger and regulates your blood sugar levels.
iii. Don't Start Your Day with Coffee
You must avoid starting your day by drinking coffee. Many believe an early morning coffee boosts the rate of body metabolism, but this is far from the truth. Research in the Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism journal reveals that people who drink about seventeen ounces of table water experienced a thirty percent boost in their body metabolism rate.
Instead of drinking coffee, you should drink water. But if you must take coffee, make it a practice to drink some water before having your coffee. This will help your stomach and energy levels throughout the day.
3. Lack of good exercise
Quality exercise is commonly known as one of the most crucial factors for maintaining physical health and mental health. In some studies, adequate exercise has been shown to have a more positive effect than antidepressants for treating anxiety symptoms.
Exercise is popularly known to help release a hormone (endorphins) secreted by the central nervous system that improves the state of mind in many ways, from giving clarity to improving our mood and suppressing unnecessary stress.
Visit the gym or work out before the sunrise, but take some minutes to plan your daily morning exercise routine.
See more on 'Exercise':
4. Sitting all day
Have you heard that sitting all day can reduce your life span? While I'm not advising you to quit your nine to five jobs, there are some ways to avoid been trapped in this fact.
Get a standing desk and walk around your office every hour. Our bodies become active when we use them throughout the whole day, but as adults, we often use most of our days sitting at work, at the dining table, and in front of the television.
It's highly imperative to know that when you sit all day, you become less active. You are more likely to experience depression, acute pain, anxiety, and other illness. Staying outdoors, especially in natural places like beaches and parks, are associated with mental health enhancement. It can also be an excellent way to regulate your nervous system and have fun with the people you meet.
5. Spending prolonged time on your smartphone
There are many reasons why we spend a lot of time on our smartphone: business, texting, communicating with friends and family, hotel reservations, online transactions, checking social media, and others. A study at the University of Gothenburg shows that smartphone use can negatively affect mental health and increase anxiety, sleep disorder, stress, and depressive symptoms.
What are the disadvantages of spending a lot of time on our screen? Inadequate sleep, conflict in a relationship, burnout, and more. Smartphone usage contributes minimal benefits to mental health.
Sure, connecting with loved ones is good; however, it's more beneficial to meet them physically. Meet your loved ones, and let your phone stay indoor!
When it comes to mental health, these little habits listed above can be a problem for you. To stop these habits takes time, but you can make adjustments to boost your mental health with determination and practice.
We hope you enjoyed this guest writer's tips for reducing bad habits that negatively affect your mental health! Comment below which of these tips have helped you, which ones you want to try, or any other tips you want to share for others reading this article. Share this article on social media so any friends/family can benefit from these tips as well.
If you enjoyed this post, pin this to one of your mental health, self-care, or personal development Pinterest boards to share these bad habits with others. You can follow Rose-Minded on Pinterest here and join our mental health group board here.
About the Author
Lawrence Samuel is a father, husband, writer, and health blogger. He writes weekly on his health blog, healthpent.com, about everything from mental health, nutrition, weight loss, and other health-related topics. He loves playing Chess. Lol.