Is your mental health a priority to you? We live in a culture that thrives on comparison. We are forced to compare ourselves to others more than we like to admit, but I’m going to say it- we all do it. We live in an age of constant notifications and alerts, with so much information competing for our attention.
Resultantly, our anxiety, depression, stress, and mental health issues are rising at an alarming rate. In this article, I’ll list 8 things that are bad for your mental health.
1. Social Media
Social media has a substantial impact on our mental health. In the last few years, we are witnessing an increasing number of people losing themselves and their sense of reality because of it.
The result is a lack of empathy, care for others and being disconnected from the real world. The pressure that social media has created on people’s lives have led to an increase in depression and suicide rates.
Social media can have a positive influence on society, but only if social media companies were to identify and admit their role in this growing problem. People today should not be checking their phones and social media to the point that they feel like they’re missing out on something; this is not healthy at all.
Social media is the ever-evolving platform of the 21st century. From Instagram to Twitter, Facebook to Pinterest, people are constantly scrolling and swiping through the apps on their phones. For example, the average millennial spends 62 minutes
on their phone every day.
Social media has affected many aspects of our society such as communication, networking and marketing, but how has it impacted our mental health?
According to a recent survey of 3,800 people by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) in conjunction with the Young Health Movement (YHM), Twitter users reported the highest levels of anxiety (24 percent) compared to those who use other social media platforms.
Another study found that women are more likely than men to experience depression after using Facebook.
The way social media affects us psychologically varies from person to person but it also depends on how we use it. It’s not just about how much time is spent on social media but rather how it makes us feel.
2. Lack of Exercise
Lack of exercise is known to us one of the most overlooked factors in most major illnesses, including heart disease and depression.
A recent study from the University of Sydney asked 1,500 adults about their exercise habits and their mental health. They found that there is a significant link between lack of exercise and poor mental health.
The study found that people who do not get enough exercise are twice as likely to develop depression. Also, people who get the recommended amount of exercise are twice as less likely to develop depression.
The link between exercise and depression is pretty well established, but one of the most interesting findings of this study was how much more effective exercise was in combating depression than medication.
In addition, people who exercised regularly experienced the same drop in depression as people taking antidepressants. But it was even better for those that exercised because their risk for developing depression dropped by 60%.
Benefits of exercise:
There is clinical evidence to support that there are a number of key biological processes which occur during aerobic activity:
- It increases serotonin levels in the brain which help to improve your mood and lift your mood.
- It improves your ability to cope with stressful situations by producing endorphins. The endorphins produced help to increase positive feelings.
- It increases the blood supply to your brain which helps it to work more effectively.
- It increases your body temperature which helps it to relax.
3. Toxic People
Dr. Kelly Brennan identified a link between our emotional and physical health. Our minds and bodies are connected so it’s no surprise that negative thoughts or even pure hatred would have a negative effect on our body.
A toxic person will do any or all of the following to try to make you feel bad about yourself:
1. They will use your past mistakes against you in the present.
2. They will isolate you from emotional support.
3. They will belittle you and your accomplishments.
4. They will lie, exaggerate and make up stories to gain trust.
5. They will project their own flaws onto you in an attempt to make themselves feel better.
6. They will become overly sensitive & emotional, then try to cover up their own emotions with anger or sarcasm.
7. They will criticize the things that are most important to you, like your family, beliefs, or even your appearance or talents.
8. They will blame you for their problems & mistakes, then expect forgiveness when they apologize.
9. If you try to discuss the issue as a couple, they’ll deny that anything is wrong and tell you that others are just jealous or misunderstanding them so it must be in your head.
In the past decade, we have seen a significant increase in the rates of severe depression, anxiety disorder and mental illness. This is especially true for children, who are now facing higher levels of stress, anxiety and mental illness than ever before.
It is often said that food is one of the most effective medicines we can use for our physical health. That it is what we put in our mouth can have a major impact on our overall well-being.
That same principle applies to our brain. The brain requires specific nutrients for proper function, and if we don’t provide them, it can be affected.
5. Abusive Relationship
We are not just damaged when we leave an abusive relationship, but our mental health is always a mess right after we walk out the door.
In an abusive relationship, it was so hard to make good decisions. We stayed in these relationships because of fear and shame.
We did not have confidence and we would never take the first step towards self-love and empowerment. The only way we could do something is by believing that there was something better on the other side of our pain.
6. People Pleasing
It is no secret that pleasing people can impact our physical health. But what about our mental health? How does it impact our emotions and relationships? For most of us, it’s a constant cycle of disappointing others, which in turn leaves us feeling inadequate.
People pleasing is a learned behavior and is usually derived from childhood experiences of abuse and/or neglect. However, when you grow up in a household where your parents or guardians don’t honor your thoughts, feelings and opinions, it sends a message that you are not important, valued or loved.
The messages we receive as children become our subconscious belief system. People pleasing comes from feeling unloved as a child. So, when we grow up, we have a tendency to overvalue other people’s opinions and preferences over our own. That is pleasing to people
Learn to love yourself first with all of your uniqueness.
7. Lack of Goals
No one likes the feeling of falling short of an objective. It can be frustrating, and depending on how close you get to achieving the goal, can be devastating. This is aptly demonstrated in a paper published by Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman.
In their study, they asked participants to solve anagrams and crossword puzzles. After finishing, they were told that out of all the people who participated in the study, they had been ranked #1. Imagine how elated you would feel to be told that you were among the top 1% of people in the world at something.
We have grown up in a society where we have been provided with all the necessities to lead a happy life, but having a goal or a dream is what takes you towards the success in your life.
Have you ever wondered why some people are unhappy and some others are extremely happy? The reason behind it is lack of goals.
8. Negative Self Talk
Negative self-talk is one of the leading causes of low self-esteem and depression. It’s practically toxic to our mental well-being, but it’s a habit that is often difficult to break.
Positive self-talk is a form of cognitive or mental feedback that helps people see their life in a more positive light. It doesn’t mean ignoring reality, but rather focusing on your strengths and how you feel you are progressing toward your goals. Positive self-talk boosts confidence and improves mood and self-esteem.
Dwelling on the negative, also known as negative self-talk, has the opposite effect. Negative self-talk creates stress by making someone feel powerless and unhappy with themselves.
It can be tough to stop negative self-talk at times, but taking small steps toward positive self-talk can do wonders for your mental health in the long run. Negative self-talk can be a powerful enemy to your mental health.
Hypothetically, imagine negative self-talk is a wild bear. The only way to keep the bear at bay is to talk yourself up. You have to believe in your own abilities and see yourself as a worthy human being.
Let’s say you’re going to a job interview. You might think, “I hope they like me.” But what if they don’t? What if your talents aren’t recognized? What if you don’t get the job?
That’s why writing positive statements about yourself is so important; it teaches you to deeply believe in yourself, even when things go wrong.
Mental health should not be downplayed. It should be prioritized for a healthy and stable wellbeing. If you have any mental illness don’t ignore it. You can get Online-Therapy easily to ease your mental illness.