There are some habits that we know are definitely bad for our health. Take excessive drinking, smoking or eating junk food for example which are all terrible and lead to dire consequences like cancer, obesity, diabetes and a host of other health complications. But did you know that there are plenty of other everyday habits that can hamper your quality of life? And let’s admit it, most of us are guilty of making these subtle mistakes quite often in our daily lives.
Not all of these habits are easy to recognize, and it can take months and even years to notice their harmful effects. But believe us, they can take a toll on your psychological and physical wellbeing with time. Let’s see how many of these bad habits you’re guilty of.
Reliving Stressful Events
Stress is considered the number one modern-day proxy killer, and it’s almost inevitable to avoid it given our hectic schedules and a constant bombardment of information from the digital world. But probably the easiest way to put yourself under unnecessary stress is by thinking about unpleasant events from the past, whether they occurred five years ago or more recently.
Rehashing these memories time and time again will only have an adverse impact on your psychological health. A study shows that the more people think about a stressful event from their past, the more likely they are to become depressed. In contrast, forward-thinkers who pay little attention to unpleasant memories tend to be happier and more motivated in life.
There’s no point in rehashing things you no longer have any control over so why waste your energies on them? Instead, commit to more productive activities and future planning which will save you from accumulating more regrets.
Venting to Your Friends
Whenever people go through a rough day, the first thing they do is vent about their problems to friends or a family member. This exchange of negative emotions and constant complaining is linked with an increased risk of depression and pessimism, as shown in a 2011 study from Hormones and Behavior.
Researchers found that women who co-ruminated about their problems showed an increased level of stress hormone in their body in comparison to those who kept their relationship with peers more positive. Furthermore, venting to a friend isn’t exactly a healthy outlet of negative emotions, instead, this practice only amplifies the emotions with time and keeps you in a bad mood.
Most of us are guilty of being too hard on ourselves every-so-often, but the habit of self-criticizing can quickly lead to other mental health issues like depression and anxiety – especially if you’re constantly putting yourself down or thinking that you’re not good enough.
Do you point out every flaw that you see in your appearance every time you look in the mirror? Do you beat yourself up on every single mistake? It’s time to put this bad habit to rest before it starts to take a toll on your psychological well-being. Try practicing more self-compassion which isn’t just proven to boost your relationship with yourself but also with others around you.
Excessive Social Media Use
Social media has become an essential part of our lives, so much so that most of us can’t even imagine functioning without it. So, whether you like chatting with your friends on Facebook or enjoy sharing photos on Instagram, excessive use of virtual apps can take a toll on your mental health. Having hundreds or thousands of followers on these platforms may make you famous on social media, but if you’ve overinvested in the virtual world, you’ll end up feeling isolated in real life.
Instead of investing all your energy in social media, spend more time physically interacting with people which will strengthen your relationship with them as well as leave you feeling less isolated.
Staying Up Past Your Bedtime
It’s not just about how much sleep you get but also when you get it. Most of us are guilty of delaying our bedtime because of work or other reasons, but studies have shown that people who stay up late at night tend to start their day with very little energy and motivation to make a healthy decision.
A study from 2016 showed that people who didn’t go to bed early were more likely to get late-night cravings and eat unhealthy food as a result. This, combined with the lack of physical activity can take a toll on your waistline.