Certainly, there are times when anxiety or depression can't be entirely avoided-- either due to circumstances, such as the death of a loved one, or perhaps because of a genetic predisposition. However, there are certain habits that can negatively impact a person's mental health. Being aware of these destructive habits and making a conscious effort to break them can have a significant impact on a person's mental health and overall feeling of well-being.
Learn how to avoid becoming your own worst enemy:
- Don't skimp on sleep. Sleep affects every aspect of your life-- from your body's basic functioning to your emotional and mental state. Without adequate sleep, you're much more likely to feel anxious or depressed. Let your body regenerate by making an effort to get an appropriate amount of sleep every night.
- Start exercising. Studies show that people who exercise are much less likely to be depressed. You don't have to join a formal aerobics class, but you should think of ways to get yourself moving during the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or go on a walk during your lunch break. Any type of movement improves both your physical and emotional well-being-- a double win.
- Stop procrastinating! Putting off that difficult project isn't going to make it any easier on you once you do get started-- and, in the meantime, your procrastination will only contribute to your stress and anxiety level. So tackle that mountain of laundry or write that nerve-racking speech today.
- Find time for yourself. Finding alone time can be difficult if you're juggling a marriage, children, a career, and a social life-- but it's necessary for your mental and emotional health. Find solo time every day-- even if it's only 10 minutes-- to read your favorite book, go for a walk, or just sit quietly.
- Take a technology break. Having the majority of your social interaction occur on Facebook or Twitter isn't good for your overall well-being. While it's okay to use social media for entertainment, it should never take the place of developing genuine relationships. So, step away from the computer, put down that iPhone, and truly connect with the people around you.
- Get rid of your clutter. Kiss your inner pack-rat goodbye and start getting rid of clutter around the house and in your office. Research has shown that clutter can contribute to stress and anxiety by causing you to feel weighed down. If you haven't used an item in the past year, toss it or donate it.
- Stop those obsessive thoughts. Obsessively thinking about the same thing over and over causes your body to release cortisol and adrenaline-- two stress hormones that negatively impact both your physical and mental health. When you find yourself fixating on a thought, make a conscious effort to move past it.
For more information, please visit the Mental Health section of our blog.
- Is Mental Illness the New Cancer?
- Keys to Communicating Effectively With Developmentally Disabled Adults
- Honoring Home Health Aides & Others During Home Care & Hospice Month
- Parents of Developmentally Disabled Children Benefit From Peer Mentors
- Why Mental Health First Aid Should be a Priority