For Better Mental Health, Break These 3 Bad Habits

by | Nov 25, 2022

Everybody has daily routines that either help or hinder us in life.

You can manage the world around you by using specific coping mechanisms, such as exercising to relieve stress or practicing meditation. However, other coping mechanisms, such as substance misuse and food disorders, may be ineffective, and these negative behaviors can have an adverse effect on your quality of life or contribute to other health problems.

A behavior can also become ingrained by utilizing a negative coping method to reinforce a circumstance. For instance, someone who is sad is more likely to recover quickly if they take significant actions like treatment, healthy food, regular exercise, and maintaining a stable environment.

But if you disregard your body's needs, oversleep or sleep too little, neglect to exercise, or don't wash or tidy your surroundings, you'll probably feel worse, which might lead to a recurrence of the low mood cycle.

Although overcoming entrenched coping methods is a challenging task, it is achievable with patience. The three harmful habits to give up for greater mental health are listed below.


1. Abuse of drugs

In actuality, the majority of us rely on a chemical to get us through the day. Maybe you've never used drugs in your life, but you like a few glasses of wine each night. You might also drink a lot of coffee to stay awake and attentive at work even if you don't use drugs or alcohol.

All psychoactive substances have an impact on how your body and brain function. Alcohol, for instance, can deliver an initial burst of dopamine that is pleasurable and can make you feel “buzzed.”

However, excessive alcohol consumption can also raise the chance of accidents and violence by causing melancholy, mood swings, a host of medical disorders like heart and liver disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer. Abuse of alcohol has a strong connection to social issues and may make problems like domestic violence more likely.

While caffeine is typically seen as a “harmless” substance, consuming too much of it can worsen stress and anxiety symptoms and potentially elevate blood pressure.

While moderation is always the goal and not everyone will want to give up alcohol entirely, greatly improving your mental health can be achieved by significantly reducing your usage of substances like illegal drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and even sugar.


2. Sleeping Disorders

There is strong evidence that poor sleeping patterns are closely related to mental health issues.

The Sleep Health Foundation reports that 60–90% of depressed patients also experience insomnia, and Harvard Health discovered that 50–80% of patients in a typical psychiatric practice experience chronic sleep issues, indicating that the quality of sleep has a significant impact on mental health conditions.

For two reasons, sleep is essential for maintaining mental wellness. First off, sleep aids in the maintenance of your cognitive functions, memory, and attention by allowing your body to rebuild itself when the day is done. Second, the R.E.M. stage of sleep aids with your brain's processing of the experiences you have had throughout the day, enabling you to organize new knowledge, store it, and retrieve it later.

A lack of sleep can cause symptoms like melancholy, exhaustion, irritability, and mood swings. However, oversleeping can have a similar impact, increasing lethargy and lowering mood.

You should strive for 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night for a restful sleep. It's crucial to get as much sleep as you can if you can't because of work obligations, such as working night shifts.

Consult your doctor if you are experiencing sleep problems for advice. Reducing caffeine intake, better sleep hygiene, meditation, and herbal sleep aids like chamomile or valerian teas are some examples of home cures.


3. Lack of Exercise

Depression can be miraculously cured by exercise. In fact, JAMA Psychiatry reports that engaging in physical activity three times a week may lower your risk of depression by 16%.

By removing your thoughts from stressful situations and keeping your mind and body active, working out can also help you stay present and conscious.

Choose low-impact activities like yoga or swimming if you struggle with high levels of tension and anxiety. Low-impact exercise helps to lower cortisol levels, or “stress hormone” levels. Over time, controlling your cortisol levels can also be achieved by engaging in at least one higher intensity kind of exercise per week.

There's no need to rush into getting active if you're dealing with depression and low mood; you don't have to run a half-marathon the following week. Get out of bed today, though, and take a little stroll around the block. It might be beneficial to you.