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5 Terrible Habits That Destroy Your Mental Health & How To Break Them.



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To start

this article let me tell you a story about Jim. Jim works out 5 times a week and keeps track of the exercises he has performed during the week so that he is always in check with the progress he is making. Over 6 months, Jim isn’t noticing much change in his body, he is neither losing weight nor gaining any muscle.

He rants about his frustrating feeling to his friends and family. He tells them he rarely misses a workout and what can be going wrong that he is not getting any results.

Here’s a catch to this story, each day after Jim leaves the gym, he feels hungry from all the exercise he had performed so he treats himself to McDonald’s every day after the gym. In his head, he is thinking “I worked hard, I deserve a treat.”

You must be thinking how Jim can be so stupid. Still, in reality, we all are guilty of this behavior, one way or the other, we all perform or inculcate habits that we feel are making us better. Still, we fail to focus on the activities that are sabotaging our growth.

Good habits are important but it’s often our bad habits that prevent us from reaching our true potential or barricade our healing journey. We carry bad habits around all day like heavy weights on our backs. They’ll tire us out & frustrate us to the core.

Here in this article, I’ll be discussing 5 Terrible habits that are seriously damaging your mental health.

1. You Waste a Ridiculous Amount Of Time Feeling Sorry For Yourself

Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t get you anywhere in life, it disconnects you from reality and you are in your own little world telling yourself how the world is conspiring against you. It rewires your mind into a victim mindset. The major setback with this mindset is that your focus will be directed to the problems & failures, which will reinforce more feelings of self-pity.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Your life & your mental health will be a mess when you operate with a victim mindset. We can’t improve our life’s situation by feeling sorry for ourselves instead we may worsen it to a point where there is no turning back.

Actionable Insights:

  • Instead of pitying ourselves for what we lost, we can choose to feel grateful for what we have. Write one thing that you are grateful for every day.
  • Whenever faced with a problem or failure, instead of wasting your time by feeling sorry for yourself, choose a form of action that you can do, it doesn’t matter how big or small it is just take the first step toward the solution.

2. You Are Expecting Immediate Results

Nothing in life worth achieving comes easy. You have to take the hard road to bring sustainable & meaningful results. In the world of social media and instant deliveries. Everyone on the internet will make you feel that they are living their best life, a world of no insecurities, no vulnerabilities, luxury vacations, and unlimited success all of that without even working for it. Well, News Flash!! Life on social media isn’t real.

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Photo by Pixabay

People on the internet have mastered the art of hiding anything that’s real. But the problem is we go around seeing their highlight reels (Their best moments) and mistake it as their real life. The overnight success stories of young entrepreneurs & influencers are floating all over the internet. These types of stories fuel our desire to get immediate results and fuck up our mental health.

Despite the stories about immediate results and overnight successes, real success is rarely instant. The stories are glamorized leaving out important details about their struggle and how they achieved it. But we believe what we see and rarely care about what’s under the carpet. And when we don’t see similar results in our life we feel inadequate & incompetent.

Actionable Insights:

  • Create Realistic Expectations, it takes time, effort, money, and the right belief system to build something that lasts.
  • Set a realistic time frame in which you’ll measure your initial results. If your action isn’t getting instant results or isn’t visible, it doesn’t mean that what you’re doing isn’t working.
  • Progress toward your goal will rarely be in a straight line. Things will go worse before they get better. Aim big but achieve it through setting smaller targets along the way.

3. You Resent Other People’s Success

Our resentment comes from our deep-rooted insecurities, our own failures in life, and sometimes from our deeply seated aspirations as well. When we see someone succeeding at something we secretly wanted. We feel envy. It may not be visible at first, but it is damaging our mental health. Resentment and envy usually remain concealed.

Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” — Nelson Mandela

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It is easy to resent someone when you don’t know what you want for yourself. You will constantly be indulging in comparing yourself with others rather than focusing on your own goals in life. You’ll more likely to damage your relationship with that person as it is very hard to maintain a healthy relationship with someone you secretly despise. Your jealousy will find its way to the surface somehow.

You’ll never be content with what you have in life and will likely overlook your special skills and talents.

Actionable Insights:

  • Focus on cooperation rather than comparing. There will always be someone bigger, better, wealthier, talented, or happier than you.
  • Even when you reach the top you will still somehow find someone who is better than you in some aspect of life. Instead of competing with them, as seeing them as your competitors. See them as your teachers & learn from them. Collaborate with them to reach new heights.
  • Change your mindset, Success is a positive sum game, if someone else is successful it doesn’t imply that you can’t be successful. There is a lot of it for everyone.

4. You Worry Too Much About Pleasing Everyone

People pleasing is about controlling how others feel; it’s a terrible idea but yet we do it and jeopardize our mental health in the process. The people-pleasing traits can be formed due to fear of conflict or fear of rejection, we tell ourselves If we can make everyone happy everything will be okay.

A people pleaser wants to please others because they believe that if they don’t make them happy, they won’t be liked by them.

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Photo by Kampus Production

It is not possible to be liked by everyone no matter what you do. We don’t have the power to control how everyone feels.

If we keep indulging in this toxic habit of pleasing everyone, we’ll quickly lose sight of what is the right thing to do and always try to do what makes others happy. Everyone has the ability to cope with a wide array of feelings, and it’s not our job to prevent them from feeling negative emotions.

Actionable Insights:

  • Pick your top 5 values in your life that you want to live and rank them in accordance from the most important to the least important. And now stop and think whether you actually live by those values or not. Pleasing people shouldn’t be at the top of your list. Are you putting too much effort into something that is not even on your list?
  • People’s pleasing habit disconnects us from ourselves and makes us value things that we deep down don’t care about.
  • Accept the fact that you can’t please everyone, just accepting it will make you emotionally stronger and self-confident.

5. You are Focusing Too Much On The Things You Can’t Control

The world is divided into two different things, the ones we have control over and the ones we have no control over what’s so ever. But we live our life fretting, getting stressed, fearing, worrying, and yelling over the things or situations or people that we can’t control.

It feels safe to have everything under control, the world seems less scary and more predictable when we have things under control. Secretly we are craving for a life of certainty. But no matter how much we try life will always be uncertain & unpredictable.

We also must realize the kind of torture we put ourselves into when we hold on to or try to control everything. It brings immense mental stress.

When we learn to let go of the things/people/circumstances we can’t control we are freeing up our time and energy for the things we can actually control and this can help us accomplice some incredible things in life.

Actionable Insights:

  • Remind yourself that there are a lot of things that you can’t control. Whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed by a situation in life ask yourself. Is there anything under my control?
  • Identify Your Fears, When you catch yourself trying to control something that you can’t, ask yourself, What I am so afraid of? Do you worry that someone else is going to make a bad choice? Acknowledge your fears and try to understand them. It will help you recognize what is and what isn’t under your control.