Our mental health has a significant influence on everything we do, from our attitude at work to how we treat people around us. Unfortunately, most people go about their lives without realizing that some everyday things can negatively impact their mental health.
Prolonged exposure to these things can lead to long-term consequences, as we’ll see. In this article, we share seven things that can affect your mental health daily. We also share some advice on how you can tackle them. If you observe any of these signs in your life, the first step is to get away from them.
Your activity level
Your activity level can affect your mental health in a variety of ways. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more active you are, the better you’ll feel. You may have heard that exercise is great for you, but its benefits go beyond physical fitness.
While exercising, your body releases hormones like dopamine and serotonin. These are notorious for being antidepressants and endorphins — chemicals that can relieve pain and improve mood.
Another thing about exercise is that a single routine won’t fix everything. You’re more likely to enjoy consistent benefits if you exercise regularly. As you do, your stress tolerance increases, and your mood improves as well.
What you say to yourself
Children are incredibly susceptible to suggestion from parental figures. People who were repeatedly told they could do anything grow up to achieve massive success. On the other hand, children who are constantly reminded of their flaws and inabilities carry the burden into adulthood.
What you might not know is that adults can just be as susceptible to these suggestions as children. The only difference is that you’re vulnerable to the suggestions you make to yourself instead of a parental figure. What you think and say to yourself has a profound impact on your mental health and can affect your outlook.
Words like “I’m a loser” and self-defeating phrases like “Of course, I didn’t get the promotion. What was I thinking?” can reinforce a mentality of defeat. Focus instead on saying positive things to yourself, and you’ll see your confidence leap bounds.
Excessive alcohol and drug use
Alcohol, and even some prescription drugs, can be used to relax and destress. But then, excessive consumption can have adverse effects on both your physical and mental health. These substances stimulate the release of dopamine.
We already mentioned that dopamine could help you feel good and is even good for you. But then, when you repeatedly stimulate its production, the body adapts by either reducing production or becoming insensitive to the hormone.
The result is that you’ll crave more and more until addiction develops. Additionally, exercise and other healthy activities won’t be as beneficial as they used to.
You’ve heard people say that some alone time is good for you. That’s true for the most part. Taking time away from everyday life’s noise can have a tremendous positive impact on your mental health. However, taking it too far will do the exact opposite.
Human beings are social creatures. Even though we desire solitude, we also need the company of others. Prolonged self-isolation can be damaging for your mental health. It can stir up feelings of not being wanted or even make you develop conspiracy theories without proof.
The problem is even worse when the isolation is caused by an event, like abuse or bullying. If you find yourself in that situation, the best thing you can do is find friends who genuinely care for you. The positive reinforcement from a support group is enough to counter any negative feelings you may be having.
Stress has been linked to all kinds of mental and physical illnesses. Some common ones include ulcers, hypertension, eating disorders, and even panic attacks. The overwhelming feeling of being out of control or lacking any kind of influence on your life can be crippling.
Destressing is one of the best ways to protect your mental health. Different techniques work for different people, but a great starting point is to find activities you enjoy, preferably ones that don’t place pressure on performance or consequences of failure on you.
Your stress outlet could be building model ships, exercising, or even making love with your significant other. The crucial thing is to find an activity that helps you destress and return to it regularly.
Your body image
Your body image can be affected by the words you speak about yourself. What you see when you look in the mirror affects your mental health on a profound level. It can even affect behaviors like how you socialize, the kinds of clothes you wear, and friends you keep.
Getting a positive body image begins with understanding that no one is perfect. Models are airbrushed, photoshopped, and edited to look the way they do. The same goes for movie stars and musicians. Everyone has body flaws, and acknowledging that can help you accept your own body.
Acknowledgment also means recognizing any unique features you might have and addressing them. For example, if you have big breasts, you can get a compression shirt that fits you at this link (www.confidencebodywear.com/product/gynecomastia-compression-shirt/). Your body features shouldn’t stop you from living life to the fullest.
A failed relationship can also affect your self-image, and eventually, mental health. If it ended abruptly or without closure, you can spend months and years thinking about what you did wrong and how you could have fixed it. This goes for all intimate relationships, including friendships, marriages, and even partnerships.
Truthfully, wounds like these take time to heal, and there’s no fast track. You’ll have to go through the pain to come out on the other side. It’s okay to cry, curse, and break down. One of the healthiest things you can do is vent your emotions as they arise.
It’s also important to understand that things happen for a reason. Instead of dwelling on the past, look to the future and new opportunities it brings. It’s better to be alone than in a relationship with the wrong person.