Depression and unhappiness can develop from big events such as the loss of a loved one or a job, but small habits can impact daily mood and perpetuate depression, Time reports.
Below are 12 habits that negatively impact your mental health and decrease your happiness, and how to change them.
- You slouch when you walk
According to a study in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, how we feel and how we walk are related. These researchers found that people who slouch when they walk and move as minimally as possible are more likely to be in a bad mood and to think negative thoughts.
Improve your mood by walking with good posture: chin up, shoulders back, back straight! You’ll feel better physically and mentally.
- You take pictures of everything
Instagram is a fun, picture-based social media app, but studies have shown that it can be harmful for your mental health. According to a study in Psychological Science, randomly taking pictures instead of focusing on the present may negatively affect how you remember a moment.
Combat this by focusing on a picture when you take it or put the phone camera down and enjoy the moment while you’re there. This will help you enjoy everyday moments more and improve your memory of the event as well.
- You’re letting a bully get the best of you
Unfortunately, bullying continues throughout life and doesn’t stop in high school. In fact, work place bullying is rather commonplace and happens far to frequently. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, 35% of American workers experience bullying at work and 70% of workers witness bullying in the workplace.
The first step to overcoming your workplace bullying is to focus on your own health first by making an appointment with your doctor. The Workplace Bullying Institute offers resources and a plan on how to handle the situation from there.
- You don’t exercise
Exercise is an excellent way to simultaneously improve your physical and mental health. People who exercise three times a week are 19% less likely to suffer from depression.
Improve your move by increasing your exercise. When you’re depressed, the thought of exercise doesn’t sound good, but you can start slowly by going on a walk or getting out and running errands.
- You procrastinate
Procrastinating makes a task you don’t want to do, or are anxious to do, even worse. The longer you put it off, the worse you will feel about whatever it is you have to do.
Before completing this task, get yourself in the right mood by doing something that helps you feel less stressed such as listening to music of going for a run.
- You’re in a toxic relationship
Bad relationships can cause a lot of mental health issues, such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
Before ending this relationship, get some help by looking at resources, reaching out to a professional, or seeking the help of family or friends. If your partner is abusive, it may require careful steps to leave.
- You take life too seriously
If little things get to you, like tripping in public or spilling something, and they weigh on your heavily, you may want to try taking a different approach and laugh these things off, instead.
“There are many studies showing the benefits of laughter on our health and this includes mental health,” psychotherapist Erin K. Leonard said.
Increase the humor in your life by watching a funny TV show or spending more time with friends who make you laugh.
- You don’t sleep
Sleep is crucial for our mental and physical health. It affects our emotions, bodily functions, and mental capabilities. If you’re not getting adequate sleep, then you’re not feeling or performing at your best.
First, figure out why you aren’t sleeping and then take steps to improve your sleep. Perhaps you need blackout blind, a white noise machine, or a set bedtime.
- You’re never alone
Being alone too often can make you feel isolated and depressed, but never being alone can also make you depressed and anxious.
Finding alone time can be difficult with work, kids, etc. but it is important to do so. Set time aside – literally put it on your calendar – that is just for you to be alone.
- You don’t actually talk to anyone
In the age of technology, we have more ways to stay connected without having true connections with people. Texting, social media apps, and instant messaging all provide ways for us to stay in contact without having meaningful conversations or true face-to-face contact with people.
Increase your happiness and improve your relationships by having more face-to-face interactions with your friends and actual voice phone calls with people not in your area.
- You can’t live without your mobile phone
Most of us have more than one device – at least a computer and a smart phone, but many have even more. These devices cause us to be over-stimulated, which can cause us to never truly rest and re-energize.
Set some time to be device-free and allow yourself to reset your mind and body.
- You multitask
We all multitask, and we often think that we’re being more productive when we do, but multitasking can often make us feel more stressed and less effective at communicating or what we’re doing.
Be more mindful about a task at hand by focusing on one thing at a time. Don’t look at your phone while eating lunch; don’t eat lunch while you’re working; etc.