20 Habits That Destroy Our Mental Health

Maintaining good mental health is crucial for our overall well-being, yet there are various habits that can unknowingly undermine our mental resilience and stability. From everyday behaviors to long-standing patterns, these habits can gradually erode our mental health if left unchecked.

Recognizing and addressing these destructive habits is essential for cultivating a positive and resilient mindset. In this list, we’ll explore 20 common habits that have the potential to harm our mental well-being and suggest strategies for breaking free from their grip.

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#1. Negative Self-Talk

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Constantly berating ourselves with critical inner dialogue can chip away at our self-esteem and contribute to feelings of worthlessness. Challenge negative thoughts by practicing self-compassion and replacing self-criticism with affirming statements.

#2. Excessive Worrying

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Persistent worrying about the future or things beyond our control can lead to anxiety and overwhelm. Practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or grounding exercises to stay present and reduce anxiety.

#3. Perfectionism

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Striving for perfection in every aspect of life can create unrealistic expectations and cause undue stress. Embrace imperfection and focus on progress rather than perfection.

#4. Isolation

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Withdrawing from social interactions and isolating oneself can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and depression. Make an effort to connect with friends and loved ones regularly, even if it’s just for a brief conversation.

#5. Poor Sleep Habits

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Consistently getting inadequate or poor-quality sleep can impair cognitive function and exacerbate mental health issues. Prioritize sleep hygiene by establishing a regular bedtime routine and creating a restful sleep environment.

#6. Overworking

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Pushing ourselves to the point of burnout by overworking can negatively impact our mental health and overall well-being. Set boundaries around work hours and prioritize self-care to prevent burnout.

#7. Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

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Relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse, binge eating, or avoidance behaviors to deal with stress can worsen mental health issues in the long run. Seek healthier alternatives like exercise, meditation, or talking to a therapist.

#8. Comparing Ourselves to Others

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Constantly comparing ourselves to others on social media or in real life can breed feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Focus on your own journey and celebrate your unique strengths and accomplishments.

#9. Neglecting Physical Health

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Neglecting our physical health through poor diet, lack of exercise, or neglecting medical care can have a significant impact on our mental well-being. Prioritize self-care practices that nourish both the body and mind.

#10. Avoiding Seeking Help

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Allowing pride or stigma to prevent us from seeking help when struggling with mental health issues can prolong suffering and exacerbate symptoms. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional for support when needed.

#11. Ruminating on Past Mistakes

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Dwelling on past mistakes or regrets can fuel feelings of guilt and shame, hindering our ability to move forward. Practice forgiveness and focus on learning from past experiences rather than dwelling on them.

#12. Ignoring Boundaries

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Disregarding our own boundaries or allowing others to violate them can lead to feelings of resentment and emotional exhaustion. Clearly communicate your boundaries to others and prioritize self-care.

#13. Lack of Self-Care

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Neglecting self-care practices such as proper nutrition, exercise, and relaxation can leave us feeling depleted and vulnerable to mental health issues. Make self-care a priority by scheduling regular “me time” and engaging in activities that replenish your energy.

#14. Catastrophizing

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Catastrophizing or blowing things out of proportion can intensify feelings of anxiety and lead to irrational fears. Practice reframing negative thoughts and focus on realistic outcomes rather than worst-case scenarios.

#15. People Pleaser Trap

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When we constantly try to please everyone, we risk losing sight of who we truly are. Recognize that not everyone will resonate with you, and that’s okay. Embrace your uniqueness and stand by your beliefs and values, even if they differ from others’. Respecting and appreciating yourself is key to maintaining mental well-being.

#16. Suppressing Emotions

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Avoiding or suppressing difficult emotions like anger, sadness, or grief can lead to emotional numbness and mental health issues. Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions in healthy ways, such as journaling or talking to a trusted friend.

#17. Seeking External Validation

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Relying on external validation for self-worth and validation can leave us feeling insecure and dependent on others’ opinions. Cultivate self-esteem from within by acknowledging your own worth and accomplishments.

#18. Chronic Procrastination

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Chronic procrastination can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of guilt over uncompleted tasks. Break tasks down into smaller, manageable steps and practice time management techniques to overcome procrastination.

#19. Engaging in Toxic Relationships

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Surrounding ourselves with toxic or negative individuals can drain our energy and erode our self-esteem. Set boundaries with toxic people and prioritize relationships that uplift and support your mental health.

#20. Lack of Balance

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Leading an imbalanced lifestyle with excessive focus on work, responsibilities, or leisure can contribute to feelings of stress and dissatisfaction. Strive for a balanced life that encompasses work, leisure, relationships, and self-care to promote overall well-being.

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