Some behaviors are simply not good for your mental health. Sometimes just a few small adjustments can make a big difference in your life. You don’t always have to make a herculean effort to get yourself feeling significantly better. There may be just a few tune-ups you can make to better your mental health.
Here are some behaviors you might want to consider fixing:
1)Bad Posture. It turns out your mother was right. Sit up straight. Don’t slouch. Walk with your shoulders back, chin up and put some pep in your step. You’ll actually feel better. Studies have shown that making the change from slumping to good posture affects your mood in a positive way.
2)Lack of Alone Time. If you’re the kind of person who puts everyone else before yourself—a spouse, children, elderly parents, neighbors—then you might be running on empty. You need to make an effort to schedule some time for yourself so you can recharge and refresh. Your mental health will be considerably better if you just schedule 15 minutes a day to spend putting your needs first.
3)Poor Sleep Patterns. Sleep is restorative and most people don’t get enough. Lack of sleep can affect your mood and your physical health. You can make some minor changes to improve your chances of a good night’s sleep. Take the television out of the bedroom and power down all your electronic devices for a good hour before you go to bed. And go to bed and wake up at regular times. Avoid caffeine and sip some nice herbal tea instead.
4)Couch Potato Propensity. There’s a strong correlation between sedentary living and depression. While it may seem like a huge task to change this habit, once you get up and get moving you’ll feel significantly better. You don’t have to join a gym or buy fancy equipment. Just take a walk for starters. When you exercise three times a week you can make a significant dent in depressive feelings.
5)Constantly on Camera. If you’re one of those people who is always recording things for posterity, consider that you might want to put your iPhone down and just enjoy life. Take in what’s happening in the moment without worrying about a device. Your Facebook fans will survive without a moment-by-moment digital image of every event in your life. You might even have more pleasant memories that way.
6)Lack of Face Time. If you have more virtual connections instead of face-to-face, consider taking a breather from social media. Have a real-time, in-the-flesh meaningful conversation with friends or family. The quality of your connection will be different than online, and probably better.
While it’s always a challenge to break a bad habit, these are relatively minor in the scheme of things. And the reward for making a change can be considerable.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Psychotherapist. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: http://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.