7 Worst Habits For Your Mental Health 

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Could you also be guilty of holding on to bad mental health habits? Habits that are not only harmful to your mental well being but also preventing you from living a happier and healthier life? 

Many of us, often without even realizing it, are guilty of doing this. I certainly am. Truth be told, for the longest time, I have never placed any importance on my mental health. 

For years, I was so focused on improving my life and “achieving happiness” thinking that the only way for me to get there was through achieving all my goals and dreams. I continued to push myself. It didn’t really matter how exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed I already felt, I still kept pressing on. 

I honestly thought that as long as I was able to meet all my obligations and reach those milestones, I had set for myself, then I was perfectly fine. 

I didn’t realize that because of this relentless pursuit, I was constantly ignoring the warning signs my mind was sending me. It wasn’t until I found myself at my lowest point, burnout, that the reality of my situation finally hit me. 

It was a wake-up call that led me to finally face the reality that my mental health and well-being should not be compromised for the sake of accomplishments. Chasing my goals non-stop wasn’t worth it if it meant harming my mental and emotional health. 

I’ve learned that prioritizing our mental health is just as important as achieving our goals. Our mental health should not come at the expense of our success. It was actually during my lowest moment that I realized just how many bad mental health habits I was holding onto. 

I realized that for years, I was just living in a constant state of stress, overwhelm, and unhappiness. I just kept believing that it was normal and just part of the path toward success and improving my life. But I was certainly wrong. 

I learned that taking care of our mental health doesn’t mean slowing down our progress towards our goals. In fact, it actually drives and empowers us to pursue them in a more effective and sustainable way. By letting go of bad mental health habits, we are giving ourselves that essential space to breathe, reflect, and grow. 

This space allows us to approach our goals with a clearer mind and a stronger sense of purpose. It allows us the chance to finally find lasting peace and live a more meaningful, happier, and fulfilled life. 

In this post, I will be sharing with you the habits that are bad for our mental health and the steps I took to overcome them, hoping they might inspire and help you on your own journey towards a happier and healthier life. 

Worst Habits For Your Mental Health  1

7 Worst Habits For Your Mental Health 

1. Negative Self Talk 

Could you also be guilty of being your own harshest critic? How many times have you caught yourself engaging in negative self-talk, berating your own efforts, or even downplaying your achievements? I’m certainly guilty of this too. 

I’ve always had this notion that negative self talk wasn’t a big deal. Honestly, I thought that it was necessary. I thought that by constantly beating myself up, I was somehow pushing myself to be better and to work even harder. But that wasn’t really the case. 

Negative self talk did not make me more productive or successful. Instead, it created a toxic cycle of self-doubt and fear of failure that actually held me back. I didn’t realize that the constant criticism I directed at myself was not only negatively impacting my mental health and self esteem, but it was also paralyzing. 

I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of opportunities (that I really wanted) that I turned down because I was so afraid that my efforts would not be good enough. If you’re guilty of doing this too, please know that you don’t have to keep beating yourself up to push yourself to be better. 

You deserve to treat yourself with the same amount of kindness and compassion that you so freely give to your loved ones. One of the things that I’ve learned is that there is a huge difference between constructive criticism and destructive self talk.

Constructive criticism is about uplifting and helping us improve. It is focused on growth and solutions rather than on problems and shortcomings. 

Constructive criticism comes from a place of understanding and support, and it acknowledges the effort and progress that have already been made. While destructive self talk is often based on vague and demoralizing statements without any real solutions offered to make things better. 

We have to remind ourselves that treating ourselves with kindness during difficult times or even when we make mistakes doesn’t mean that we are being self indulgent or ignoring our flaws. It just means that we are giving ourselves a safe space to grow and learn. 

Giving ourselves a safe space means we’re allowing ourselves the room to reflect on our actions, understand what went wrong, and figure out how we can do better next time without fear of self judgements. 

Start by recognizing when you’re engaging in negative self-talk. Catch those thoughts as they happen and consciously choose to stop them in their tracks. Instead, replace them with more positive, constructive thoughts.

For example, if you find yourself thinking, “I always mess up,” challenge that thought with, “I made a mistake this time, but I can learn from it and improve.” 

It’s time to stop beating yourself up and start giving yourself the love and understanding that you deserve. 

Learn how to start loving yourself more by taking this 30 day self love challenge.

2. Constantly Complaining 

Constantly complaining is one of the worst habits for your mental health. I know that complaining can be a good thing. This allows us the chance to vent out, express our feelings, and sometimes even find solutions to our problems.

However, when complaining becomes a constant habit, it can negatively affect our outlook on life, mental health, and overall well being. 

I certainly know how this feels. When I was struggling in life, I allowed myself to be consumed by all my problems. I’ve focused all my attention and energy on every little thing that was going wrong in life believing that doing this would somehow push me to find solutions to my problems faster. 

But what it did was the exact opposite. By focusing only on the negativity, I’ve felt more defeated and hopeless to the point that instead of actually doing something about my problems, I began to feel overwhelmed and paralyzed. 

It was a vicious cycle where the more I complained, the less capable I felt of making any positive changes. Honestly, constantly complaining not only affected my mental health but also strained my relationships with others. People began to distance themselves, which only added to my feelings of isolation and frustration. 

I realized that while it’s healthy to acknowledge and express our dissatisfactions and pains, allowing ourselves to dwell exclusively on the negative aspects of our lives without actually taking any action or refusing to find anything good would not only keep us from moving forward and making a change, it also makes us feel more hopeless and unmotivated. 

One of the things that really helped me break this habit was focusing more on the solutions. Whenever I faced a challenge or found myself slipping into a pattern of complaint, I would ask myself, “What can I do about this?” This simple question encouraged me to focus on actionable steps I could take, no matter how small, to address the situation. 

Another big help was practicing daily gratitude. I know that practicing gratitude when we are going through tough times can often feel impossible. We have to remind ourselves that practicing gratitude is not about ignoring our problems and pretending that everything is okay. 

It is about finding balance, ensuring that while we navigate challenges, we also allow ourselves to pause and recognize even the smallest glimmers of joy, love, and kindness that are still in our lives. It is about allowing ourselves to see, even in the toughest times, that there are still moments worth cherishing. 

Worst Habits For Your Mental Health 

3. Not Setting Boundaries 

How many times have you said yes even when you had so many things on your plate? How many times have you overextended yourself regardless of how exhausted and overwhelmed you already felt? Failing to set healthy boundaries is another worst habit for your mental health. 

To be honest with you, I have always struggled with this. I have always found it so difficult to say no to requests because I was so afraid of disappointing others. Growing up, I was made to believe that my worth was tied to two things. One is my accomplishments. Two is based on how useful I was to other people. 

I took this belief with me as I grew older. For years, I continued to put my needs on the back burner and prioritize everyone else’s expectations and needs above my own. It wasn’t just about helping out. It became about proving my worth by being indispensable to others. 

And let me tell you, living that kind of life was not only exhausting and mentally draining, it was also making me so unhappy. If you’re guilty of this too, please know that you are worthy just as you are now.

Your worth and value are not based on how much you do for others or how many accomplishments you can tally up. Your worth is intrinsic, existing within you simply because you are you. You don’t have to keep proving your worth to other people. 

We have to remind ourselves that setting healthy boundaries doesn’t mean that we are being selfish or unkind. It is about respecting our own needs and limits just as much as we respect those of others.

It’s about giving ourselves the chance to recharge and refocus, so we can be our best selves for the people around us and for our own lives. 

Establishing boundaries allows us to maintain our well-being and ensures that we don’t lose ourselves while trying to be everything to everyone. Start by identifying what aspects of your life feel overwhelming or draining.

Take a moment to reflect on your daily routines, your interactions with others, and your personal commitments. Ask yourself where you feel stretched too thin and what changes could help alleviate that feeling. 

Once you’ve identified these areas, communicate your needs clearly. This involves having honest conversations with friends, family, or coworkers about your limits and what you can reasonably take on. 

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4. Avoiding Emotions 

I have always struggled with vulnerability. Every time I went through difficult moments, my instinct was to always run away from what I was feeling, instead of facing them head-on. 

I always chose to bottle up all my emotions because I was so afraid that by showing them, people would think that I was weak or even less capable. Honestly, at that time, I thought that this was the best thing to do. I thought that allowing myself the chance to face what I was truly feeling was a complete waste of time. 

Especially when I believed I should be focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on problems. This mindset of constantly needing to appear strong and unbothered became this giant armor I carried everywhere.

I thought that if I just continued to pretend that I was okay then eventually all those bottled-up emotions would just go away. 

But that’s not really how it works because the reality is, regardless of how long you try to keep all those emotions bottled up, they will never just disappear. Eventually, the weight of all those unacknowledged emotions will start taking a toll on your mental health and happiness. I’ve realized that pushing away all my emotions just made it so much more difficult for me to understand and manage them effectively. 

Ignoring or suppressing my feelings didn’t solve anything, it just postponed the inevitable need to deal with them. I’ve learned that by pushing away my emotions and pretending they didn’t exist, I wasn’t just avoiding vulnerability. I was actually denying myself the opportunity to truly process and heal from my experiences. 

If you’re struggling with this too, please know that giving yourself the space to feel all your emotions will never make you weak. One of the lessons that I’ve learned while I was navigating this is that giving ourselves the time and space that we need to process everything that we are feeling doesn’t make us less capable. It doesn’t mean that we failed or that we are not strong enough. 

On the contrary, I actually believe that choosing to face all our emotions head-on takes a whole lot of courage and a great deal of strength. We have to keep reminding ourselves that the only way for us to truly heal and move forward is by allowing ourselves to fully experience and acknowledge our emotions, no matter how uncomfortable or painful they may be. 

It’s about understanding that healing is not a linear process and that it’s perfectly okay to have moments of vulnerability and weakness. These moments don’t define our strength, rather, it’s our willingness to confront and work through these emotions that truly showcases our resilience. 

5. Perfectionism 

Another bad habit for your mental health is perfectionism. For the longest time, I have always worn perfectionism like it was a badge of honor. At a young age, I was taught that failure was not an option and that it was a direct reflection of my worth and capabilities. 

So naturally, I did everything that I could to avoid it. I continued to push myself to constantly strive for perfection in everything that I did, believing that this was the only way to prove my worth and avoid the judgment and disappointment of others. And let me tell you, living that kind of life was so exhausting and overwhelming. 

Constantly chasing perfection not only made everything more stressful but also kept me from going after my goals because I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do them perfectly. I can’t tell you the number of opportunities I’ve missed because the fear of not meeting my own unrealistic standards held me back. 

If you’re also struggling with this habit, please know that your worth is never tied to your achievements or the level of perfection you can reach. Life is not about always getting things right, it is about having the courage to keep going even when things don’t go as we planned. 

Now I truly believe that perfection is an illusion. Human as we are, we are all bound to make mistakes, fail, and stumble but that doesn’t mean that we are no longer worthy of love, understanding, and second chances. Please remember that your value will never be diminished by your imperfections. 

Life is by far too short and too precious to waste it chasing perfection. Allow yourself the chance to live the life that you want. Know that you are so much more than the sum of your successes and failures. 

One of the things that helped me slowly break this habit is embracing the concept of “good enough.” It involved understanding that my efforts can be valuable and meaningful, even if they aren’t flawless. We have to keep reminding ourselves that focusing on “good enough” doesn’t mean settling for mediocrity. 

It simply means acknowledging that imperfection is a natural part of life and that striving for improvement is more productive and fulfilling than chasing an unattainable ideal. This approach allows us to celebrate our achievements and recognize our personal growth, even when things don’t turn out perfectly. 

6. Holding Grudges 

Forgiveness is never easy. Often, it can be so much easier to hold on to anger and grudges instead of letting them go. I certainly know how this feels. 

Growing up, I was deeply hurt by the people that I love. I was made to feel that I constantly had to earn their love and that regardless of what I did, it was never enough. I took that anger with me as I grew older. 

I honestly thought that holding on to my grudges toward them would somehow protect me from being hurt again. I believed that if I kept my guard up and my feelings of resentment close, I wouldn’t be as vulnerable to the pain they could inflict. 

The turning point came when I realized that my grudges were doing more harm to me than to those who had hurt me. My anger was not a shield but a prison. Holding on to those grudges did not only make me bitter and angry at the world, but it also kept me from moving forward and healing. 

Truth be told, my journey toward forgiveness was not easy. There were days when the hurt felt too deep, and the idea of forgiveness seemed impossible. On those days, letting go of my anger felt like a betrayal to my own feelings and experiences. It was as if I was saying that what happened to me didn’t matter. 

But over time, I’ve learned that forgiveness is not about minimizing the wrong that they have done or invalidating the pain that they have caused. It is about choosing to set yourself free from the pain of the past and finally allow yourself the space to heal and move forward. It’s about not letting the pain of the past have power over us anymore. 

You can start by acknowledging the hurt and pain that you’ve experienced. It’s important to give yourself permission to feel these emotions fully. Remind yourself that forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, rather than to the person who wronged you. 

It’s a choice to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being over holding onto resentment. Doing this will help remind us that we are in control of our healing journey, rather than leaving us at the mercy of someone else’s actions or apologies that may never come. 

Please know that you deserve to release the hold the past has on you, not because those who have hurt you deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. 

7. Not Asking For Help When Needed 

Do you also find it so difficult to ask for help? I definitely do. I have always found it so difficult to reach out and ask for support regardless of how badly I needed it. When I hit rock bottom, I didn’t want anyone to know what I was going through, including the people that I love. 

I honestly believed that reaching out to them and opening up about my struggles would only add to their burden. I mean, I know that they have their own issues to deal with, and I didn’t want to be just another thing they had to worry about. I never wanted to add to their burden, so I kept putting on this facade that I was perfectly okay. 

I thought that since this was my problem, so naturally, I should be the only one to deal with it. This mindset just made me feel more isolated and alone. It made me feel more hopeless and honestly, it just made it more difficult for me to pick myself back up

If you also find it difficult to reach out and ask for help, I want you to know that you will never be a burden to the people who truly love you. They actually want to be there for you. Opening up about your struggles and asking for support is not going to add to their burdens because they genuinely care about your well-being. 

Remember, the strength of a relationship is tested and proven not when everything is going well, but when challenges arise. Those who truly value you will stand by you, offering their support, understanding, and love, without making you feel like a burden. 

Also, we have to remind ourselves that asking for help doesn’t mean that we are a failure or that we are not capable of handling our own problems. It just simply means that we are human, and being human means we are not infallible. We all have our limits and facing difficulties is a part of life that everyone goes through. 

We all need someone in our corner from time to time. So, please don’t ever hesitate to ask for help when you need it, remember that those who care for you would rather know what you’re going through and have the chance to support you than see you struggle in silence. 

Please know that you are not alone, and you deserve all the support you need to get back on your feet. 

Final Thoughts 

It’s important to remember that breaking these bad mental health habits is not going to be a straight path. There will be days when we feel like we are not making any progress or that we are reverting to our old habits.

On days like these, please be kind to yourself and offer yourself the understanding, patience, and love that you deserve. 

Know that it’s perfectly normal to go through days like these. The journey towards letting go of these worst habits for mental health will always be full of ups and downs.

The important thing is that you don’t give up on yourself. Being consistent in your efforts, even when it feels like you’re not moving forward, is key to long-term change. 

Remember, the path to overcoming bad mental health habits is a marathon, not a sprint. Be compassionate with yourself, celebrate your progress, keep moving forward, one step at a time, and know that I’m always rooting for you! 

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