Here are Six Ways You are Unknowingly Risking Your Mental Health
Regardless of whether you struggle with a mental disorder such as bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety and so on, it is very important that you know how to handle your mental health, and the habits you need to avoid.
Not only does the state of your mental health affect your general happiness and your relationships, but it also ties in with your physical health. The lifestyles we live today do not promote our mental health though, and some habits you have may be detrimental to it. Even seemingly harmless activities like dieting and checking your emails for work purposes can seem healthy, but they may interfere with your health. Due to this, it is important to know every sneaky way that you may be unknowingly sabotaging your mental health.
You Sit Too Much
The increase of sedentary lifestyles has corresponded with the increase in mental health problems. It may be unknown to you, but sitting too much can actually impact your mental health negatively, especially in terms of anxiety.
For some people, it is difficult to calm down unless you take a walk or hit the gym, but for others, they feel relaxed. According to a study by the Deakin University Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition in Australia, the research was done on nine studies to find the relation between sedentary behavior and anxiety. The study found that four of the nine studies proved there was a correlation between the times spent sitting down and mental health.
Not everyone has the luxury of being very active, but there are ways you can get around it, even if your job requires you to sit at a desk all day. One way is using an adjustable laptop tray or getting a standing desk to force you to switch frequently between standing and sitting.
If you cannot afford this, then consider taking work breaks, even if it is going to your office window and standing there for a few minutes, then coming back to your desk.
Overdoing Caffeine Consumption
Coffee and tea are good for you – as long as you consume them in moderation. Excess consumption levels is bad for you though, as caffeine proves to increase anxiety when its levels are too high , and that can only mean one thing – increasing risk to your mental health.
The journalEveryday Healthgave a good explanation on caffeine – stating that it increases the ‘flight or fight’ response from the body. This can increase the symptoms of anxiety and even lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Give your mental health a break, and reduce your caffeine intake.
You Exercise Too Much
You may consider this surprising. After all, exercise is good for you. However, too much of a good thing is bad for you, even exercise.
The benefits of exercise is a no-brainer, especially when it comes to maintaining your mental and physical fitness. Exercise serves to reduce the risk of getting cancer and heart disease, and it also boosts the production of serotonin by the body, the release of endorphins, and a natural way of fighting depression and anxiety.
However, as with all good things, regulating its amount is important. If you push yourself beyond what your body can handle, you are forcing the body to produce more cortisol since it is under stress. That will only mess with your mood, and you are not doing your health any favors.
You Spend too Much Time on Your Phone
Technology is a good thing, and the digital age has helped us keep in touch with many people, including our friends and family. However, if you are among the people who use their phone before bed, or you are overdoing your stay on social media, you should consider taking a break for some time.
The problem with the time we live in is that we are forced to constantly stay online, because there is an inherent fear of ‘missing out’. When you stop using your phone or detach yourself from social media for some time, you end up experiencing withdrawal symptoms, similar to those of someone recovering from substance abuse, such as cocaine abuse.
In addition, the blue light that electronic devices emit interferes with your sleeping patterns, and increase your chances of developing depressive symptoms. Consider cutting back on the use of technology, and give yourself a break from social media.
You Sleep at Late Hours
Regardless of the reason you sleep late – maybe your work is forcing you to sleep late hours, you are binge watching your favorite show on Netflix, or your social life is too interesting to let go – then you are familiar with the struggle of going to bed early, no matter how normal it may seem.
In actual fact, the later you go to bed,the more chances you have of struggling with mental health issues, as studies confirm. Making this more discouraging is that late bedtime impacts mental health negatively, regardless of the number of hours you sleep. If that sounds like you, consider going to bed at earlier hours. Keep in mind that sleep is important for the recovery of our body and mind; so do not skip on it.
You Drink Too Much
It may seem fun to go out with your friends to social gatherings and drink shots or glasses of wine the whole night or for a few hours, but the body seems to perceive this differently. Studies have shown that the presence of alcohol stimulates the body to release cortisol into the blood – this chemical is a response to stress, and can lead to the onset of depression and diabetes if its levels are too high.
Even though alcohol makes you relax initially, taking too much of it increases your stress levels, interferes with your immune system and messes up your sleeping patterns. Bottom line – avoid getting wasted.
Promoting your mental health is important. The lifestyles we live today do not enhance our mental health, and that is partly the reason there are many cases of depression and anxiety. However, when you stick to these tips, managing it will be easier than you thought.