If you’ve struggled with mental issues in the past or are dealing with them right now, I’m almost 100% sure that you’ve come across things that you should do to improve your mental health.
But how about the things that you shouldn’t do? The things that damage you mentally?
Below I’ve listed 3 ways you harm your mental health without realizing it. Your mental health should be your number one priority and sometimes we have to overwork our beliefs to overcome our mental issues.
1. Negative Self-Talk
Words are extremely powerful tools that we can use to uplift our energy and improve our lives, though we’re often not conscious of the words we speak, read, and expose ourselves to.
Yes, even the words of others can easily affect our personal vibration. The old saying «sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt», simply is not true, according to researchers.
Psychologists found memories of painful emotional experiences linger far longer than those involving physical pain.
What is negative self-talk?
Basically, negative self–talk is any inner dialogue you have with yourself that may be limiting your ability to believe in yourself and your own abilities and to reach your potential. It is any thought that diminishes your ability to make positive changes in your life or your confidence in yourself to do so.
We fail to realize the power of words and their ability to change reality.
A way of stopping this endless loop of negative self-talk and improving your mental health is, whenever you are catching your mind telling things like: “You aren’t good enough.” Or “You don’t deserve this happiness” etc., you take a deep breath, full inhalation- full exhalation, and you say “Stop”, and start asking questions: “Is this in any way shape, or form useful? What it provides me?”
Next time try this simple trick of telling your brain to stop, and you will instantly see the difference.
2. Trying To Please Others
“What if I put all my energy and power into being me, instead of someone else’s version of me?”-Paula D’Arcy.
That’s coming from the former biggest people pleaser ever (AKA me). I know firsthand how hard it is to stop it. If you ever feel you getting out of your way to make someone else happy or feel bad for telling no to someone, you might be a fellow people pleaser.
For years and years, I’ve put other’s happiness ahead of mine and that started to affect my mental health.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be kind and helpful to others but you have to set some boundaries first. When you feel awkward about something or you just don’t want to go to that event or do that person a favor, saying no will drastically change your life.
People will push your generosity too far and will exploit your kindness to a whole other level, if you are there for someone whenever they want favors from you, just because you are too kind to reject helping others.
My steps to overcoming this self-sabotaging habit of always seeking validation from others were to:
- Be aware whenever it happened and actively saying to myself to “STOP”
- Understanding that even IF I tried to please all the people that I know, in the end, there always were people that got frustrated with the things that I did/said.
- Actively practicing the attitude of: “If they like me, good for them, if they don’t, it’s none of my business”
You ONLY have 24 hours every day and if you waste them caring about what other people think of you, you become their prisoner.
(This comes hand-to-hand with trying to please others all the time.)
I can tell you, without a doubt that this is the main reason for all the problems I have faced in my life. I tend to overthink/ feel things and it was until later that I realized its major drawbacks in my mental health.
See Related Post: How To Deal With Stress
Every time I’m caught in the maze of thoughts, I remind myself that it’s all inside my head. My brain is just an expert in enlarging the tiny things that otherwise would have never affected me so deeply. I used to over-analyze things and scenarios and make some weird stories in my mind which lead to anxiety and living in an imaginary reality.
I tried to put a big STOP sign there but nothing really destroyed the overthinking until I started practicing Metta-Loving Kindness meditation. It’s not the normal practice of meditation where you just sit and focus on your breathing.
Instead, you tell yourself self-love phrases like: “May I be happy” and then directing it to your loved ones: “May my Mum/Husband/Kids be happy”. If you are interested in learning more about the Metta Meditation, let me know and I can write another article about it.
I poured all my anxious thoughts into meditation and let it absorb my anxiety. Meditation has really helped me a lot in curing anxiety and I found it to be the best way to improve mental health.
I am not saying that I got rid of all of it, every once in a while I tend to feel a bit anxious but nothing that extreme.
Which one was your favorite? Are you already using any of the above that you feel like working really well?
I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below! I’m also here to answer any questions you might have!