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Staying mentally healthy in today’s world is a challenge. There’s so much noise, confusion, and indoctrination that we often lose a strong sense of ourselves. We go along with society’s nonsense, believing it’s the real thing while, paradoxically, it saps us of our joy and wrecks our mental wellbeing.
Interestingly, there are many little lifestyle factors that affect well-being. Also, most of us are totally unaware of them. However, they affect our feelings and emotions. Here’s a rundown.
7 Things Wrecking Your Mental Wellbeing
You’re Drinking Too Much Coffee
Downing a couple of cups of coffee in the morning seems normal to most people. In fact, our culture encourages it. You’re not really ready for work at 9 am on a Monday unless you’ve had a 16-ounce Americano.
But coffee isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. While it can make you feel more alert and sometimes improve your thinking, it also gives you the jitters. Many people who take coffee regularly have a strange sensation of being always on edge, never able to relax.
Also, coffee has a long half-life in the body. Even if you take it in the morning, it might not be out of your system by the time you’re ready to go to bed. You’ll feel alert, your mind will race, and you won’t be able to sleep.
You’re Failing To Go Outside
When you were young, your grandma probably told you that you needed to “get some fresh air.” She embodied a lot of wisdom. It turns out that exposure to sunlight, wind, and even rain helps to regulate the body and creates a natural cadence for the day.
You need some outdoor exposure to feel good. If you don’t get it, you’re much more likely to slip into depression.
Unfortunately, the vast bulk of modern humanity isn’t getting the sun exposure that they need. They’re working, living, and driving in boxes, failing to feel that all-important connection to nature.
You’re Overusing Medications
Medications can be helpful in some situations, but usually over the short term when health problems are acute. Problems emerge when people rely on drugs over long periods of time. That’s why we now have an opioid epidemic.
You will not face a drug charge for taking prescription meds (unless you’re taking someone else’s), but it will eventually affect your mental health. You just won’t feel like yourself, particularly if you’re using psychoactive compounds.
If you think you might be suffering, speak with your doctor. Ask them whether you can take a different medication or move over to more natural therapies.
You Don’t Have A Pet
Pets are critical for our wellbeing, and the reasons for this go deep. Superficially, pets help to assuage our loneliness. We feel better when they are around.
However, more deeply, pets remind us that there is life beyond our own incessant, annoying thoughts. They show us it is possible to be completely present, regardless of the situation. They reveal the human condition to us and how we might move beyond it.
People who keep pets tend to be healthier than those who don’t. They get more exercise and experience more joy during their lives.
You Aren’t Looking After Your Money
Nobody will claim that money alone will make you happy, but it certainly helps. Worrying about it all the time is bad for your mental health. If you know that you have a fat bank account, at least you don’t have to fear being able to put food on the table.
Remember, money makes you happier, up to a point. Going from having $500 in your account to $50,000 is a big difference. Going from $50,000 to $500,000 is much smaller—at least in terms of your wellbeing.
Your Friends Are Wrecking Your Life
Hanging around with friends is something we should all be aspiring to do—or so society tells us. But be honest with yourself: do your friends really enhance your life and contribute to your mental wellbeing?
Most times, they don’t. They are an emotional drain on you and you feel depleted of energy after seeing them. Sometimes, you actually dread going out because you know how difficult it will be.
You Think Diet Will Make You Happy
Dieting can improve your weight and make you feel better for a short time, but it will eventually get the better of you. The vast majority of people can’t maintain their diets and eventually wind up back where they started, feeling even more helpless than before.