20 Things I Stopped Doing To Improve My Mental Health

Mitch
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Taking care of our mental health is as important as maintaining our physical health. However, the path to better mental health isn’t always about adding more habits to our daily routine; it’s about letting go of some that may be holding us back. In this journey towards a healthier mind, I’ve discovered several things I needed to stop doing.

These were activities, behaviors, and even thought patterns that were negative, unproductive, or simply not serving my overall well-being. Here, I share the 20 things I stopped doing that improved my mental health. My experience will inspire you to examine your behaviors and make changes that lead to a happier and healthier mind.

Going To Bed Late

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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I made a conscious decision to stop going to bed late. An irregular sleep pattern hurt my mental health, causing constant fatigue and an overall sense of malaise. It made me more susceptible to stress and anxiety.

Establishing a regular sleep schedule improved my mood, energy levels, and ability to handle stress. Prioritizing sleep is essential to mental health care, and adhering to a regular sleep schedule can make a significant difference.

Eating Junk Food

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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One significant change I implemented to improve my mental health was stopping eating junk food. The high sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats in these foods can harm our mental well-being, creating mood swings and lethargy and even contributing to conditions like depression and anxiety.

Junk food might offer instant gratification, but the long-term effects on mental health can be severe. I replaced my junk food habits with healthier alternatives, focusing on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains instead. This improved my physical health and significantly impacted my mood and overall mental state.

Complaining

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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One of the first habits I let go of to improve my mental health was complaining. Complaining serves as a way to vent frustration without seeking a solution, creating a cycle of negativity. Even when things were going wrong, I found that complaining amplified my feelings of dissatisfaction and stress.

By consciously reducing the amount I complained about and instead choosing to focus on potential solutions or accept the situation as it was, I saw a dramatic shift in my overall mood and outlook. This doesn’t mean ignoring genuine issues – but rather dealing with them constructively and not letting them consume my thoughts.

Staying Cooped Up Indoors

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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In pursuing improved mental health, I realized that staying indoors did more harm than good. The lack of sunlight, fresh air, and a change in surroundings turned me into a dull, lazy person. I was missing out on the therapeutic benefits nature provides. Therefore, I stopped isolating myself indoors and started spending more time outside.

Whether taking a walk in the park, practicing morning yoga in my backyard, or simply enjoying a cup of tea on the porch, the outdoors became an essential part of my daily routine. The increased physical activity and exposure to sunlight significantly improved my mood, energy levels, and overall outlook on life.

Being a Social Media Fanatic

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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One thing I found particularly beneficial for my mental health was to stop being a social media fanatic. For years, I’d been a slave to the constant influx of notifications, messages, and updates, feeling an overwhelming need to keep up with the digital Joneses. But all it did was breed comparison, dissatisfaction, and a false sense of connection.

The reality is the more I scrolled, the less I felt attuned to my authentic self. By setting boundaries for my social media usage and investing that time in face-to-face interactions and nourishing activities, I saw a significant improvement in my mental well-being. The world beyond the screen is far richer than any feed can capture.

Not Being Kind to Myself

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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In my journey towards improved mental health, I realized I wasn’t being kind to myself. I lived in constant self-criticism and self-judgment, creating an unhealthy internal environment that only exacerbated my mental health struggles. The constant negative self-talk and the unrealistic expectations I placed on myself were doing me more harm than good.

Letting go of this self-inflicted cruelty was a crucial step. I started to practice self-compassion, appreciating my efforts and accepting my limitations. I learned that it’s okay to make mistakes and that failures are growth opportunities, not markers of unworthiness. Being kinder to myself lifted a great weight off my shoulders and fostered a healthier mental state.

Detaching From Friends

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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Detaching from those who impact our mental health negatively is a crucial aspect of self-improvement. This does not mean altogether abandoning friendships but taking a step back from those who consistently drain your energy or stir up negativity.

It’s essential to surround ourselves with individuals who uplift us, encourage us, and understand our journey to better mental health. Be careful not to isolate yourself; search for relationships that foster positivity, growth, and mutual support.

Staying in a Messy Environment

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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One of the first things I stopped doing to improve my mental health was spending time in a chaotic environment. A cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind, increasing feelings of stress, anxiety, and being overwhelmed.

By taking the time each day to clean and organize my surroundings, I created a serene, controlled environment that positively impacted my mood and productivity. This also instills a sense of accomplishment and control, which boosts my self-esteem and overall mental well-being.

Finding Escape in Drugs and Alcohol

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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One of the crucial things I stopped doing to improve my mental health was finding an escape from drugs and alcohol. Initially, these substances seemed to offer a temporary refuge from the overwhelming thoughts and feelings I was wrestling with. But I gradually realized they were merely creating a destructive cycle; after the temporary relief came a more profound sense of despair, guilt, and self-loathing.

Instead of helping me cope, they were exacerbating my mental health issues, leading to an even more challenging situation to manage. Recognizing this, I decided to quit these substances and seek healthier coping mechanisms, which tremendously improved my mental health.

Not Seeking Professional Help

20 Things I Stopped Doing To Improve My Mental Health
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Ignoring the need for professional help can be a significant stumbling block in improving mental health. It’s easy to believe we can handle everything ourselves or fear judgment from others. However, there is significant value in obtaining professional guidance.

Therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists help navigate the complexities of mental health. They provide strategies to manage and overcome challenges, enabling us to lead healthier, happier lives. Acknowledging the need for professional assistance isn’t a sign of weakness but rather a proactive step towards better mental health.

Taking Life Too Seriously

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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Taking life too seriously can be a significant hurdle in improving mental health. Getting caught up in the fear of making mistakes or disappointing others is easy, but this can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. Learning to lighten up, embrace imperfections, and find humor in everyday situations can significantly contribute to your mental well-being.

Let go of the need for constant control and perfection, and let yourself enjoy life’s ups and downs. This change in mindset can create room for joy, creativity, and improved mental health.

Social Comparison

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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One of the things I stopped doing to improve my mental health is engaging in social comparison. Comparing ourselves to others on social media platforms, or even in real life, can seriously hamper our mental well-being. It encourages a constant need for validation and approval, fueling feelings of inadequacy and lowering self-esteem.

We must remember that everyone’s life journey is different, and it’s unfair to compare our unique path with someone else’s highlight reel. Instead, focusing on personal growth and self-improvement can lead to a healthier, more content state of mind.

Drowning In Sad Music

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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Sometimes, we indulge in sad music to amplify our emotions or find comfort that someone else might be experiencing similar feelings. While this can often be cathartic, constantly dwelling on melancholy tunes can perpetuate a cycle of sadness and intensify negative emotions.

I consciously tried to reduce my consumption of sad music to improve my mental health. Instead, I began seeking uplifting, motivating, or neutral music that encourages positive moods, thus creating an environment conducive to emotional wellness.

Not Living in the Moment

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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Not living in the moment had me obsessively reliving past mistakes and anxiously worrying about the future, leaving me in a perpetual state of stress. By not being present, I was robbing myself of joy and tranquility in the present moment.

I decided to center my mind and focus on whatever I was doing or whoever I was with. This practice, often called mindfulness, has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and improve mental well-being.

Fixating on Depressing News and Media

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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In a world of ubiquitous information, it’s remarkably easy to get fixated on depressing news and media, which can severely impact our mental health. While staying informed is necessary, monitoring and controlling the amount of negative news we intake is equally crucial. The constant bombardment of gloomy headlines, gruesome details, and despairing updates can increase stress, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness. S

o, to improve my mental health, I decided to limit my exposure to these media types. I set specific times to catch up on the news, avoided sensationalist websites, and focused more on positive stories. It’s a slight shift that has significantly impacted my mental well-being.

Ignoring Problems

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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Pretending issues don’t exist or shoving them under the carpet doesn’t make them disappear; it simply delays the inevitable confrontation. It often amplifies the stress and anxiety associated with the problem. Recognizing and addressing issues head-on has been crucial in my journey toward improved mental health.

It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it in the long run. Facing problems allows us to find solutions and offers relief and accomplishment once resolved.

Not Incorporating a Workout Regimen

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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I initially believed that pushing myself to complete high-intensity workouts every day would boost my mental health. While physical activity is undeniably beneficial, I found the pressure I put on myself to maintain this intense regimen counterproductive.

It led to feelings of guilt and inadequacy on days I didn’t have the energy or motivation to exercise. I decided to replace this high-pressure approach with more gentle physical activities I genuinely enjoyed, like yoga or long walks in nature. This shift allowed me to associate physical activity with joy and relaxation rather than stress, significantly improving my mental well-being.

Having Negative Thoughts

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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Negative thought patterns affect our mood and can also influence how we see ourselves and the world around us. Things such as self-doubt, fear of failure, and constantly worrying about the future can create a spiraling effect that’s hard to break free from. By learning techniques to counteract these thoughts, such as meditation, affirmation, and visualization, I could replace them with more positive and realistic thoughts. This significantly improved my outlook on life and my mental well-being.”

Having No Clear Goals in Life

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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One practice I discontinued for my mental health was operating without clear goals. Previously, I found myself aimlessly drifting through life, reacting to events as they occurred rather than proactively shaping my journey. This lack of direction was a constant source of stress and anxiety.

I felt like a ship in the ocean, tossed by waves and winds, without any destination. I realized that by setting clear, achievable goals, I could gain a sense of control and purpose. Having tangible objectives gave me focus, reduced feelings of overwhelm, and provided a sense of accomplishment afterward. Therefore, I ceased to live my life by chance and began to live by choice.

Not Taking Breaks To Relax

20 Things I Stopped Doing to Improve My Mental Health
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It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget the importance of taking breaks to relax. Working or studying might give us a sense of temporary productivity. Still, it can lead to increased stress levels, burnout, and a decrease in overall mental health in the long run.

Permitting ourselves to pause, even briefly, can do wonders for our mental well-being. It could mean stepping away from the computer, meditating briefly, or soaking in nature’s beauty. Remember, it’s not about how long you work but how efficiently you work, and taking breaks is an essential part of that efficiency equation.

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Author

  • Mitch

    A computer science enthusiast with a keen interest in technology and games, Mitchelle (Mitch) contributes a cutting-edge perspective to the Frenz Hub writing team, integrating her academic knowledge with her personal passions

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