If you have certain bad habits you may already be aware they’re not good for the health of your body, but what about the health of your mind? This is an area people ignore, but increasingly Americans are being impacted by mental health issues including two of the most common which are anxiety and depression.
What so many people don’t realize is that habits that are bad for our physical health also often have an adverse impact on our emotional and mental wellbeing.
Below are five common bad habits that not can wreak havoc on your body as well as your mind.
- Being Sedentary
When you’re sedentary, you’re spending the majority of your time sitting, and this includes the time you’re at work and also those hours you might spend at home, on the sofa watching Netflix. Research shows there is a significant link between being inactive and depression rates, but just by adding three days of moderate exercise to your routine each week you can get your body in not only better shape but also your mind.
- A Lack of Sleep
If you ever experience insomnia, you likely know what it can do to your body and your mind. From fatigue to difficulty with brain function, a lack of sleep is bad for every aspect of your health. This doesn’t just mean insomnia. It means that not being able to unplug at a reasonable hour every night can have a tremendously negative impact on your physical and mental performance. If you’re getting less than 7-8 hours a night, there may be a problem.
- Too Much Sugar
Many of us know sugar can make us gain weight, destroy our metabolism and blood sugar regulation and lead to Type 2 diabetes, but what about the mental effects? When you have a high sugar diet, it can contribute to depression, as well as feelings of addiction toward sweets and processed foods. Sugar can also amplify anxiety symptoms, and it can cause problems with learning and memory.
- Excessive Alcohol
A lot of people enjoy an evening glass of wine, but when it gets to a point that could be considered extreme you might see a detrimental impact on your organs and your waistline, as well as leaving a lingering stamp on your mental health. When you drink too much, it can worsen depression and anxiety and leave behind long-term effects on mood, memory and brain functionality.
None of us are surprised smoking is bad for our health, as that’s something we’ve been faced with for decades, but what about how it damages our minds? Long-term smoking can raise levels of anxiety, and since nicotine contains dopamine, long-term smoking can trigger our brains to stop making its own dopamine. A lack of dopamine is one of the key reasons people experience depression. Some people rely on e-cigarettes as a transitional tool to help them move toward a lifestyle that doesn’t involve smoking at all.
The Physical and Mental Link
It’s essential always to remember the connection that exists between our minds and our bodies. You can’t have optimal mental health without physical health and vice versa, so look at the negative habits you have in your life and create strategies to eliminate them so you’ll not just look better, but feel better overall.