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How to Ruin Your Sanity: 11 Steps to Good Mental Health

It’s easy to blame bad moods on everyone and everything but yourself, but sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. Doing these 11 things may seem like they’re giving you more time, easing your stress, or making you happier, when really they’re what’s sabotaging your good mental health. Try some alternatives to these behaviors and see if your sanity doesn’t come crawling back.

 

  • How to Ruin Your Sanity 1 of 12
    mental-health1

    It's time to take action for your own sanity... stop doing these 11 things.

  • Boozing it Up 2 of 12
    booze1

    Having a drink may seem relaxing and restorative at the time, but it really does the opposite. It can disrupt your sleep and depress your mood. Stick to drinking only occasionally and do so in moderation.

  • Stifling Anger 3 of 12
    anger1

    Holding it in might make you seem like a nice, easy-going person on the outside, but stuffing emotions down can make you overact in a future situation. Being angry and worked up without a release can lead to high blood pressure and more stress. Look for a positive way to rid yourself of the anger, like taking a kickboxing class, punching a pillow, or listening to your favorite CD.

  • Hibernating 4 of 12
    hibernate1

    Being stuck indoors all day is an easy way to let the blues creep in. Try to get outside for at least a few minutes each day. Worst case scenario, try to sit next to a window.

  • Letting Clutter Slide 5 of 12
    clutter1

    It's just clutter right, so what's the big deal? Even if you don't consciously acknowledge it, a messy house can add to your stress levels and make you feel burdened. Try to keep things neat and tidy by spending 5 minutes skimming through the house each day picking things up before you hit the hay.

  • Not Letting Things Go 6 of 12
    let-go1

    Replaying a conversation or scenario over and over in your head can increase your stress about the situation and lead to anxiety. When you find yourself stuck on one thought, look for something to distract you, like going for a walk, calling a friend, or writing in a journal.

  • Not Exercising 7 of 12
    exercise5

    Not only is exercise good for your body physically, it's good for your mood too. Exercising even small amounts each day can help boost your "good mood" brain chemicals. If you have trouble sticking with a routine, schedule your workout in your calendar just like you would a work meeting, then don't miss it!

  • Forgetting to Be Original 8 of 12
    original1

    Are you constantly comparing yourself to your neighbor or coworker? Don't. Judging your own worth based on other people's only leads to dissatisfaction. Plus, you never really know what's going on beneath the surface of another family. Focus on the great things you do have instead of what everybody else seems to have.

  • Insisting on Perfection 9 of 12
    perfection1

    Holding yourself to an impossible standard only increases the pressure to meet those expectations. Give yourself a break and let go of the tendency to insist on perfection.

  • Not Leaving the Office 10 of 12
    work1

    You know what they say about all work and no play. Working too much throws off the balance of other things in your life, like family, friends, exercise, and relaxation. Try not to clock too many late nights and find a way to be more efficient during the day instead.

  • Skipping Out on Sleep 11 of 12
    zzz1

    While sleep sounds super boring, it's an important piece of our health puzzle. Not getting enough sleep can lead to irritability, stress, and even weight gain. Sticking with a set bedtime and wake-up time, even on the weekends, can help improve the quality of your sleep.

  • Letting Your Social Life Slip 12 of 12
    friends

    Going out and having fun with friends may seem like a luxury you can gloss over, but letting loose or even quietly socializing can do great things for your mood. You may not want to go at first, but once you're there you'll feel better.

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