In today’s world, getting overwhelmed is quite easy. Many, if not most, people I personally know have anxiety and trouble sleeping.
To stop this vicious circle, we need to get our lives in order and eliminate habits that harm us.
So, without delay, here are the energy-draining habits you need to say goodbye to if you’re often overwhelmed.
1) Excessive worrying about the future
Our future is obviously very important, right? Still, worrying about the future all the time also isn’t something you should do.
Yes, you should save for retirement and have short and long-term goals, but thinking about the war, the rise of AI, global warming, etc., isn’t doing you any good.
Constantly worrying about what might happen in the future will lead you to anxiety and mental exhaustion.
You need to strike a balance between planning for the future and living in the present. Consider practicing mindfulness techniques to stay grounded and reduce future-oriented stress.
2) Pondering about the past
The same goes for the past. You aren’t doing yourself any favors if you continuously revisit and dwell on past mistakes, regrets, or negative experiences.
This habit is incredibly mentally exhausting and emotionally draining, as it keeps you stuck in a cycle of self-blame or self-pity.
I’ve made many mistakes in my life that I could dwell on to this day, but I don’t. Without these mistakes, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, for better or worse.
Besides, you can’t erase the past. You can only learn from it. So forgive yourself and others and let it go. Focus on enjoying the present moment.
3) Avoiding confrontation
Avoiding difficult conversations or conflicts may seem like a way to maintain peace, but it often results in pent-up stress and unresolved issues.
Imagine a coworker who frequently interrupts you during meetings, making it challenging to share your ideas.
Instead of addressing the issue directly, you keep your frustration to yourself. Over time, your bottled-up emotions result in an outburst during a critical presentation, damaging your professional image.
And this isn’t a made-up example. I actually saw it happen!
It’s far healthier to address concerns and conflicts as they arise and not set them aside.
Let’s shift gears and manage another bad habit.
4) Spending too much time indoors
We know that spending too much time indoors and away from nature isn’t good for you and results in disconnection and depleted energy.
On the other side, regularly connecting with the natural world has many mental and physical health benefits.
Whether it’s a walk in the park, gardening, or simply taking in the beauty of nature, make an effort to include it in your routine.
Because I spend almost ten hours per day, six days a week, in front of a laptop, I consciously try to go outside with my family after my working day is done.
Whether it’s the beach or a hike in nature doesn’t really matter as long as we’re outdoors. That being said, I live in the south of Portugal, which gets 300+ days of sunshine per year.
Before that, we lived in Ireland, where, let’s just say, the weather could be better. Nevertheless, we tried to be out and about as much as we could, wearing raincoats if needed.
I’m just trying to say that where there is a will, there is a way, no matter where you live.
Let me ask you this: Are you a perfectionist? Is the work done only when it’s perfect? If you have this mindset, it might be sucking the energy out of you, leaving you dangerously depleted day after day.
When you’re a perfectionist, you’re setting unrealistic standards for yourself and too critical of perceived mistakes.
In my case, this led to procrastination and a strong fear of failure because the final product had to be impeccable. I kept postponing the launch date as it was never good enough or polished enough.
I’ve since learned that it’s better to strive for excellence instead of perfection. Remember that making mistakes is a natural part of growth, and most of the time, done is better than perfect.
6) Constantly checking email and notifications
This is a mistake most of us keep doing, and it’s harmful in more ways than one. First of all, frequent email and notification checking interrupts your workflow and makes it difficult to concentrate.
It also creates a sense of urgency and stress. The fear of missing important emails or information results in heightened anxiety and a feeling of being constantly “on call.”
Most importantly, it trains your brain to have a shorter attention span. It’s challenging to sustain deep, focused work when you’re constantly switching between tasks and stimuli.
So what are you supposed to do? Set specific times during the day to check and respond to messages, allowing you to focus on important tasks without distractions.
Try it for a couple of days and see how much more productive you are.
Hoarding, or holding onto possessions and clutter you no longer need, makes you feel overwhelmed by your surroundings.
It’s one of the reasons many people are discarding consumerism like last year’s shirt. It simply makes us poorer and less happy in the long term, and it’s incredibly wasteful.
I’ve started to periodically declutter my apartment: I let go of the stuff I no longer use, and let me tell you, it’s incredibly liberating and improves my overall well-being.
I’ve also stopped chasing the best and the latest and stick with tech and other things for a longer time.
8) Ignoring your passions
One of the worst mistakes you can make in life is ignoring your passions. Neglecting hobbies or interests that make you happy brings your life quality way down.
For example, if you have a deep passion for painting, but because of your busy work schedule, you rarely find time to pick up a paintbrush.
Over time, you’ll start feeling unfulfilled and like something important’s missing from your life.
When you start feeling overwhelmed with life, scale down and make time for activities that nourish your soul and give you a sense of purpose.
You’ll find that engaging in your passions boosts your energy and creativity and makes you more productive in your everyday life.
9) Comparing yourself to others
Constantly comparing yourself to others rots your self-esteem and drains your emotional energy. It’s that simple.
The constant pressure to measure up to other people’s standards or achievements often brings you to a dark place.
Besides, when you compare yourself to others, you disregard their circumstances and contexts that may or may not be known to you.
You don’t see how much blood, sweat, and tears they put into their success.
What works for them may not be suitable or possible for you. So, when you fail to consider these differences, you get unrealistic expectations and frustration.
Remember that everyone’s journey is unique. Focus on your own growth and achievements instead of validating yourself through comparison.
Here’s something else you need to say goodbye to:
10) Overconsumption of news/social media
I’ll be honest. I’ve lost the battle with my phone. Ever since the war against Ukraine started, my phone usage skyrocketed. And although it’s been over a year and a half since, I’m still spending a lot of time on the phone.
But, in addition to the news from the war, now I’m checking the latest floods, storms, and other catastrophic events from all over the planet.
I obviously know that it’s harmful, but I’m addicted to constantly checking the news, especially when it’s dominated by negative or distressing stories.
I’ve now put a cap on my news consumption to specific times for checking updates. I also uninstalled Reddit, which was another time and energy vampire.
Daily time spent on mobile devices in the US was up almost 40% more than in 2021.
So, if you’re in a similar boat as I am, do something about it. Don’t let the screens take over your life.
Multitasking seems like a productivity booster, but it often results in decreased efficiency and increased stress.
When you do multiple tasks simultaneously, your brain switches between them, resulting in reduced focus.
Practice single-tasking by focusing on one task at a time to improve your productivity and reduce stress.
And stop doing the following.
And lastly, always trying to please others at the expense of your own needs emotionally drains you and leads to burnout.
The problem is that many people live their lives without setting any boundaries. This makes them please others too much and always be available for them at their own expense.
Plus, people-pleasers often attract people who take advantage of their willingness to please. This results in unbalanced and unsatisfying relationships, where your needs and desires are consistently overlooked.
It’s incredibly important to set boundaries and prioritize your own well-being. Saying no when necessary and taking care of yourself should be a priority.
Now tell me, how many energy-draining habits do you have? If it’s more than a couple, I’m surprised you can even accomplish anything. Your anxiety must be through the roof.
To shed many of the habits I mentioned above, you’ll need outside help. Talk to a professional and see what’s at the root of the problem.
Dig deep and focus on one thing at a time!