We can all agree that mental health is super important. That said, not everyone looks after it with the same care and enthusiasm.
If we look at the habits of people who really value their mental health and take steps to boost it, we can no doubt learn a few things to implement into our daily lives.
Let’s start by seeing what they DON’T do. This is as indicative as much as the things they do.
1) They don’t spend excessive time on social media
Excessive use of social media has to be on the top, right? Constant exposure to negative news, violent content, or distressing media can significantly impact mental well-being.
Those who value their mental health choose to limit their exposure to such content. They’re mindful of the media they consume, opting for more positive and uplifting sources.
Online platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram care not only about how long you watch something but also what content you click on.
If you choose a video they recommend, or like a post on Instagram’s suggested page, you’re telling their system that this is what you like.
This helps the system know you better. And while these sites are already watching what you do, your actions on the things they suggest matter even more.
Avoid interacting with this recommended content whenever possible. Instead, search out the content you want to see.
Choose better content is all I can recommend.
2) They avoid constantly comparing themselves
Another not-so-good thing social media does is that it basically forces us to compare ourselves to others.
What I wrote in this other article is still very much true. There will always be people who are more beautiful and intelligent and have more money than us.
People who value their mental health stopped comparing themselves to others long ago.
When we see people doing better than us, we tend to think, “What’s the point? I’ll never reach that…”
On the other side, when we see we’re doing better than most people on social media, we start being complacent and don’t grow or adjust anymore, too.
OK, let’s switch gears a bit. I think we all know by now how badly social media can affect us.
3) They avoid overworking themselves
Of course, people who value their mental health won’t overwork themselves. Chronic stress and burnout are harmful to mental health. Balanced work-life is extremely important, isn’t it?
When we overwork, we often ignore other essential parts of our life, such as leisure time, friends and family, and self-care routines, which are all crucial for maintaining mental well-being.
Balancing work and life is key to preventing overworking. It’s all about drawing a clear line between work time and personal time and respecting it.
It helps prevent feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction that arise from feeling like our entire life revolves around work.
Taking a lower-paid job with less stress might just be the best decision of your life, especially if you value your mental health.
4) They don’t neglect their physical health
It’s critical to understand that mental and physical health are intricately connected, and neglecting one can substantially affect the other.
Regular physical activity is a powerful tool for managing mental health. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which are often called “feel-good” hormones.
They help relieve feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, making exercise an effective natural mood booster.
Healthy foods contain nutrients that reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are linked to mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
Conversely, diets high in processed foods, saturated fats, and sugars often worsen symptoms of these disorders and can lead to fatigue and poor cognitive function.
And lastly – sleep. It’s a vital restorative process for both our physical and mental health. During sleep, the brain regulates chemicals that transfer information, impacting our mood and emotional state.
Lack of sleep disrupts this process, leading to issues such as heightened stress, anxiety, and depression.
5) They don’t ignore their emotions
Positive and negative emotions are a natural part of the human experience. Bottling up these emotions can be harmful in multiple ways.
When we consistently ignore or suppress our emotions, it can lead to psychological stress, potentially escalating into mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression.
But emotional suppression isn’t just bad for our mental health. It often also leads to physical health problems.
Research suggests a correlation between suppressed emotions and conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and various immunological disorders.
This happens because of the body’s physiological response to stress, including increased heart rate and cortisol levels.
6) They aren’t too hard on themselves
I’ve often been very hard on myself. I thought for a long time that I was a failure and would never get ahead in life.
This, of course, harmed my mental health in many ways.
That doesn’t mean I ignored or dismissed real concerns or challenges, but rather that I approached them with a more positive and constructive mindset.
People who value their mental health know that constantly worrying about making mistakes or fearing failure can inhibit the ability to make decisions or solve problems.
This leads to all sorts of problems like avoidance, procrastination, feelings of hopelessness, etc.
7) They don’t abuse substances
Alcohol, drugs, or other substance abuse is widespread. We all know at least some people that use them to cope with stress or emotions. But this can lead to addiction and other mental health issues.
If you value your mental health, you won’t abuse substances. You probably understand how much substances can aggravate existing mental health conditions, making them harder to treat.
They can take over a person’s life, making it challenging to focus on anything other than the substance of abuse.
I’ve only ever been addicted to nicotine. It’s a powerful drug that makes you think about it the whole damn time. You’re just looking at how to get your next fix.
Although I find it arguably less life-threatening than other substances, it’s still one of the worst habits you can start.
8) They don’t maintain toxic relationships
Toxic relationships can be incredibly damaging to mental health. A toxic relationship, whether a romantic relationship, friendship, or even a professional one, is characterized by harmful, negative behaviors and interactions.
They impact our mental health and overall well-being with constant tension, conflict, and negative emotions, leading to notable emotional stress and anxiety.
Toxic relationships often involve manipulation, control, or belittlement, all of which can significantly impact our self-esteem and self-worth.
It’s essential to establish boundaries and distance ourselves from harmful people whenever possible.
9) They don’t neglect hobbies and interests
People who value their mental health know that engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment is important for mental well-being.
They prioritize their mental health and make time for hobbies, interests, and activities they enjoy, which helps promote a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Getting involved in something interesting is also a great way to disconnect from “real life” for a few hours.
10) They don’t isolate themselves
While having alone time for self-reflection and relaxation is essential, isolating ourselves for extended periods can damage mental health.
People who value their mental well-being recognize the importance of maintaining social connections and look for opportunities for social interaction and support.
In my opinion, even introverts shouldn’t shy away from interacting with other people. I should know; I am one.
11) They don’t ignore signs of mental fatigue
Just like physical fatigue can indicate a need for rest, mental fatigue is a sign that the brain needs a break. Ignoring these signs leads to burnout and other mental health issues.
It often manifests as:
- Decreased concentration
- Decision-making difficulties
- Reduced problem-solving abilities
I’ve had these exact symptoms many times, and I’m sure you’re familiar with them too.
Still, when we consistently overlook or dismiss signs of mental fatigue, we risk escalating stress levels and burnout.
Plus, prolonged mental fatigue can negatively impact physical health, causing headaches, insomnia, and weakened immunity.
12) They don’t ignore boundaries
And lastly, setting and maintaining personal boundaries is also crucial for mental health. People who prioritize their mental health know how important it is to say no to things that don’t align with their values.
Similarly, taking breaks when needed and establishing healthy boundaries in relationships are as equally significant for mental health.
So there you have it. 12 things that people who value their mental health won’t do.
I hope you learned something useful and will try to replicate the behaviors of people who are obviously in a sound state of mind.