The habits you incorporate into your daily routine can have a positive or negative impact on your mental health. If the majority of your practices are healthy and helpful, you will begin to notice that you can be more productive, organized, and even physically healthier. If the majority of your habits are negative, you might not be reaching your full potential. So what are your habits and how do you know if they’re good for you?
Even the simplest things you do routinely can be good or bad personal habits. When you get home from work or school, what do you do first? Do you kick your shoes off and leave them on the floor? Or do you put them in their designated place? Taking notice of the tiny ways we may not be setting ourselves up for success is a great way to be aware of how you can improve your life. Do you put the dishes in the dishwasher or throw them in the sink? Do you leave your work projects until the last minute or do you take advantage of your time before a deadline?
Creating healthy habits takes effort, but once you practice it will begin to feel easier and more natural.
Look at your behaviors:
As you go throughout your day, notice your patterns. How much do you eat, drink, and sleep? Do you turn to alcohol to wind down after a rough day at work? Do you smoke cigarettes, eat fast food frequently or leave the laundry dirty for weeks? While these little allowances here and there may not seem crucial to your overall mental health, they can be easy fixes for improving your organization, physical wellbeing, and decreasing your stress levels. Instead of drinking, go on a walk when you have a bad day. While you might not want to make dinner, you can eat conveniently without turning to fries and a cheeseburger.
Some people cope with stress by overeating. Some people practice ‘retail therapy.’ What makes you use your unhealthy coping mechanisms? Often, the answer is stress, anxiety, or other overwhelming emotions. While it is impossible to completely rid yourself of these feelings, it is possible to recognize when you are starting to feel triggered and then make the conscious decision to break out of your unhealthy habits.
If you make small, attainable goals then you are more likely to accomplish them. You can’t stop smoking, stop drinking, eat healthily, and work out often all in one swift move. You need to decide what is reasonable for your schedule and your ability, and then start from there. For example, you can decide to work out three days a week. Then, once that becomes routine, you can plan what the best next step would be. If you have unreasonable expectations for yourself, you’re less likely to succeed and it will be more difficult to start back up again.
If you would like to speak to someone about how you can combat unhealthy habits or learn better coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety, give Tx Harmony Counseling a call at (832) 352-1600 or contact us here.