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Everyday Things You Didn’t Realize Are Harming Your Mental Health

Mental health is an important aspect of our well-being, but we often neglect it or take it for granted. We may not realize that some of the habits and behaviors we engage in every day can have a negative impact on our mental health, affecting our mood, self-esteem, productivity, and relationships. In this blog post, we will explore some of the common everyday things that can harm our mental health and how to avoid or cope with them.

1. Poor posture

You may think that posture is only related to your physical health, but it can also affect your mental health. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Therapy, sitting up straight can reduce symptoms of depression. The study also associated good posture with a positive attitude and renewed energy. On the other hand, slouching can make you feel more sad, tired, and insecure.

How to improve your posture:

  • Adjust your chair, desk, and computer screen to a comfortable height and angle.
  • Use a lumbar support pillow or a rolled-up towel to support your lower back.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  • Avoid crossing your legs or ankles, as this can restrict blood flow and cause stiffness.
  • Take frequent breaks to stretch and move your body.
  • Do some exercises to strengthen your core and back muscles, such as planks, bridges, and squats.

2. Clutter

Clutter is not just an eyesore, but also a source of stress and anxiety. According to 2011 research published in The Journal of Neuroscience, clutter can cause prolonged stress, which can impair your cognitive function and decision-making ability. Clutter can also make you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and guilty, as well as trigger unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as binge-eating, watching television, or excessive sleeping.

How to declutter your space:

  • Start with a small area, such as a drawer, a shelf, or a corner of your room.
  • Sort your items into three categories: keep, donate, or discard.
  • Keep only the items that you use regularly, that bring you joy, or that have sentimental value.
  • Donate or discard the items that you no longer need, want, or like.
  • Organize your items in a way that makes sense to you and that is easy to maintain.
  • Repeat the process for other areas of your space until you have a clutter-free environment.

3. Being too busy

Being busy can make you feel productive and accomplished, but it can also take a toll on your mental health. Being constantly bombarded with tasks and deadlines can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression. Being too busy can also prevent you from having enough time for yourself, your hobbies, your friends, and your family, which can affect your happiness and well-being.

How to manage your time better:

  • Prioritize your tasks according to their urgency and importance.
  • Delegate or outsource the tasks that you can, and say no to the ones that you can’t or don’t want to do.
  • Set realistic and specific goals and break them down into smaller and manageable steps.
  • Use a planner, a calendar, or an app to keep track of your tasks and appointments.
  • Schedule some time for yourself every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes, to do something that you enjoy or that relaxes you.
  • Learn to cope with stress in healthy ways, such as meditation, breathing exercises, or journaling.

4. Saying yes to everything

Saying yes to everything may seem like a polite and helpful thing to do, but it can also harm your mental health. Saying yes to everything can make you feel overwhelmed, resentful, and angry, as well as compromise your boundaries and values. Saying yes to everything can also make you neglect your own needs and wants, which can lower your self-esteem and self-worth.

How to say no more often:

  • Recognize that you have the right to say no and that you don’t owe anyone an explanation or an apology.
  • Be assertive and respectful when saying no, and use clear and simple language, such as “No, thank you” or “I’m sorry, I can’t”.
  • Consider the consequences of saying yes and how it will affect your time, energy, and mental health.
  • Offer an alternative or a compromise, if possible, such as “I can’t do it today, but maybe next week” or “I can’t do the whole project, but I can help with this part”.
  • Practice saying no in different scenarios and situations, and get comfortable with the feeling of saying no.

5. Suppressing your thoughts

Suppressing your thoughts, especially the negative ones, may seem like a good way to avoid or cope with unpleasant emotions, but it can actually backfire and harm your mental health. According to science, suppressing your thoughts does not make them disappear, but rather makes them stronger and more persistent. Suppressing your thoughts can also lead to more stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as impair your memory and cognitive function.

How to express your thoughts more freely:

  • Acknowledge and accept your thoughts, without judging or criticizing them.
  • Write down your thoughts in a journal, a notebook, or a digital device, and try to understand why you have them and what they mean.
  • Talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, a family member, or a therapist, and share your thoughts and feelings with them.
  • Challenge your negative thoughts with positive affirmations, such as “I am worthy” or “I can do this”.
  • Replace your negative thoughts with more realistic and helpful ones, such as “This is a temporary setback” or “I can learn from this experience”.


Q: What are some signs that I may have poor mental health?

A: Some common signs of poor mental health include:

  • Feeling sad, anxious, angry, or hopeless most of the time
  • Having trouble sleeping, eating, concentrating, or remembering things
  • Losing interest or pleasure in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Isolating yourself from others or avoiding social situations
  • Having low self-esteem or confidence
  • Having thoughts of harming yourself or others

Q: What are some benefits of having good mental health?

A: Some benefits of having good mental health include:

  • Feeling happier, calmer, and more optimistic
  • Having more energy and motivation
  • Being more productive and creative
  • Having better relationships with yourself and others
  • Being able to cope with stress and challenges more effectively
  • Having a higher quality of life and well-being

Q: How can I improve my mental health?

A: There are many ways to improve your mental health, such as:

  • Taking care of your physical health by eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep
  • Seeking professional help if you have a mental health disorder or if you are struggling with your emotions
  • Practicing gratitude, optimism, and kindness
  • Learning new skills, hobbies, or languages
  • Volunteering, donating, or helping others
  • Spending time in nature, with animals, or with plants
  • Seeking support from your friends, family, or community


Mental health is a vital part of our overall health and happiness, and we should not neglect it or take it for granted. By being aware of the everyday things that can harm our mental health and by taking steps to avoid or cope with them, we can improve our mental health and well-being. Remember that you are not alone, and that you can always seek help if you need it. Take care of yourself and your mental health, and you will see positive changes in your life.

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