So many aspects of life, from relationships to work to personal behavior, can have a negative effect on your mental health and cause maladies such as depression and anxiety. Here are five ways you may be chipping away at your mental health – without even realizing it.
Being Too Hard on Yourself
When you're your own worst critic, then it's easy to fall victim to mental illness. Whether it stems from a sense of guilt or failure or simply anxiety about not measuring up, holding yourself to a higher standard than everyone else then beating yourself up for not meeting unreasonable expectations is a perfect recipe for poor mental health.
There are two kinds of guilt – one is helpful, keeping a sense of morality and atonement in check. This is the kind you might feel when you've harmed someone else. When the mistake is accounted for, compensated and everyone involved can move on, this can improve relationships and increase self-esteem.
But if you're berating yourself for having a nicer lifestyle, more money or other advantage over someone else, guilt can be harmful. So can feeling guilt about thoughts and feelings you don't act on or articulate, like jealousy over a friend's new love. Allow those feelings, but be sure to account for the things that bring joy to your own life.