“You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, ‘I release the need for this in my life’.” – Wayne Dyer
When you picture toxic habits it can be easy to shoot straight for the basic ones that we are all aware of. We may fall short and be a victim of them but we still know that they are not good for us.
But when it comes to the secret toxic habits, the ones that sneak up on you but are just as bad for you as the obvious ones, this is where the true trouble comes in. Here are a handful of toxic habits that you don’t know you have and what I do to combat them in my day to day life.
Staying up late for no reason
We have all fallen into the trap of doom scrolling or feeling like you have to finish the show you are so close to finishing. If you are reading this you most likely are not a little child, but hear me out. Give yourself a bedtime and a bedtime routine. Allow yourself the time to get the sleep you need to be a healthy, productive and thriving human. Most of the time it is no where near necessary to stay up late and finish the show or catch up on the drama happy in the beauty guru community. Do what is necessary and feed your mind and body with sleep.
Avoiding phone calls or texts from friends and family
Whenever I am feeling burnt out or anxious the thought of holding a conversation either over a phone call or text can feel as daunting as being asked to make IKEA furniture without the instructions. I am guilty of being in the I’ll text them back later when I am in a better headspace mindset. But! Your friends and family are there to help you through those tough times. This act may be something you do unintentionally but I am here to call you out and let you know that you need to stop doing it and start reaching out instead of closing in during those times. A way I combat this is literally giving myself deadline for when I am going to call or text someone back. I know this may seem weird but it works for me and it might work for you.
Spending too much time on social media
By now we have all seen the social dilemma and we, hopefully, are all aware of the toll that social media can have on us and our mental health. Despite this we still find ourselves scrolling and spending way too much time on social media. We purposefully drain ourselves of our much needed resources on social media. I hate it break it to you but social media is not giving us anything, this is a lose lose situation. Social media is full of people’s highlight reels, upsetting news stories and posts or comments that make you wish humans didn’t exist. I have taken the approach of deleting all social media off of my phone, if I need to post something and the web version will not suffice I will download it to post and then if I need to check something the web version will almost always be good enough. Some people find it strange that someone in today’s climate would not have any way of seeing the news on their phone but I can confidently say that it has tremendously improved my day to day life and mental health.
Making self deprecating jokes
I will be the first to admit that self deprecating jokes can be rather funny at times for both those hearing and those saying them. But no amount of laughs can balance out the amount of harm they cause. Even if the harm does not seem like it happens, it is subtle and will effect you tremendously. It is possible to be funny and make a joke without hurting yourself and without hurting those around you.
Obsessing over previous mistakes
We have all fallen short before, it is a part of the human condition. A bummer I know. It is an issue but one we all deal with. This minor issue only becomes a bigger problem when you turn it into an obsession. When you are constantly thinking about all of the time you messed up previously. There is no way for us to change the past. So why do we so often act as if there is? If you cannot bear to look at the present at the very least look towards the future instead of the past.
Purchasing unnecessary items
Everything you own should have a purpose, the purpose might be as simple as it brings a smile to your face but that is still a purpose. When you start buying things on a whim, particularly cheap items that will only cause short term happiness. These are unnecessary to say the least. These items will only cause clutter in your life which can lead to nothing good. Making purchases is fine as long as they are thought through purchases.
Wondering what people are thinking about you
You will never know what people are thinking about you. They have outright tell you or you have to outright ask them to figure it out. Even then, there is a chance they will not tell you the truth. Stop wasting your time thinking about others, this is one of those moments where it is okay to be selfish. Give yourself permission to be selfish.
Talking instead of listening
People do not understand how great of a skill it is to be able to listen and listen well. Not listening while thinking about how you are going to respond, but listening to listen for the sake of listening not responding. It is easier said than done like most things are in life. It is something you have to make a conscious effort of doing. The more you do it the more natural it will feel.