According to Health.com, depression is usually brought on by factors beyond our control—the death of a loved one, a job loss, or financial troubles. But it can also be brought on by small choices we make every day that suck the happiness out of daily life, choices that we may not realize are impacting attitudes. Luckily, these behaviors can be changed.
Edited to fit our space, here are 10 ways you’re sabotaging your good moods and what you can do to turn it around!
- You slouch when you walk.
How we feel can affect the way we walk. Researchers found that when subjects were asked to walk with shoulders slouched, hunched over, and with minimum arm movements, they experienced worse moods than those who had more pep in their steps. Walk happy…and you might just feel better, too!
- You take pictures of everything!
Haphazardly snapping pictures may hamper how you remember those moments. Focus on your subjects when taking pictures—or, better yet, just sit back and enjoy yourself. Soak up the beauty and participate in the action. These are the things the will make you mentally stronger.
- You don’t exercise.
If you become more active three times a week, your risk of being depressed decreases 19%, according to a new study in JAMA Psychiatry. People who were depressed were less likely to be active, while those who were active were less likely to be depressed. Just get out and move. It doesn’t need to be for long—walking to errands if possible, taking the stairs—but any activity will help keep your mind moving.
- You procrastinate.
If you’re avoiding the task because it makes you anxious or because you’re afraid of failing, then procrastinating just makes it more nerve-wracking. Before you finally tackle your problem head-on, do something that helps you ease stress. This way you can insert a bit of fun into it.
- You take life too seriously.
You trip on a crack in the sidewalk, and instead of shrugging it off, you cower with embarrassment. If that sounds like you, it’s time to find some ways to laugh more. Laughter is the fast (and best) medicine for anxiety and depression.
- You don’t sleep.
Sleep is the body’s way of regenerating, and without it the system malfunctions. Try to figure out why you aren’t sleeping and then take the steps to create a restful environment.
- You’re never alone.
Between kids, work, marriage and other activities, you can’t find a moment to be alone. Find time for yourself, whether it is 10 minutes, an hour, or a day. Without taking the time to do things for yourself, depression and anxiety creep in.
- You don’t actually talk to anyone.
If you primarily use texting, Facebook, and other social media to stay in touch with friends, you’re not having meaningful contact. At the end of our lives, the number of followers we have doesn’t matter, but friends do. Make sure to schedule a date with a friend, family member, or partner at least once week.
- You multitask.
Research shows that although many people believe they’re being more productive by multitasking, that’s not actually the case—it just leaves us stressed out, oblivious to our surroundings, and unable to communicate effectively. Put down the phone, turn off the television, and pay attention to what you are doing and what is going on around you. Allow your brain to process everything that is happening to you in real time.
- You can’t live without your mobile devices.
With all the devices we have, it tends to overstimulate us, and if we are always on, then we never truly rest and regenerate our bodies and our minds. Create an electronic Sabbath, where you abstain from all devices once a week, even if just for half a day.
For even more bad habits, check out the following link: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/