Living in a world of judgments, discrimination, and social discomfort can undoubtedly impact one’s mental health and functions. No matter the age, we’re all sometimes feeling down, which is normal, but we can reduce those negative feelings by building new habits and by forming different relations with ourselves.
Building habits seems like an easy action that requires little effort, which is untrue! According to a 2009 study at the University College London, it takes 66 days to make a habit become automatic but to form a new one, it takes anywhere between 18 to 254 days.
Habit-building is not easy because you have to stay determined and focused. But remember, building habits vary from person to person, and you can build habits easier than your friend who’s the same age as you. It’s very subjective, and don’t get discouraged if you need time for it – go with the flow, observe what your body’s saying to you, and follow that.
Do a Dopamine Detox
Dopamine detox represents a prohibition of all pleasures, such as using a mobile phone, listening to music, or anything that gives us pleasure and joy and we know is unnecessary.
This cognitive-behavioral therapy was developed by Dr. Cameron Sepah, a California-based psychiatrist. He believes that by restricting addictive activities, we become more aware of impulsive behaviors and think flexibly.
A 2016 study by two psychiatrists from the University of Oxford and the University of Michigan has taken an approach to a common misconception that pleasure is only caused by dopamine release. They stated that pleasure is a complex process requiring multiple physiological mechanisms – dopamine is the neurotransmitter that tells your brain to repeat a specific behavior.
Finally, let’s list the things that are not dopamine detox:
- Social isolation
- Avoidance of all pleasure
- A form of meditation
- Reducing dopamine
- Stopping exercise
Be your No.1 Priority
People often forget about themselves in the sea of others who need help. The truth is that you are your most prominent and trustworthy friend, and you have to be aware of that to maintain good mental health.
We all need time to rewind everything and relax from all the burdens life puts on us. We all need a break from everyday responsibilities – if not, you’ll most likely end up with a burnout! Among numerous articles, we wrote one where we discussed burnout and bliss!
While you may think relaxing is just a way of escaping problems, it’s important to state that relaxing has benefits, such as a massive boost in motivation and productivity – the main components of goal-achieving.
“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”
― Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
Stop Comparing Yourself with Others
As we grow older, we start realizing that we’re all different. Even though it might be a bad thing in today’s times, it certainly makes you unique and remarkable.
Comparing ourselves to others might be an instinct for human beings. We’re a socially dependent species that often seek evaluation from others through compliments or comparing their achievements.
You may think of yourself as a failure because someone became a millionaire at 16 while you were still struggling with trigonometry. You must be conscious of the circumstances you’re growing up in – it’s not the same environment (including family, society, and mentality surrounding you).
Comparison has its drawbacks, but also its benefits. Your self-esteem will rapidly drop, and your focus center will be your drawbacks, instead of simply realizing no one is perfect. You’ll also create some unrealistic comparisons that make you look judgemental because things aren’t always what they seem.
The benefits of comparing yourself with others are numerous, and they include the following:
- Motivating progress: Comparing may create a click in your brain that you should start working on yourself. You’ll set realistic goals, and you’ll work towards them.
- Getting feedback: Comparison gives you realistic feedback on the thing you’re doing. You may observe the others your age and therefore work on achieving the same, or even higher, level than them.
- Appreciating who you are: You may see yourself as realistically as possible and notice all your flaws and what you have to work on. You’ll appreciate what you have and all the circumstances you’re in.
Create A Sleeping Schedule
Lack of sleep, or inadequate sleep generally, is one of the most substantial causes of mental health problems. Creating a habit that will care for this vital aspect of life is extremely useful for any age.
You may also include a night routine – activities you must do before sleep. Night routine may consist of some set rules, such as:
- No electronic devices 30 minutes before bed
- No caffeine at least 6 hours before bed
- Set the appropriate room temperature and achieve total darkness in your room
You might also read a few valuable articles about falling asleep faster (or in 15 minutes) 😊
Socialize and connect with other people
As human beings striving for social attention, this represents one of the most important habits that one can create. It represents an anxious-free approach to people around you, deep talks with them, or simply any form of communication – even if it’s about the newest movie on Netflix.
This habit can be challenging if you have social anxiety. It makes your life harder, and people often misunderstand you and your behavior. We wrote a text about this, actually two, that will help you in your social-anxiety-free life.
I hope you liked the article! If you did, please check out our recent ones, and I hope you’ll come to us with positive feedback after 66 days. 🙂
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*An article was prepared and written by Balša Kićović, Textual Content Director.