Being healthy is a lot more than your eating habits or staying fit. Our minds also deserve proper care. A well-balanced and emotionally stable person is healthy too because they have learned how to properly handle their emotions.
Unhealthy people often run on autopilot in their lives. What this means is that they don’t realize the impact of their thoughts and actions. In other words, they let the world control how they act or react. Mental health is about attending to your emotions, becoming aware and then learning to master them, instead of the other way around.
Here are 10 things unhealthy people may unconsciously do that are detrimental to their emotional health and well-being:
1. They have a negative mindset
A negative bias could be the most obvious sign of instability and mental issues. Unhealthy people tend to have a more pessimistic view of life, which could lead to more stress as well as lower self-esteem.
In fact, a 2014 study linked high levels of cynicism to an increased risk of developing dementia later in life. Moreover, such a perspective of people and life in general also affects physical health since those under major stress have an elevated risk of stroking.
2. They use addictions to escape reality
Many of us sometimes resort to food, gambling, drugs, sex, alcohol, cigarettes to numb our feelings, to make the pain go away. But forgetting about an issue for a short while will not solve the underlying problem. This is how real addictions develop and unhealthy people will usually form such habits and let things get out of hand.
MORE: 15 Simple Ways To Practice Emotional Self-Care
This is because they are not aware there is a problem in the first place, an issue that demands to be addressed and dealt with. So they will choose to cope with it any way they can, often without taking responsibility for their actions.
3. They make excuses
Unhealthy people prefer to make excuses than to confront what’s troubling them. They can tell themselves ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I’m too tired’, but they are merely avoiding change. They know it takes real effort to make a difference in their lives but they prefer to choose the comfort zone because of x or y reason.
4. They complain a lot
Everything bad always seems to happen to them. Playing the victim is yet another very unhealthy mechanism that exempts them from real action and responsibility. Because things always happen to them so the implication is they have zero control. Even when objectively things are going well for them, they will find that little thing that is out of place and annoys them. This goes hand in hand with the negative bias.
5. They don’t live in the present
They are either always worried about the future or stuck in the past, or both. But they are never truly aware of or capable to emerge full into the present moment and what it has to offer. Unhealthy people have the tendency to ruminate, overthink and catastrophize, which makes them prone to anxiety and depression.
MORE: 6 ‘Rude’ Things People Do That Are Actually Caused By Anxiety
6. They criticize themselves and others often
Sometimes, the unhealthy people are the perfectionists, those with an inner critic they cannot escape. It’s like constantly living with an abuser in their mind. Many people who judge themselves and others too harshly have in fact a low self-esteem.
7. They allow fear to control their lives
Where healthy people choose to let love and compassion guide them, unhealthy people will let fear get the best of them. Fear can serve us or motivate us under the right circumstances, but if it gets out of control, we should learn how to tame it.
8. They live beyond their means
This is a clear sign of lack of self-control. Unhealthy people will often pursue instant gratification without considering financial limitations, for example. Simply put, they fail to see how their current actions will affect their future.
9. They compare themselves to others
That’s one of the most unhealthy thing we can do. Again, it shows a lack of self-confidence. This could easily spiral into negative thoughts that will only hinder personal progress.
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10. They are too focused on their problems
Unhealthy people will focus on their problems while healthy people will focus on finding solutions. Unbalanced people may not be aware that by concentrating on an issue they actually amplify it.
Unhealthy people sometimes have these destructive mental habits without being aware of them. With enough determination and perseverance, they can learn to uncover them and thus gain more control over their lives. It’s essential for their happiness and well-being so start small and keep track of your progress – you can do it!