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10 Mental Health Habits That Are Probably Making You Miserable

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I love the fact that I’ve seen quite a few people calling “BS” on the media frenzy surrounding “Blue Monday.” It’s frankly quite ridiculous that there would be one day of the year when you’re more likely to be miserable or even outright depressed.

And I think it’s even somewhat disrespectful to those people who may truly struggle at any other time of the year. To suggest that because Christmas is over, or because it’s raining, or because we have to pay our credit card bill, that en masse we’re all going to feel like poop because it’s the second working Monday in January? I don’t buy it.

And, why oh why, would anyone feel the need to point this out to us anyway? To remind us that it’s the day that we’re meant to be miserable? To justify how we’re feeling if we do happen to be feeling pain?

And, while we’re on it, it’s also quite insulting to Smurfs.

So I thought I’d set out for you my top 10 ways in which you can really make yourself miserable, on any day of the year.

1. Contract a bad case of “comparisonitis.”

Look around to find people who have the life that you want.

Line up all the things that you don’t have or that you aren’t good at and compare them, in great detail, to all the things they have and that they’re good at.

Absolutely ignore all the things you do have and all the things they don’t have.

If you can, find someone “famous” or a stranger on Instagram who has thousands of followers to do your comparison with, then there’s no chance of you ever seeing what’s really going on behind the scenes.

2. Start “shoulding” all over yourself.

Use the word should as much as you can.

Adopt your “shoulds” from the media, from the majority, from your parents — anyone else’s expectation will do, as long as it’s not your own.

3. Believe your inner voice only tells you 100 percent facts.

Whatever thoughts that might pop into your head, particularly if they’re negative ones about you, believe them without any doubt or questioning

If you can extrapolate, dramatize or distort reality, then go for your life.

4. Slap a nice negative label on your own forehead.

If you can spot one example of yourself portraying a negative trait, then give yourself a great big label and use it as often as you can to excuse or justify your behavior (especially useful if you want to justify a lack of action on your part).

I find the very best ones are: “I’m just lazy.” “I can’t do that.” “I’m boring.” But feel free to come up with your own.

5. Believe that someone/something else has complete control over all your emotions.

The way that you feel is entirely determined by external events and the things that other people do/say. In your everyday live, you have no control over your own mind and you have no choice about how you interpret or react to any situation.

6. Spend most of your time living elsewhere.

If you can mull over and ruminate on things that have happened in the past, do that.

If you can then also worry about things that may or may not happen in the future, then that’s a bonus.

Whatever you do, don’t focus on what’s going on in your world right now.

7. Tell yourself, “I’ll be happy when…”

Find something you want to change or improve about yourself or your life.

Then decide you won’t be happy until you’ve got there or achieved it.

8. Take a binary approach to life.

Be extreme in your approach. Use the words always and never as often as you can, particularly about yourself.

Never consider moderation or the possibility of any kind of middle ground or grey area.

Things are always black/white, wrong/right, success/failure, good/bad.

9. Aim for perfection in every way.

Set the bar as high as you can in every part of your life.

Do not accept the concept that some things can just be “good enough.”

10. Think more, act less.

If there is an opportunity to think over something a bit more, then do it.

Try to avoid getting into action as this will only give you experience, help you learn and build your confidence — none of which will make you miserable.

So, there you have it. An easy to follow guide for being miserable and, if you work really hard at it, perhaps every day can become a Blue Monday.

If you recognize any of the above, congratulationsbut none of this is inevitable. Even though it’s not easy, with support, there are some things you can do to steer clear of Blue-Days.

Follow this journey on The Mental Movement.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Originally published: July 31, 2018
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