5 Things You Are Doing Right Now That Are Hindering Your Health


Often times, one does not know what may be hurting them the most. In regards to mental health, there are many things that one may be doing that are detrimental, without them even knowing. Five habits that hinder mental health include a lack of exercise, over-usage of social media, remaining in unhealthy relationships, being sleep deprived and vaping.

Lack of exercise

The benefits of exercise are not only limited to athletes; any person with a small amount of time and motivation to improve their well being can receive a mood boost from working out. While getting active may seem dreadful to many, the mental benefits of exercise can outweigh any negatives involved. According to Psychology Today, physical exercise is proven to release the body’s feel-good hormones, endorphins and enkephalins. These hormones reduce stress, improve problem-solving skills and minimize damaging thoughts towards one’s self. More hormones will be released with more exercise.

“[Exercise] lets me get my anger and frustration out, so I feel happy,” junior McKenna Kalisz said.

Social Media

According to Buzzfeed Video, the main impacts of social media are, against popular belief, actually positive. Social media triggers a cycle of hormones resulting from positive social stimuli, such as likes, comments or follow requests. Dopamine sends positive signals and messages to other parts of the brain. When the brain recognizes this cycle, it will continue to want it, sparking the addiction. Social media on its own may be good for the brain, but when the addiction spills into other aspects of life is when it can go downhill.

The constant need for social satisfaction could be blamed for the supposed shortening of teenage attention spans. Social media has also helped create false body images and expectations for teens. According to NationalEatingDisorders.org, being unable to match these standards has led to eating disorders and other mental illnesses.

Unhealthy Relationships

It is commonly said that being verbal about one’s feelings will improve one’s mental health; this may be true, but maybe only to a certain degree. When the person one is friends with is emotionally draining, self-deprecating and/or a mood dampener, relationships can actually hinder one’s mental health. The quality of a relationship decreases when one has to question the true sincerity of a relationship.

“Having bad friends make me feel upset because I do not know if they are true,” freshman Tegan Martinez said.

Not upsetting the other person could be argued as a baseline requirement of a healthy friendship. Those in healthy relationships should be energized by the other person, obtain a higher self esteem, feel a boost in their mood and have many other mental health benefits.

Sleep Deprivation

For the average teenager, getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night can seem nearly impossible. Not getting the proper amount of sleep can make one less patient, more irritable and ultimately unhappy. Also, according to SleepFoundation.org, sleep deprivation has been found to cause depression. In the busy life of a teenager, life may seem like a constant cycle of not getting enough sleep while also not having enough time to get all their work done.

“To make sure I get enough sleep, I try to stay on a decent sleep schedule that can leave me seven to eight hours [of sleep] a night during the school week,” sophomore Maiah Moll said.


Ever since vaping became popular it has been a controversial subject, especially among teenagers. Some may claim that vaping has a positive effect on one’s mental health by taking into account the feeling of “relaxation” associated with vaping. But, according to VapingDaily, those with anxiety and/or depression vaping can have a completely different effect. The repercussions of vaping can worsen the symptoms of anxiety and depression. To those who have not been diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression, an addiction to vaping can spark the symptoms of such mental illness. Anxiety and sad feelings can occur from nicotine withdrawal.

Anyone can have a bad day; however, when the bad days begin to pile up, it is important to detect what may be hindering one’s mental health. Bad habits like a lack of exercise, over-usage of social media, remaining in unhealthy relationships, being sleep deprived or vaping can be a hidden killer of one’s happiness.