5 Tiny-But-Toxic Ways You Corrode Your Mental Health

Improve your mental clarity with these tiny adjustments.

woman scrolling social media, corroding mental performance of being a mother dimaberlinphotos | Canva

We all want to perform better. We want to be effortlessly productive. We want to create things that turn heads. We want to be prolific and make good money from our creations. This requires mental capacity. But many of us apply breaks. We have habits that block us from enjoying full performance at work and in life. This is no good. We want to reverse this and be effective again. Interestingly, most of our inefficiencies can be reversed by doing less — by taking off the breaks — rather than adding more to our lives.


Here are 5 tiny-but-toxic ways you corrode your mental health:

1. Filling too much of the day with social media

Let’s face it. We’re too attached to the little dopamine hits we receive from replies and likes. This is making us fidgety, monkey-like, and easily distracted. Quit social media, or reduce its use to a small window for quick blitzing in the day.

RELATED: 5 Dangerously Toxic Signs Social Media Has Taken Over Your Life


2. Relying on worry as a life management strategy

A lot of us worry, especially when we are out of balance physically. It’s normal to have negative thoughts occasionally come up and for us to try and think through these problems to find solutions. The problem, and deterioration, come when we fail to let go of rumination, believing that we’re in some way productive by all this stewing. We are not. If worry is making us feel worse, as it inevitably always does, it is nothing more than a stressor.

Find relief in knowing that you don’t need to worry. You only make things worse by worrying. You are trying to effect change in something that is out of reach and detached from your control. Letting go of the need to worry is a habit, and most of us need to reverse it. The best way I know to stop worrying? Having faith in the reality that when we’re more relaxed, and our minds are more still, we are gifted with the best insights and the most effective solutions. And we didn’t need to force it at all.

3. Drinking caffeine

I know. This is a hard one for lovers of tea and coffee. And, yes, it does seem as though it is improving our mental performance. It does not. Caffeine floods our bodies with the stress hormone cortisol. It is not energy. It is a toxic adrenal stressor that makes us think we’re energized when we’re just stressed. When we quit, we return to our pure natural energy source, which turns out to be far more effective than caffeine when we give it time. When we’re stressed, we perform less well, sleep worse, and are slaves to clever companies exploiting our dependence.


How Much Caffeine Do You Drink A Day?

♬ original sound - Kris Krohn

RELATED: I Gave Up Caffeine For Good And Here's What Happened


4. Watching TV, YouTube, and playing video games 

There’s no doubt the quality and level of stimulation of all of these have increased. This all makes us fatigued from heavy dopamine spikes because the things that once interested us in the real world no longer can. This is why we’re a fidgety, easily bored society, dependent on continual stimulation. Decrease YouTube use, and you’ll find your motivation for things like writing and reading returning.

5. An obsession with food as stimulation

I’ll let you in on something surprising. Food isn’t supposed to be the euphoric event most make it out to be. Food shouldn’t deliver massive dopamine spikes like so much of the modern junk does. Throwing buckets of salt and herbs on your steak is included in this nonsense. Spend more time not eating, particularly wheat, sugars, and high glycemic carbs. Eat more meat and organs as our energized ancestors did.

All this will not only reduce your brain fog but fill you with a primal drive that you may have never felt. Food is a refueling event, not an entertainment event. Fill your body with nutrition, not more dopamine, and I will guarantee you that your motivation for living will return.

RELATED: 3 Small Habits Of The Mentally Strongest People


Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.