50 Mind, Body, Spirit Mistakes (Even Smart Women Make)
31. You ignore your blues
Left untreated, depression can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke, not to mention hurt your relationships and overall quality of life. If you haven't been able to shake persistent feelings of sadness, lethargy and/or hopelessness, talk to your doctor or call the National Institute of Mental Health Depression and Panic Disorder Hotline at 800-421-4211.
32. You don't know your family's mental health history
Like physical health, mental health problems are often genetic. Talk to your parents and grandparents to learn whether they suffered from conditions such as anxiety, schizophrenia or postpartum depression, says Sapadin. Then discuss your history with a doctor.
33. You're an Internet junkie
While the Web can be entertaining and informative, it eats up time you might otherwise spend with family and friends and leave you feeling isolated. A recent University of Michigan study showed that feeling isolated and lonely can lead to depression, so limit yourself to half an hour a day of recreational surfing.
34. Your place is a mess
"Being unhappy with your environment can make you feel weary and even defeated," says Celia Rocks, author of Organizing the Good Life (FOD Press, 2001). Reorganizing can be intimidating, so tackle one room—or even one drawer-at a time.
37. You often lose your temper…
Lashing out can actually make you more aggressive, according to a recent Iowa State study. When you start to get irritated, remove yourself from the situation until you’ve cooled off enough to deal with it calmly.
38. ...or you never express your anger
Research has shown that women who fail to constructively express negative feelings risk increasing their emotional distress and may even be more susceptible to eating disorders. If you're feeling wronged, tell the other person in a calm, nonconfrontational way.
39. You're overly stubborn
Learning to compromise can save you a lot of heartache. A time-tested rule: Choose your battles wisely. If something is truly important to you, stand by it; otherwise, let it go.
40. You think TV will rot your brain
A University of Pennsylvania study found that watching your favorite sitcom can lower stress. “Immersing yourself in a fictional world for half an hour can ease your anxiety,” says study author Sophia Moskalenko, Ph.D.
41. The last journal you kept was in seventh grade
Recording your thoughts is a great way to work through frustration or sadness and figure out your feelings. If you don’t have the time to write in the evening, keep a small notebook or a file on your computer to jot things down throughout the day.
42. You stopped pushing yourself to learn when you left school
Think of your brain as another muscle in your body—if you want to keep it strong, you’ve got to exercise it. Great ways to improve your concentration and problem-solving skills? Read the newspaper, do crossword puzzles and play games like chess.
43. You're obsessed with your weight
"Getting hung up on the numbers on your scale draws attention away from your body's many strengths and abilities," says Brownell. "In serious cases, it can lead to an eating disorder." Try not to weigh yourself more than once a week.
44. You often compare yourself with others.
No two people are alike, so measuring yourself against others may draw your attention to qualities you don't have rather than ones you do. Next time you find yourself sizing up someone else, consciously focus on your own strengths.
45. You’re overly materialistic.
It’s easy to think your identity is based on your possessions instead of on your personality and interests, “ says Rocks. Break the habit by spending two weeks buying only necessities like food and toilet paper. You’ll be surprised at how little you feel the sacrifice.
46. You are always optimistic.
Pessimism can work to your benefit, says Julie Norem, Ph.D., author of The Positive Power of Negative Thinking (Basic Books, 2001). You’ll be better able to cope when something goes wrong if you’ve thought through the possibilities. Just don’t dwell on them.
47. You think role models are just for teenagers.
Looking up to another person plants an image of achievement in your mind, which makes you more likely to attain it, says Laure Redmond, author of Feel Good Naked (Fair Winds Press, 2002).
48. You haven’t embraced your “imperfections.”
Instead of letting features like a not so straight nose or kinky hair undermine your confidence, think about how they make you unique. When you love the quirky things about yourself, chances are that other people will too.<
49. You worry about everything.
“Worrying saps your energy and leaves you feeling powerless, “ says Lee S. Berk, Dr.P.H., director of clinical research at the Susan Samueli Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and an assistant professor family medicine at the University of California at Irvine, “If something is bothering.
50. You can’t remember the last time you laughed
"A good chuckle can lower stress hormones and boost your immune system," says Berk.
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