Habits are recurrent practices, thinking, and behaviors we have acquired over time that become automatic. Because our life is essentially the sum of habits, we spend a lot of time building as many positive habits as possible. Unfortunately, we often overlook the bad ones.

Bad or toxic habits are also ingrained into our everyday life. Most of the time, we are not aware of any toxic traits, yet they can cause considerable damage to our lives. Toxic habits can affect our mental health, physical health, and relationships. They also limit our chances of being successful in life. As insignificant as we may think they are, toxic habits can block us from thriving and enjoying our life.

In this post, I’ll share 5 toxic habits to give up immediately for a happier and healthier life.

Toxic habits

1. Negative self-talk

Have you ever paid attention to all the thoughts in your mind that sound like you are having a conversation with yourself? And have you ever noticed how these conversations are often filled with doubt, anger, guilt, shame, and regret? This is known as negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk is any thought that diminishes our ability to believe in ourselves and limits us from pursuing our dreams and reaching our true potential. Negative self-talk can seriously impair our self-esteem and confidence. Left unchecked, they can lead to serious mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.

Thousands of thoughts cross our minds every day, and most of them are negative thoughts. The thing about negative thoughts is that the more you give in, the stronger they become, and they easily inhibit the positive thoughts in our minds. We are what we think, and everything we say to ourselves matters. Our thoughts shape our decisions and the way we behave. So it is important to challenge our inner critic.

Here are a few tips to overcome negative self-talk.

Remember, the glass is always half full.

Related: 40 Positive Habits to Improve Your Life

2. Procrastination

If you have put off a task at some point in your life, you have experience procrastination. Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task we should or like to do. While some people procrastinate from time to time and still get things done, it can become persistent and chronic for others.
The common effect of procrastination is usually deadline. Over time, procrastination can have dreadful effects such as blowing opportunities, chronic stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, and poor physical health.

“While we waste our time hesitating and postponing, life is slipping away.”_ Seneca

They are many reasons why we procrastinate. For a long time, psychologists have linked procrastination to time management issues. They now realize that procrastination has a lot to do with our moods and emotions. (1,2)
We often put off tasks that make us feel bad, anxious, bored, or insecure. And then, we rely on the next most appealing but unproductive activity like watching videos or scrolling on social media.

So, before you improve your time management skills, you have to do emotional work to overcome procrastination. Few tips to combat procrastination:

  • Practice mindfulness to be aware of your emotions
  • Face your emotions to jump into action
  • Make a to-do list
  • Ask yourself why you are avoiding a particular task on your list
  • Avoid perfectionism
  • Surround yourself with people who can motivate you to get things done
  • Forgive yourself: research suggests that self-forgiveness for procrastinating on a given task can help reduce subsequent procrastination (3)
  • Be strategic: divide your tasks into smaller parts

Related:10 Toxic Morning Habits You Need To Stop


Procrastination quotes

3. Comparing yourself to others

We all compare ourselves to others. And in the age of social media, it is even easier to fall into the trap of constantly comparing yourself to others. You get online; someone is getting engaged or starting their dream job; someone has just bought a house or went on a wonderful island vacation. And here you are, scrolling and feeling miserable, jealous, and envious. Most of the time, we compare our average features to someone else’s best ones.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”_Albert Einstein.

Comparisons steal our peace of mind, joy, and even our paychecks. It negatively affects our mental health, well-being, self-esteem, and self-confidence. The more you compare yourself to others, the more you start doubting your accomplishments. When you focus on what you don’t have, it will never be enough.
We need to accept the fact that there will always be someone better or less than us. The most important is that we are all unique and special with a different purpose in this life.

Here are a few tips for you to stop comparing yourself to others

  • Turn comparison to inspiration: instead of comparing yourself to others, be inspired by them. Do not focus on their success but on all their work to get where there are.
  • Embrace your journey
  • Celebrate your accomplishments
  • Practice gratitude
  • Compete with yourself, not others
  • Focus on yourself
  • Do social media detox

Related:40 Gratitude Journal Prompts to Cultivate Joy and Happiness

4. You have an addiction to social media

Social media is a great tool to stay informed, get inspiration, and connect to family and friends. Unfortunately, some people can become addicted. Studies show that up to 10 percent of Americans meet the criteria of social media addiction.

When you are addicted to social media, you  genuinely :

  • spend hours scrolling your social media apps every day
  • can’t spend a day without posting what you are eating, doing, and where you are
  • feel distressed and frustrated when you can’t get access to social media
  • spend time waiting and checking for notifications
  • you let social media affect your studies and work

Social media addiction can be really destructive. It can negatively affect your mental and physical health and life overall. If you are worried that you may have social media addiction, it is important to take action and do a social media detox. Check this ultimate guide to social media detox. This is a complete guide to overcoming your social media addiction.

Related:The Beginner’s Guide to Intentional Living

5. Not Minding your own business

When we hear “Mind your own business,” it often sounds harsh, and yet it is one of the best favor we can do to ourselves. Being all over other people’s business is a toxic habit that can get you in a lot of trouble. Here are a few examples of not minding your business:

  • Judging
  • Criticizing
  • Trying to listen to others’ conversations
  • Giving unnecessary opinions
  • Always attempting to solve problems that are not yours
  • Trying to fix people who are around you

Minding your own business does not mean you have to look away when someone needs help or suffers from injustice. But, it means that there is a  line we should not cross, a limit o how invested you should be in lives that aren’t your own.

Staying in our lane is a skill we should master. Not only will it make you a better human, but it will also improve your mental health as you focus on yourself and avoid unnecessary drama and stress.

How can you mind your own business?

  • Don’t advise people unless they ask you to
  • Avoid gossiping
  • Respect people privacy
  • Focus on yourself

“If you mind your own business, you’ll stay busy all the time.”_Hank Williams, Jr

Final thoughts

If you are guilty of some of these toxic habits, it is time to take the necessary steps to get rid of them for a happier life. Change isn’t always easy, but with determination and consistency, you will ditch these habits to improve and create a better you.

Related Post: 10 Healthy Habits for Your Morning Routine


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191886999000914?utm_campaign=zapier&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=zapier.com
  2. http://www.procrastination.ca/
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326519072_The_effects_of_self-forgiveness_and_shame-proneness_on_procrastination_exploring_the_mediating_role_of_affect








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About the Author

Hermione M.

My name is Hermione. I am the founder of WomenH and I write about women's health, wellness, mental health, and personal growth. I created this platform to inspire women to take care of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to become their best selves. Thank you for stopping by.

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