When it comes to moods, humans go through plenty of different ones throughout the course of the day. One moment, we find ourselves sitting in traffic and getting annoyed and impatient, and the next, we make it home to find ourselves relaxed and peaceful once again. Plenty of situations and events can affect our moods, but there are a few smaller things that can alter our emotions and mindset as well.

Watch out for these lesser-known things that can affect your mood, so that you know how to deal with negative feelings the next time they strike.

8 Hidden Things That Can Affect Your Mood

1. Hanging around negative people

We often don’t think about how other people can affect our mindset and emotions, but it’s about time we start. Not only do negative people drain your precious energy, but it makes it that much harder to maintain a positive mindset when you’re surrounded by this type of energy. You may wake up one day and find that you’ve become the very thing you despise, just because of the company you keep.

Make sure you pay attention to how you feel around different people, and adjust your friendship circle accordingly.

2. Watching too many news programs

While the news can provide valuable information about current events, for the most part, news just promotes fear-mongering and dwelling on the negative. If you spend all evening catching up on the latest in the news, you will probably find yourself in a terrible mood afterwards. News programs rarely show any of the positive things happening in the world, so if you want your daily dose of negativity, make sure to tune in.

If you want to steer clear of these feelings, however, simply don’t turn your TV to the news or anything else that dwells on problems and negativity. Or, allot a certain amount of time each day to watching news, so that you don’t become exposed to too much of the toxic information that many news outlets spew.

3. Spending too much time on social media

Of course, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have their perks, but spending too much time on these sites can prove detrimental to your mental and physical health. Not only does social media promote laziness and lack of productivity, but it also disconnects you from others. It puts up walls between you and the rest of the world while you live in a bubble, totally uninterested and unplugged from your environment. It creates a very real barrier between people and can cause plenty of relationship problems as well. Not to mention, science backs up what we’ve thought all along: social media does more harm than good.

In a study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, researchers discovered that social media leaves users feeling unhappy and unsatisfied with their own lives, and this only worsened the more time they spent on these sites.

However, another study found that users who shared more of the good things happening in their lives on their social networks had an increase in happiness and self-esteem overall.

4. Disorganization

You probably already know that external clutter leads to internal clutter, and it only makes your life harder in the end. Having things scattered all over your apartment or desk means that you’ll have to take more time to find what you need, which will result in lost productivity and extra frustration.

Try to commit to cleaning your space at least a few times a week to keep it organized and free of clutter. You’ll thank yourself next time you need a pen or sheet of paper, and find it within only a few seconds of searching on your desk.

5. Staring at screens all day

This sort of ties in to point about social media, because many of us do more online than just scroll through Facebook. We spend time emailing our clients or boss, texting friends, sharing photos, looking up information, watching videos, playing Pokemon, and the list goes on. Many of us could benefit greatly from reducing our screen time and increasing time with friends, time outdoors, time for ourselves, etc.

If you experience technological overload and need a break, then make one. Commit to putting down that phone after a certain amount of time and doing other things instead. Remember the days before smartphones and computers? Of course you do. Pull out that sidewalk chalk or go down to the rope swing at the creek and have a blast. Who needs technology to have fun, anyway?

6. Staying up too late all the time

Staying up late into the night may seem fun and exciting, but it will take a toll on your health before you know it. We need sleep to survive, and many of us don’t get enough of it. Of course, there are conflicting studies out there about staying up late vs. going to bed early, but we all know that too much of something is never good. Staying up late can lead to depression, anxiety, increase in appetite, lethargy, and other pretty serious problems.

If you have a habit of staying up late, try to push your bedtime back by at least thirty minutes or an hour each night. You won’t regret it when you wake up feeling refreshed in the morning!

7. An unhealthy diet

We won’t tell you how to eat, but you want to avoid certain foods in order to have optimal mental, physical and emotional health. Eating too many fried, salty, sugary, processed, or pesticide-ridden foods will negatively affect your health in the long-run, so try to opt for whole foods as much as possible.

Our diet affects our moods more than you’d think, so try to eat like your grandparents did in the good ol’ days, before mass production took a hold of society. Pay attention to how you feel when you eat foods with fewer ingredients, and compare it to your moods and emotions when you eat a lot of unhealthy foods. You’ll likely notice a huge difference.

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8. You don’t challenge yourself enough

If you don’t push yourself enough in life, you’ll fall into a state of complacency, and that can lead to stagnation. Challenges and goals serve as a way to keep us excited about life and encourage us to constantly push the limits. If we don’t continue to get better, then what are we doing with our lives? This doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough right now, but all of us could always improve on something.

Related article: 5 Ways to Turn a Bad Day Around

Set goals for yourself regularly, and try your hardest to achieve them. Not only will this increase your mood, but it will hold you accountable for improving your life, and make you a more well-rounded, resilient person.

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