8 Bad Habits To Break To Live a Healthier And Happier Life
A survey conducted by the National Institutes of Health showed that about 6.8% of the US population is actively engaged in a healthy lifestyle. A significant factor to consider when trying to live healthier is your habits. The habits you adopt play an important role in the way you live your life. They impact the physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual aspects of your life. However, adopting good habits is easier said than done. More often than not, you have implemented habits that could adversely affect your wellbeing, putting you at risk of various issues such as depression, heart disease, and even low self-esteem. This, in turn, affects the quality of your life and your happiness. Therefore, it is vital to analyze and evaluate your habits to identify the bad ones and find effective and efficient solutions to resolve them. Below is a guide on the bad habits to break and tips on how to break them.
- Fixated on perfection
It may seem strange to say that perfectionism is a bad habit. However, the truth is, it is! The question you may be asking yourself is: “What makes being perfect so bad?” Understandably, you want to succeed at your workplace, school, home, or business. This often leads to more harm. For example, your strive for perfection can cause procrastination. This is because you are so focused on ensuring that all goes flawlessly well that you tend to postpone the activity until you are convinced it will go well— which may never happen! This, in turn, leads to high levels of anxiety and stress, low self-worth, and self-doubt. These negative emotions hinder your ability to enjoy life and be fulfilled and happy. You can break your fixation on perfectionism by simply understanding that perfection does not exist. Instead, you should be ready to embrace that making mistakes is part of the process. It would be best to encourage yourself to use your mistakes as a learning experience and an opportunity to explore other solutions and options.
- Excessive drinking
Although an occasional glass of alcohol is not problematic, the problem arises when alcohol consumption becomes excessive and frequent. Developing a habit of excessive alcohol intake can cause various problems for your physical and mental health, such as depression, liver problems, brain and heart disease, and various types of cancer. For many others, the bad habit of excessive drinking is followed by another unhealthy habit of smoking. Several studies have shown that people who drink and smoke are susceptible to diseases like throat and mouth cancer. Additionally, this habit can increase your anxiety and stress. This only leads to the inclusion of harmful habits in this already bad one.
Letting go of this habit can be easier said than done, but there are various effective measures for kicking this habit to the curb. For instance, you can consider hiring the services of a rehabilitation center. These facilities allow several solutions for the effectiveness of outpatient behavioral treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism. You can join support groups, go cold turkey, or get medical assistance.
- Skimping on sleep
Despite the importance of sleep, statistics show that one in three American adults do not get enough sleep. There are several reasons why many people don’t get enough sleep. For instance, if you are a student, you may miss out on getting the prescribed seven to nine hours of sleep because you must complete an assignment. Or, you may be experiencing sleep disorders such as insomnia. Skimping on sleep may seem harmless, but it can cause several adverse effects. Physically, the lack of sufficient sleep can make you less productive and lead to the development of chronic illnesses such as obesity, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Additionally, the lack of sleep can affect your brain’s cognitive abilities, making you slower and ineffective.
No matter how busy you are or your difficulties with sleep, there are several hacks you can implement to ensure you get enough sleep each night. One trick is to avoid caffeinated drinks, large meals, and alcohol before bed, as these make it difficult to fall asleep and would keep you up longer. It would be best to consider being consistent with your sleeping and waking times, as this puts your body in rhythm, making it easy to naturally fall asleep and wake up. Avoid staring at your screens before bed, or better yet, avoid keeping electronic devices in your bedroom. It is also advisable to keep your room in a sleep conducive condition to make the process easier.
- Little focus on your diet
You have heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” and this is very true. Your health is also a reflection of the meals you consume. However, with busy schedules and so much to do in such little time, it’s easier to get a quick unhealthy meal. In addition to improving your physical health, the foods you eat also contribute to your mental health. For example, a well-balanced diet of essential vitamins and minerals boosts your cognitive abilities, making you sharper, increases your attention span, enhances your concentration and boosts your mood. In your quest to eat healthily, firstly, you should avoid foods packed with sodium and artificial sugars. According to the CDC, about 90% of Americans consume 1,000mg more of sodium each day! These terrifying numbers are due to the presence of sodium in almost every restaurant and fast food chain across the country. Experts recommend cooking your own meals to cut down on sodium and artificial sugars. This ensures you always have healthier meals available and helps you save money. Although sticking to a strict diet may seem to be a solution to eating healthily, this is not always the case. Not only are you at risk of gaining weight once you stop the diet, but you also increase your chances of contracting various illnesses. Instead, it would be best to encourage yourself to progressively build healthy eating habits.
- Drinking less water
Drinking water is beneficial to ensuring you live healthily. Research has shown that the body is made up of 60% water. As you move and go about your day, you lose some of this water and, therefore would, need to replenish it. However, some people do not pay attention to this. When in need of hydration, many people may prefer using other drinks, such as sodas and energy drinks. These cannot substitute water. Water helps your body remove toxins that could be otherwise harmful to your wellbeing. It also keeps your skin supple, radiant, and clean; helps your body cool in warmer temperatures; and allows your muscles and joints to function more efficiently. Water is also believed to boost your mental wellbeing by increasing your sense of calmness and alleviating anxiety. Experts recommend drinking at least six glasses of water daily to ensure you enjoy its benefits. You should also avoid replacing your thirst for water with other beverages as this may cause health issues. If you want to give your water a twist, consider infusing it with lemons and cucumber to give it a refreshing flavor.
- Not exercising regularly
After a long day of school or work, all you want to do is come home to your couch and binge-watch your favorite series or simply unwind. Although that is perfectly fine, being glued to your couch may not be ideal. Several studies and surveys have shown that a large percentage of Americans are increasingly becoming couch potatoes. This means that many Americans spend most of their day doing very little physical activity. This has led to several people across the country experiencing various health and lifestyle conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood pressure cholesterol. Regular exercise improves your brain health, helps strengthen your bones and joints and reduces your chances of diseases. Additionally, exercising regularly can help you manage your weight to ensure you lose unhealthy fat. Fortunately, you do not need to partake in strenuous exercises at the gym to enjoy the benefits of exercising. Outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, or strolls can suffice.
- Following the crowds
Being happy is all about being yourself. Today, with the wide range of social media platforms and the influence of the media, it can be more challenging to be happier in your skin. This, in turn, makes following the crowds seem like the smarter thing to do. After all, you don’t want to miss out on the latest trends and news going on. However, these feelings are soon short-lived, causing you to be unhappy and feel empty. Therefore, it is important to always stay true to you. Don’t be eager to jump on trends simply because everyone else is. It can be challenging to stay true to you, but it is worthwhile. There are several benefits to being true to yourself, such as increasing your happiness, boosting your confidence and self-esteem, and life is just better that way!