Life is hard. We cope in ways that aren’t always healthy. That’s understandable. But unhealthy habits make things worse. Here’s a chance to stop and think about which habits you should avoid. They might not be on this list, but think about what your unhealthy habits are. You can start making some changes that will lead to new and healthier habits.
1. Mindless Smacking
We do it all the time. Snack without thinking. Then snack some more. There are several problems with this. What we snack on isn’t always healthy. Once we start snacking mindlessly, it’s hard to stop. It becomes a crutch to get through whatever is stressing us. Even if we mindlessly snack on healthy food, like carrot sticks, we’re missing out. Take the time to focus on what you’re eating. Choose two healthy snacks a day, and enjoy them.
2. Drinking Chemicals
I know you love drinking soda! But it’s empty calories and chemicals such as 4-methylimidazole as reported by CNN health. We don’t really know what’s in soda. But we pour it into our bodies like there’s no tomorrow. We know it’s not good for us. We drink it anyway. Stop the madness.
Water is so good for you. If you give it a try, you might be surprised that you like it. Your body sure will like it. Try a swap-out – half a glass of soda, followed by half a glass of water, till you can reduce the soda and learn to enjoy the water.
3. You Do This Every 5 minutes
Checking email! While this might not seem unhealthy, it is a stress-related behavior. Frequent checking of email can either be caused by stress, or it leads to stress. It’s a nervous habit, either way. It’s distracting, which is not good for your brain. Turn your email off. Give it a rest. People were alive on this planet many years before email. It will not hurt you or anyone else if you take a break.
4. Who Runs This Show?
Credit card might be running your daily life. There’s a debate between people who are opposed to debt, and others who say some types of debt (mortgage, car loan) are part of life. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, one thing we should all agree on is that you don’t need to credit-card finance your daily life. Debt is a trap that grows tighter the longer you’re in it. Lets face it, its stressful, and managing it is an extra chore!
If you’ve reached the point where you can’t buy groceries without a credit card, please ask for help. If you have a way to stop using credit cards, give it a try. See how amazing it feels not to owe money every month. Then you can start saving. You’ll be able to pay for that next vacation with the cash you’ll save on interest charges. Start enjoying the fruits of kicking unhealthy habits.
5. Breakfast Beaters!
Too many people think it’s healthy to skip breakfast. They figure it’s fewer calories, they’re not hungry in the morning, and they have their coffee. Big mistake.
Breakfast is the most important meal of your day. That’s not a cliché. You’ve been fasting all night. Your body needs a new burst of energy before you can do anything.
Your body’s metabolism is complex. Without the right nutrients to fuel that process, your body will be fighting to catch up. If you skip breakfast every day, you’re hurting your health and that can lead to other unhealthy habits. Eat a great breakfast and enjoy your day.
6. Not Going to Sugar Coat This.
You can make coats out of sugar? What are you talking about… Sugar is habit forming. No doubt about it. That’s why we eat so much of it. Unfortunately, sugar wrecks our body’s metabolism. It also deprives us of valuable nutrients.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can find just as much enjoyment if not more by eating whole fruit. Even vegetables can taste sweet, if you give them a try. You might end up liking them more. Your body sure will.
Be careful of sugar hidden in places where you’d least expect it. For example, sauces. You should check labels. Its important to keep an eye out, and keep your sugar intake to a minimum. Unhealthy habits are lurking everywhere!
7. I Just Used It
A lot of times we use sarcasm without realizing we’re doing it. Sarcasm hurts us and other people. It usually comes from self-protection. If we’re not “straight up” about our feelings, we won’t get hurt. Or that’s what we believe, anyway. So our comments come out sideways.
If you use a lot of sarcasm, and it’s become one of your unhealthy habits, get a friend to help you. Someone you trust. Give that person permission to tell you when you’re being sarcastic. Make sure they will do this in a way that is helpful, not belittling. (Choose a really good friend.) Tell them to let you know privately, not in front of others. Then try and figure out a better way to make your point without sarcasm. You will feel better and so will the people you’re talking to.
8. Eating Away The Pain
Stress eating. This is a slightly different take on mindless eating. With mindless eating, you aren’t aware of what you’re doing. With stress eating, you know what you’re doing, and you know why. Stress increases our desire for comfort food. When we’re stressed, we eat things we would never eat otherwise. And too much of them.
The problem is, stress eating doesn’t really work. It makes us feel better for about 90 seconds. Then we feel worse. We’re eating things that actually aggravate our body’s stress response. Plus, the food doesn’t make our problems go away. It just makes us less capable of dealing with them.
Next time you feel stressed, try something healthy instead. Take a walk. Enjoy some relaxing music. Talk with a friend. Watch a comedy. Walk your dog. These things improve the way you feel and give you a better perspective on whatever is causing your stress.
9. You Have Just Infected Everyone
Calling yourself “stupid”. This is something a lot of folks do without thinking. It’s become such a part of the language. You mess something up, even something very minor, and you say, “I’m so stupid.” Without realizing you’re doing it. The problem is, if you say this to yourself enough times, your mind starts to believe it. You start to feel stupid about yourself. On top of that people don’t know how to react to that. It’s just an awkward moment for everyone, even if you think it’s not.
You’re not stupid. You’re amazing. Start telling yourself that instead. Watch what happens.
10. I Know What You Did Last Summer
Staying bitter. Bitterness is like poison in your gut. It’s so easy to swallow. Someone does something awful and you just can’t move past it. How could they have done that? How can they get away with it? I don’t know the answers to those questions. And I’m sure what they did was really awful. But why swallow it and hold onto it? That’s only hurting you. Don’t stay bitter. It’s just as toxic as stress eating and calling yourself “stupid.” Let go of bitter unhealthy habits. Expect better things to come.
We tried to make this article a little more fun to read, but seriously, I’m sure we’ve found that there a few things that we have all found ourselves doing at one point or another. Life is about changing and sometimes we have to give ourselves some reminders.