Submitted by Pam Reimers, Marketing Specialist
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, many of us have bad habits – some we are aware of and others that we don’t really notice because they’re subtle and second nature to us. Did you know that some of your bad habits can affect your health in the long run? You may think some of these habits are harmless, or silly even, but over time, they can take a major toll on your quality of life. Read ahead to find out which habits that you should break – sooner than later.
Too Much Screen Time
These days, it’s extremely tempting to binge watch your favorite shows on your downtime. Due to the increasing popularity of streaming services over the years and the boredom caused by the shutdown period of the pandemic, binge watching is at an all-time high. Screentime are no longer limited to TVs – thanks to the advancement of technology, phones, tablets and computers are devices that can become too distracting.
Stress eating is the act of overeating as a means of relieving stress or anxiety, instead of only eating when hungry. It creates a temporary high or a false sense of relief, only to have the same feelings soon after. Although food can bring a sense of comfort, this is not a healthy way to cope with stress. It’s best to think about those feelings and figure out what your triggers are that bring on a sense of void. It’s risky to stress eat because you can exceed the recommended daily 2,000 calorie intake which can result in weight gain and other health risks and co-morbidities can have last effects in the long run. Read more about co-morbidities here.
Thinking Negatively or Being Surrounded by Negativity
Many people admit to being their own worst critic – overthinking and overanalyzing their every decision. It can be tiresome and result in low self-esteem. Negative thoughts can fester and become greater issues in the long run, creating mental anguish resulting in depression and anxiety. You should also avoid negative people. You know… the people who always have a problem for every solution. Negativity will drain you and rob you of peace of mind. Instead of having negative thoughts, try and think of the good outcomes that can come from your situation or try to create solutions. Manifesting positivity can boost your confidence and result in better reactions to bad situations.
Eating Junk Foods
Although the face of junk food is typically shown as fast-food joints, there are dangers closer than we think. Too much candy, diet sodas, greasy foods and starchy foods are huge culprits in developing bad eating habits. Did you know that eating junk foods can have the same effects on your brain as heavy drugs? This is a seriously scary thought. Stopping will not be as easy as it may seem but making slow and steady adjustments will help to curve your desires for fatty foods.
For many, hitting the snooze button can feel good a few times in the morning, but in actuality, you’re setting yourself up for a habit that will be hard to break. Hitting the snooze button will most likely result in lateness, which can create a domino effect throughout the day. Chronic and excessive lateness is a sometimes taken as a sign of disrespect if it involves other people’s time, as well. Excessive lateness can give off the appearance of laziness or carelessness. There are ways to avoid lateness – plan ahead! You may need to go to sleep an hour earlier than usual, plan your trip by checking the distance on a navigation app or prioritize your tasks.
Do you recall those long nights in college when you realized at 9:00PM that you have a paper due by 11:59PM? Whew! Imagine the chaos. You were probably too busy enjoying campus life or working aa part-time job, to remember what assignments were due. Procrastination is another habit that should be a hard no-no. People often think that procrastination helps them get the focus better to complete their work. What you’re doing is creating unnecessary stress on your mind and body and decreasing productivity.
This is a habit that more people have in common than you’d think. Not only is nail biting a socially repulsive habit, but it is also unsanitary. Think of the may items you touch on the daily basis – door knobs/handles, money, phones, etc. Each surface carries germs and the likelihood of someone cleaning their hands each time they stuck their fingers in their mouths, is unlikely. Also, many microbial germs live under your nail beds and around the cuticle. Biting your nails can also cause dental problems, stomach issues and damaged fingernails.
Smoking & Drinking Too Much Alcohol
It may sound repetitive at this point, but the dangers that smoking and drinking cause can’t be emphasized enough. Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths – statistics state that more than 480,000 people die annually from smoking; this number includes secondhand smoke. Smoking can cause many forms of cancers, strokes, gum infection, heart disease and many other diseases.
Overindulging in alcohol is also very dangerous – it can cause serious harm to your overall health. Drinking too much can also cause different forms of cancer, as well as issues in the pancreas, liver disease, heart disease, and affect brain functionality. Changing your habits with drinking and smoking may be difficult – you may want to quit slowly and possibly find a support group to help make the changes.
In conclusion, the biggest takeaway is that the smallest habits can affect our health in different ways – either mentally or physically. Finding ways to eliminate these habits will require time but it will be beneficial in the end. Challenge yourself to make changes to improve your quality of life and improve your health. Take it a day at a time and pretty soon you will see the improvements and will celebrate your wins.