Below are 16 particularly bad habits that you should try to eliminate from your life to increase your health and happiness.
16. On social media 24/7
Using social media is fun and it helps us keep in touch with people. However, it can become addictive and before you know it, you’re obsessively checking your newsfeed just in case you miss out. Research has revealed a link between increased social media use and emotional problems like anxiety, loneliness, depression, envy, narcissism, and a lack of social skills. To stay healthy mentally, avoid overexposure to social media and screens in general.
15. Drinking too little water
About 60 percent of our body is water, so staying hydrated is vital to our well-being. There are many benefits to drinking enough water, and while most of us are aware that it cools us down, keeps our skin smooth and supple, and helps our body stay well-lubricated on the inside, you might be unaware of some of the more surprising benefits. Drink enough water and you can expect to have a sharper memory, better moods, and enhanced motivation. And of course, don’t forget water’s most vital function – getting rid of those pesky toxins through your kidneys. Check the color of your urine to make sure you are drinking enough water: If it’s a lemony-yellow, you’re doing it right.
14. Eating too fast
Are you swallowing that sub because you’ve only got 5 minutes for lunch? Don’t – it could make you extremely uncomfortable because your brain needs at least 20 mins to realize that your stomach is full. This means you overeat, leading to bloating, excess gas, acid reflux and weight gain. Take your time, remember to chew, and enjoy your food. Do yourself a favour and invest this time for your wellbeing.
While those extra five minutes you get from hitting the snooze button feel so nice, they are actually affecting your health and energy levels. Snoozing isn’t real sleep and it can mess with your internal body clock, disrupting healthy sleep patterns. Continuously hitting the snooze button can also make you late and takes away time you could be spending with a healthy breakfast. So, set your alarm clock to its highest volume and put it on the other side of the room.
12. Consuming too much salt
There is a lot of hidden salt in pretty much everything we eat, and research has shown that people in the US tend to consume around 1g more salt per day than is recommended. Processed food or anything purchased from a restaurant is likely to have high levels of salt. The good news is that it’s easy to reduce your salt intake by cooking yourself from scratch using plenty of fresh produce. Try natural salt-free flavour enhancers like herbs and spices to cut down even further. Your body and long-term health will thank you.
11. Not getting enough sleep
As humans, we need about 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Achieving that can be difficult by itself, so don’t make it even less achievable by going to bed late. Try turning off your screens, dimming the lights or putting aside your book half an hour early and see what those extra 30 minutes of high-quality sleep can do for you. Who knows, you might find yourself full of energy the next morning.
10. Bad posture
Standing or sitting straight takes effort and can be uncomfortable, so a lot of us tend to slouch. This puts an enormous strain on your spine and back muscles because those 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of head should be right above your spine. If they’re not, then you’re in for back pain and tension headaches.
9. Not brushing your teeth before bedtime
Plaque can lead to gum disease, which can have serious consequences like stroke or heart disease, so not brushing your teeth before bedtime can have a long-lasting effect on your health. Your dental insurance will thank you! In fact, by brushing them after you’ve had dinner you also make sure that you’re less likely to indulge in pre-bedtime snacks.
8. Not taking your break seriously
Who has time to take a lunch break these days? Well, perhaps you should make time because according to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat lunch at their desk while playing games on their computer feel less full 30 minutes later, meaning they will soon start snacking. Take the time to focus on your lunch and eliminate all work-related distractions. That way, you’ll find it much easier to get over the mid-afternoon slump. Your productivity and efficiency will thus improve, which means more money in your pockets!
7. Too much snacking
Sure, there are snacks that are good for an extra energy boost between meals, such as nuts, wholegrain crackers and vegetable sticks, but there is such a thing as over-snacking. If you are constantly grazing on non-nutritious extras throughout the day, you will not only start piling on the pounds, you’ll also feel tired and listless. Cut down on snacking by preparing portions of snacks for the day ahead and each time you feel like a snack consider first whether you’re not just snacking because you’re bored.
6. Not wearing the right shoes
You might not feel it while you’re walking, but those high heels are doing some serious damage to your body in the long term. Your whole posture shifts when you’re balanced on heels, which changes the curvature of your back, leading to muscle strain and pain in the lower back.
5. Constantly complaining
Complaining can be a way to let off steam and it’s also inevitable when we’re frustrated, but be aware that it won’t actually make you feel better, let alone sort out whatever was wrong in the first place. Try to look on the bright side and see the good in life and you’ll start to feel a whole lot better. Your mental health can only benefit from this practice.
4. Biting your nails
Let’s face it, biting your nails is a downright unhygienic habit. It also comes with a whole host of side-effects, like dental issues, stomach upsets, unattractive fingernails as well as a social stigma. Nail-biting is usually triggered by feelings of stress or anxiety, so keep an eye out for your triggers and try to relieve the pressure some other ways, like squeezing a stress ball.
3. Forgetting to use sunscreen
Never mind that perfect golden tan, any form of exposure to the sun leads to irreversible and unrepairable damage to your skin, and sunburn is the worst. Protect your skin any way you can – stay in the shade or wear long clothing – but being generous when applying sunscreen is still the best. Your smooth, wrinkle-free skin will thank you for it! Avoid skin cancer, which could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills and health insurance.
2. Not eating breakfast
We understand. Finding time for breakfast is a hassle these days, but you should seriously consider taking the time to have a good, nutritious breakfast because of the many benefits it offers. A healthy breakfast will help you stabilize your weight, stop you from snacking, and strengthen your metabolism, meaning you have all the energy you need to face the day.
1. Using your kitchen sponge for too long
Kitchen sponge? Yes! You might not want to think about it, but the average kitchen sponge has been shown to contain more microorganisms – that’s bacteria, yeasts and molds – than almost anything else in your house. And while research has shown that most of these icky little germs are harmless, there are some that can make you quite sick. The takeaway from this? Change your kitchen sponge regularly! Purchase a value pack if you tend to forget buying them.