Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:
1. Stress eating
A good friend of mine used to be a serious stress eater. She would eat whenever she felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! Her eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill her emotional voids.
While eating would comfort her, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after she was done eating. Instead, what she had left would be the same emotional void that triggered her to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what she should have eaten for the day, and anger at herself for having stress ate.
She has since overcome stress eating. She has healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where she no longer use food as a tool to fill her emotions.
2. Nail biting
Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,
potentially cause stomach problems, and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.
People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.
Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits .
For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.
3. Hanging out with naysayers
We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.
Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.
4. Being with people who don’t appreciate you
Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?
While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.
Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there
Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones
6. Excessive drinking
All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:
Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
Heart diseases : Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast
If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time,
7. Eating junk food (including diet soda)
Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.
If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:
you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?
While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.
8. Eating too much red meat
There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer, and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.
In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer
9. Watching too much TV
I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.
Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life. Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.
10. Being late
Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.
Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.
11. Leaving things to the last minute
Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting. Those of you who got through senior high schools by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.
Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.
By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.
12. Focusing on the negatives
In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.
Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.
Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.
Need more tips to break your bad habits? Shejackiesays lifestyle hacks has some exclusive techniques to break bad habits: