Bad habits are, well, they are bad for you – mentally, physically, emotionally and sometimes even socially. Some bad habits are harder to quit, but you need to create a productivity routine and part of that involves removing activities and habits that drain you and are bad for you while adopting new healthy habits. Here we will discuss habits you need to quit and habits you need to adopt.
Remove the Bad
Don’t Stress Eat
Are you an emotional eater? You might eat when you are anxious, stressed, disappointed, unhappy or even when you are happy. Maybe you are not even hungry, but just need food to fill a void. Eating might comfort you for the time being, but soon after eating, that comfort feeling does disappear. Then you eat again, and it becomes a vicious cycle and pretty soon you are having an excess of 2,000 calories a day and eventually the weight is put on. If you want to stop being an emotional eater, take a look at this blog, it’s a series of thoughtful personal experiences by the author and give you steps to take to become a stable eater. Also, take a look at our article on beating stress the natural way .
Stop that Nail Biting
Nail biting is not only unhygienic but it looks unappealing if you are sitting in a social environment and biting your nails. It can lead to dental problems, potentially cause stomach problems and most definitely lead to deformed fingernails. People who bite their nails tend to have much shorter nails than the average person. Nail biting is usually due to some negative trigger such as stressed. So the next time you take your nails to your mouth to chip them away with your teeth, instead listen to music, go for a drive or go for a walk.
Avoid Hanging out With Negative People
These are the people you most definitely need to avoid. They bring you down with their negativity and discourage you from your ideas and goals. Instead, spend more time with supportive people that encourage you and give you constructive feedback. Read this article by the same author mentioned above, who gives you tips on how to tackle these negative people
Avoid Being With Non-Appreciative People
Do you try to please others, maybe half expecting they’ll be there for you when you are always there for them? But then they don’t appreciate your value to them? You need to stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, because these people can suck the soul out of you while you give and give and don’t get anything in return.
This is a no brainer. Smoking causes several diseases and even cancer, while eventually chronic smoking for years and years can lead to early death. It is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide. Smoking can lead shorten your life by up to 13 years! That’s more than a decade you could have spent with your loved ones. Smoking causes heart and blood diseases, head and neck cancers, lung cancers, pre-mature skin aging (wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath and other chronic diseases and cancers. Second hand smoke people who ingest around you like your loved ones are also at risk to many of the health problems.
Remove the Junk Food
Junk food, including diet soda, are all bad for you. McDonalds to Burger King, KFC to Pizza Hut, junk food such as fries, processed burgers and sodas have become a norm in our society. People go out to dinner with families to eat junk food. The food may be tasty, but there was a study done that suggests junk food actually alters the brain in a way certain drugs do. Junk food is pleasure food, and once the brain realizes you are getting pleasure out of the food, the brain tells you to eat more. So you get cravings for more junk food the next day, and it becomes a vicious cycle. If you don’t get the junk food, you might get irritated, much like how drug addicts do when they don’t get their fix. If you don’t want to completely remove junk food from your diet, just reduce your consumption or switch to more healthy options. Instead of french fries, try baked sweet potatoes, instead of soda, drink fresh juice or water. Instead of a fried meat patty, eat grilled chicken or beef. Eating sandwiches at delis is even more healthy and most of the times they are delicious.
Don’t Eat Too Much Red Meat
Love beef nihari? Beef keema? How about that juicy steak? There is evidence that consuming red meat leads to certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer. Some suggestive evidence has been linked other cancers by eating red meat. Make sure you limit your intake of red meat or just cut it out of your diet, instead opting for white meat such as chicken, turkey, duck and quail. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends eating less than 300 g (11 oz) of cooked meat.
Stop Watching too Much TV
TV can lead to a most unproductive life. Watching a show for 30 minutes is a good way to unwind from the day, but it should be limited to that. Anything more and you risk sitting on the couch or in your bed just mindlessly watching moving pictures with people talking for three hours. You could spend that time instead doing something productive like studying, working, exercising, hanging out with friends and family or even brainstorming business ideas and eventually starting your own business. Just stay busy.
Stop Being Late
Being late to meetings, work, appointments or even to dinners sends a message to others that you don’t value theirs, and your time. It can be rude but it can also that you need to rush around. Try to arrive early, instead of just on time. Arrive 15 minutes earlier to appointments and for that down time bring something with you that you can do, such as a tablet.
Don’t Leave Things to the Last Minute
Procrastination is a really bad habit. Procrastinating from work or things you need to do can mentally drain you and damage your body because you are always a constant tense and anxious mode, when work gets piled on top and you aren’t finishing one thing that needs to be done for another task. Be proactive about planning things ahead to meet deadlines, set S.M.A.R.T goals , and plan what you need to do for the day, week and month ahead of time and finish the tasks by the deadline you set.
Don’t Focus on the Negatives
As negative people are not conducive to a healthy life, nor are negative thoughts. Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy, but it does not inspire us to do better. So for every situation, if it’s a negative situation, jot down three good things that can potentially come out of the situation. Over time, you’ll begin to think about the positive aspects of things in life rather than the negatives. If you are unhappy with your life, take a look at our article on the science backed tips for happiness .
Adopt the Good
Apart from replacing the bad habits listed above by the alternatives mentioned, there are specific good habits that healthy people have and ones you should adopt.
Get up off the couch and out of bed and move. Your DNA, evolution and body demand movement and your health requires physical activity. You need to give your body regular consistent physical activity. You don’t even necessarily have to join a gym. You can engage in natural forms of activity such as gardening, house work like cleaning, and walking or running for 20 minutes a day. Just move. You will appreciate the health benefits this provides such as increased ability to focus, less depression or anxiety and boost of energy.
Do Have a Purpose in Life
Long ago, people’s purpose was to survive, that’s it. They didn’t have so many luxuries we have now. Nowadays, survival is a purpose, but so many other things have become more of a priority. Many people don’t even have a purpose listed for their lives and this can cause an emptiness feeling and detachment from life. So find something that’s bigger than yourselves and strive to achieve something in life, work in fields you enjoy rather than something that’s monotonous and be involved in your community and with your family. To find your purpse, write down and circle “My Purpose” in the middle of a piece of paper. Extend 4 lines out and label each line as “Values,” “Passions,” “Talents,” and “Skills/Expertise.” Circle these four labels, and write anything that falls in those categories. Find purpose in valuable connections and social relationships such as with loved ones, friends and even spiritually. These good and healthy relationships can give purpose in life with positive emotions and feelings of well-being.
Do Have a Healthy Mindset
Whether having positive thoughts or negative thoughts, thoughts in general cause changes within a person’s body and to the state of their health. They trigger emotions whether its positive or negative. Negative thoughts yield painful and nerve-racking feelings. They create stress and causes disturbances in the body which can show physically. Pleasant and positive thoughts, however, create pleasurable and calm feelings. You need to remove the negative thoughts that are stirring in your brain and focus on the positivity. Show gratitude and give thanks, forgive others so you and the other person can move on with your lives, accept and acknowledge your fears and look at the positive aspects of a negative situation.
Do Pace Yourself
To be successful, everything in life requires planning. Your great achievements will not happen overnight and while you should not procrastinate to get things done, you need to realize that you need to pace yourself so that your health remains in check. Plan for things in advance and work out how you are going to tackle those tasks without exerting yourself and compromising your health. You need to know when less of certain things can give you more benefits.
Do Realize That Less is More
Along with pacing yourself, you need to understand that less is more. In other words, you cannot over commit yourself to things, you need to have moderation. Look at the simple solutions to tasks rather than making it complicated, avoid saying yes to more work for people when you have a lot on your plate already, take breaks throughout the day to relax, socialize or read. Take a 10 minute break for every 20 minutes of work that you do.
Do Know the Importance of Healthy Nutrition
Certain foods are worse than others, you should know that. You need to pace yourself in consuming these foods, in other words you need to eat these foods less and less. You should know the #1 enemy of being healthy is sugar. Sugar is addicting and the foods that contain sugar may taste good, but they are most unhealthy for you. You’re body will function better and more effective without it. Avoid eating desserts and sweets more than once per week and remove sodas and juices with artificial sugar from your diet. In addition to removing sugar from your diet, you should stop eating when you are only 80% full, eat smaller portions and meals, and most importantly don’t eat past 8 PM. If you do eat late at night, stick to small food items like fruits.
Do Know About Your Veggies
Studies have shown that eating plant based foods like spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots and other leafy green vegetables provide extreme good health benefits. They can reduce a person’s health risks to diseases such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity and others. Eat a minimum of 1 serving of veggies with each meal to benefit from these foods.
Do Get the Proper Amount of Sleep
Many studies and research have been done on the benefits of sleep and on those who are deprived of sleep. Sleep plays an enormous role in our lives. Getting the proper amount of sleep can improve your metabolism, memory, attention, creativity, learning and diseases of the immune function and inflammation. Get adequate amount of sleep each night, this means 7-8 hours a night. If you need to, take small 30 minute naps every day to get a boost of energy.
There’s no magic pill to lead a healthy and productive life. Instead, you need to remove the bad habits from your life and incorporate good healthy habits. Only then will you be successful and healthy. You need to believe that there’s no limit to how healthy you can be even at an old age if you just follow some simple rules in life. Stay healthy and stay positive!