Bad habits can be extremely detrimental to your life. In the extreme, they can affect both your mental and physical health. They can also waste your time, energy, and money. The question is then, why do people still indulge in their bad habits, and can you do anything about them? To be able to kick your bad habits, you first need to understand more about them. Read on to find out more.
What Causes a Bad Habit?
Most of the time, it comes down to stress and boredom, and bad habits emerge as a way of dealing with them. Although often, these feelings are often symptomatic of deeper issues, and while it can be difficult to tackle these issues head-on, it is necessary if you are serious about making changes to your life. Recognising the causes of your bad habits is crucial if you want to overcome them.
Replacing a Bad Habit
It is incredibly difficult to eliminate a bad habit; replacing a bad habit with a good one is far easier. This is because all of the habits that you currently indulge in – whether good or bad – are there for a reason. These behaviours benefit you. It might be biologically or emotionally, but there is some benefit; otherwise, you would not have picked up these habits. This means that because the bad habit is benefitting you in some way, it is hard to eliminate it completely. Instead, you need to replace the habit with one that has its own benefits but is better for you. Let’s get into the most common bad habits.
Eating too much junk food can lead to a lot of health issues like diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol. Fast food is a lot more convenient, and it is often cheaper than healthier alternatives, so it is easy to see why people pick up this bad habit. To kick this habit, there are several things that you can do. Firstly, you could try weaning yourself off of your dependency by going less often and buying less food each time you go. You could also try switching to the healthier menu options to continue your habit, but you are putting more thought into what is going into your body. Finally, if it is the convenience that you like, then you could try going to the supermarket and stocking up on healthier ready meals, which are just as convenient but better for you.
Too Much Telly
If you frequently find yourself on the sofa watching the telly, then you could be doing yourself a disservice. For most people watching the TV begins to replace forms of physical activity which can cause weight gain and diabetes because telly time often goes hand in hand with snacking. So, cutting down on your television watching can help you become fitter and even improve your mood. There are a number of things that you can do to improve this habit. Firstly, you could exercise while you watch the telly, or you could try to do something more active during the adverts like cleaning. You could also replace a portion of your tv time with something else, like listening to a podcast because you can do this while you are mobile.
By snacking too much, you can lose touch with your body’s natural cues, which can lead to overeating. You are also flooding your body with unhealthy ingredients. Tackling this habit is all about being mindful. You need to try and reacquaint yourself with your body, try waiting until your body is hungry before eating, and stop eating when you feel full. If you snack on unhealthy foods a lot, then try replacing them with healthier alternatives, you will still feel full, but you will be putting better foods into your body and often fewer calories too.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United Kingdom today. Heart disease, cancer, strokes, high blood pressure and respiratory illnesses can all be caused by smoking. It is notoriously difficult to quit smoking as it is incredibly addictive. Looking for replacement sources of nicotine is recommended; some people opt for patches or gum, but that doesn’t always work for everyone as they still need something to do with their hands. Vaping can be an incredible smoking cessation tool. It is healthier and, although the media would often have you believe otherwise, vaping products are regulated in most countries to ensure they are safe to use.
Consuming too much alcohol can damage your liver, raise your blood pressure, and make you more likely to suffer from depression. By reducing your alcohol intake, you will find that you sleep better, your digestion will improve, and your blood pressure will begin to fall back into a healthier range. In addition, your cardiovascular system and liver function will improve, and so will your mood. However, alcohol can also be addictive, which means it can be a difficult habit to tackle. Firstly, reduce your intake and stick within the healthy limits, which is fourteen units a week. You could also try swapping to lower alcohol alternatives or try to only drink alcohol while you are eating as you are more likely to sip your drinks and not overindulge. If alcohol presents a problem for you, then you may want to consider seeking outside help.
It can be extremely hard to try and rid yourself of a bad habit, and you should be commended for taking this step. Making a sustained lifestyle change takes time, you cannot expect success overnight, and the truth is, you will likely experience setbacks. The key is not to let these setbacks undo all of your hard work. Persevere, and you will soon find that these habits no longer have as much of a hold on you.