Thursday, January 26

5 ways to get rid of your unhealthy habits (and still have fun)

unhealthy habits

It’s no secret that in order to feel your best, you have to treat your body right. But sometimes, it’s hard to know just how to do that without sounding like a total downer—especially if you love your unhealthy habits as much as the rest of us.

We all have bad habits that we need to change. Maybe now is the right time to start eating healthier, moving more, avoiding snacks, and taking care of your body.

The first thing you need to do is identify which bad habit is addictive and affects your overall health.

Set goals and take action!

Not getting enough sleep

So, you’re depriving yourself of sleep. You may think you’re getting by on too little sleep—or maybe you don’t even realize it!—but the fact is that your body and mind need the rest. Here’s what you can do to catch up on those Zzzs:

Make a bedtime routine and stick to it. Your routine will probably involve reading a few pages in bed before nodding off or taking a shower before curling up under the covers for some well-deserved rest. Whatever activities make up your routine, do them every night so that your brain knows it’s time for bed after they’re over. If possible, try to restrict work and other mind-rattling activities to other parts of the day and keep them out of your nighttime routine altogether.

Snacks lead to obesity

If you’re a mindlessly hungry person, this may be the category for you. Whether it’s stress-induced or just a bad habit from when you were a kid and your parents bribed you with a cookie every time you put on your shoes, mindless snacking is an unhealthy habit that can really add up over time.

Do you find yourself reaching for snacks often throughout the day? If so, maybe try to identify exactly what triggers those cravings. Are they emotional triggers? Do they come on at specific times of the day? Or do they just come out of nowhere, like low rolling clouds during an otherwise sunny day?

On days when the impulse strikes to snack mindlessly, we would suggest trying to mentally distract yourself by doing something else instead. Read a book or watch a series with friends. Each week, set aside one night where snacking is okay (that way, if someone’s cooking dinner later than expected or if friends are staying over late into the evening and everyone starts getting hangry, then snacks are allowed). And make sure that whatever snacks you allow yourself are things that will satisfy your appetite—unsalted nuts and popcorn are both filling foods that have relatively few calories compared to chips and other processed junk food.

Too much sitting

If you sit for most of your day, you’re putting yourself at risk for some physical and mental health problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease. Sitting too much also has negative effects on your metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories when you’re not moving around.

So what can be done about this sedentary lifestyle? Many people don’t have the option of standing up at work, but there are a few things that might help. The first is to get rid of any chairs in your house that aren’t necessary—the less comfortable they are, the better! Try using couch cushions or a folding chair instead.

If all else fails, take regular breaks throughout the day where you get up and move around as much as possible. Walk upstairs instead of taking elevators, stand while working if possible or just stretch often throughout each hour spent behind a computer screen or desk setting (and try not to slouch!).

If you have problems with movement or performing daily tasks, physiotherapy, which is intended to treat these problems, will certainly help you.

Eating too much sugar

Unfortunately, though, the reality of our situation is that we know too many people who have problems with their weight. These people usually don’t understand why they can’t simply eat less and exercise more. In fact, some of them actually seem to enjoy overeating: it’s at least a somewhat pleasurable sensation for them.

In other words, while a person may want to lose weight solely out of an altruistic goal (in our example above), in reality, there are often other reasons behind any given person’s efforts at weight loss. Realistically speaking, if your goal is merely to look better naked—and you’re not even particularly focused on health—then you’ll probably find yourself struggling. Even if it does feel good at first to lose weight, eventually the very act of losing will begin to produce negative consequences for your body and life as a whole.

Drinking too much

You’re one of many in this boat. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol use disorder is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use and loss of control over how much is consumed.

Because this habit has taken over your life, it’s smart for you to do something about it before it gets worse. Here are some ways you can stay sober and still have fun:

  • Change your daily habits
  • Maintain healthy relationships and connections
  • Get help from others
  • Find new ways to relax
  • Learn how to deal with cravings

Conclusion

Remember that you don’t have to overhaul your life in order to make a positive change. If you’re trying to break multiple habits at once, it’s likely that you’ll find it easier to start with the most overwhelming one and kick it first, then move on from there. Before long, the rest of your personal unhealthy habits will seem easier to conquer.

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