Breaking bad habits to improve your health

Who doesn’t have a guilty pleasure or two? Maybe you have a sweet tooth that gets you craving cakes and candy. You might enjoy a leisurely cigarette when on the social scene. Perhaps you can’t seem to go a minute without checking social media. Doing any of these things on occasion may not cause you much harm, but when it becomes routine, things can spiral out of control quickly.

Bad habits can essentially become addictions; actions or items that you crave to get through the day, and even feel bad when you don’t get or do them. When not corrected, these behaviours can lead to a multitude of health problems as well as create trouble in your personal life. The only way to prevent that is to start taking steps towards breaking these bad habits for good.

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Quit smoking cigarettes

Whether you smoke socially or on a daily basis doing so puts tons of toxins in the body. The substances in cigarettes such as nicotine are very addictive and can wreak havoc on your health. You may have even noticed some negative changes in your physical appearance or wellbeing. Yet, putting down the cigarettes isn’t always easy. There are several solutions you could try like chewing gum, patches, or going cold turkey, but it’s not for everyone.

Some have found success in quitting cigarettes by vaping. As long as you don’t live in a state like Indiana where they’re fighting against vaping regulations you can invest in a quality vaping device and liquids. Since the liquid comes with various levels of nicotine, you can wean yourself off the addictive chemical altogether.

Related – Smoking is no longer cool: the benefits of quitting cigarettes

Let go of the sugar

Did you know that there are studies that show that sugar can be just as addictive as some hard-core illegal substances? Refined sugar can be found in lots of food products on the market today. Though it tastes great, the outcome of consuming too much is likely long-term illness. Those who indulge in too much sugar daily are at a higher risk for weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.

It might be hard to imagine not enjoying those sweet treats, but your well-being is at risk. It can be hard to simply walk away from all things sweet, but you can take simple steps by finding healthier alternatives. Instead of a chocolate cake full of refined sugar, opt for a raw chocolate cake made with natural fruits, nuts and raw cacao powder.  Or, even better, why not snack on fresh fruit to satisfy that sweet craving?  Look for options that have no added sugar, but be sure to avoid questionable artificial sweeteners too.  Lastly, making things from scratch gives you an option to choose a healthier and natural sweetener.

Put down the phone

Technology has advanced so much that it’s entangled in every aspect of our lives. People use smartphones and other devices to do everything from making phone calls to checking work emails to socialising on social platforms. The problem is, too much screen time is bad for your mental and physical health. You could develop body aches or eyestrain without taking breaks throughout the day. Too much access to social media has also proven to cause mental health problems including anxiety and depression.

You may be wondering if it’s possible, however, you’ve got to put the phone down. Start by keeping track of how much you use your phone in a day. Also, pay attention to what you’re doing during those times. Try to create a schedule that allows you to get the necessary tasks done with some downtime for leisure use as well as frequent breaks. For instance, only use social media for an hour just after dinner. Check your emails 3 times a day. You may also want to remove notifications as the noise and constant messages on the screen can make it hard for you to ignore.

Try leaving your phone in another room after 8pm or 9pm and make it a house rule so you actually engage with your partner for the evening without staring at your phones!

Healthy living isn’t easy when you’re used to repeating bad habits on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. All you have to do is decide you want to make a change and create an effective plan to do so. Taking smaller steps like those talked about above will make it easier for you to eventually kick those bad habits for good.

 

This is a collaborative post and images are from Canva.

Don’t stop reading yet!  Check out these blog posts:

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Effective ways to reduce the symptoms of anxiety

Minimising the toxins in your body

Why being healthy doesn’t have to be expensive

5 areas of your health you should always prioritise as a busy mum

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