Everyone has a bad habit or two. Some bad habits, however, can be detrimental to your health, especially as you age. Breaking those bad habits and replacing them with healthier ones can make you feel better. Here are 15 bad habits and 15 healthier alternatives you can replace them with. Try a few. Try them all!
1. Using All Your Free Time to Watch TV
We all want to catch the newest episode of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, but spending too much time in front of the boob tube not only leads to a bigger waistline, but it can also waste a lot of time, too.
Alternative – Get Outdoors – Go Camping/Hiking
Getting outdoors will not only improve your physical health, it will help to improve your brain. Studies show that adults who are more physically active have better cognitive function later in life. Just get out of your comfort zone, travel and explore the amazing country you live in, have you been in Arkansas, California or Nevada? If no, this is the right time to visit the amazing outdoor views presented by nature.
2. Snacking All the Time
This habit can really wreak havoc on your health. If you’re primarily snacking on junk food, you can be setting yourself up for conditions like diabetes and heart disease. It can also make you feel tired and lethargic.
Alternative – Choose Healthier Snacks
One of the best alternatives is to reacquaint your body with hunger. Make sure you are truly hungry before eating. If you do need a snack – reach for something healthy like raw veggies.
Financial stress can lead to a plethora of health problems, according to a Rutgers study. These include high blood pressure, insomnia, headaches, and depression among other issues.
Alternative – Stick to a Daily Budget
Look at how much money you have coming in versus what is going out. Only then can you determine how much is left over for the “fun” things. Put aside a little for savings, too.
4. Eating Too Much Junk Food
A non-stop diet of hamburgers, pizzas, and French fries is bad for you. Most people know this, yet America’s fascination with it continues. Junk food expands your waistline and your chances for heart disease and diabetes.
Alternative – Eat a Salad with Every Meal
This alternative can replace a less-than-healthy side with something better for you. It also helps you get those servings of veggies your need every day.
5. Stress Eating
Turning to food – often unhealthy junk food when you’re stressed out – can expand your waistline and deplete your pocketbook.
Alternative – Meditation
Instead of reaching for that pint of Ben & Jerry’s, find a quiet spot, take a few deep breaths and clear your mind. You might even think of a solution to what’s stressing you. It will also help you to relax.
We don’t need to go into how bad this is for you. You already know how bad smoking and nicotine are for your lungs, oral health, and even your brain. Stop it.
Alternative – Switch to E-cigs
Although more research needs to be done, E-cigs could be a healthier alternative to analog cigarettes. One sure thing – they don’t smell as bad.
7. Nail Biting
Nail biting is unhygienic and can lead to health issues and dental problems if you don’t learn to curb the habit. You also miss out on all that cool nail polish!
Alternative – Quit Biting
Rub pepper on the nails you bite. You can also purchase foul-tasting nail polish to curb your habit. Another way to quit is to go get your nails done. No one wants to ruin an expensive manicure by nibbling.
8. Surrounding Yourself with People Who Don’t Appreciate You
Constantly hanging out with people who put you down can be a real bummer – and it can affect your mental health, leading to anxiety and depression.
Alternative – Look for Better Friends
There are probably people in your life you haven’t even noticed before. Take time to look around – you’ll probably find a more supportive group of friends.
9. Getting Too Much Sun
Too many sunburns or going out too often without sunscreen can make you look older as you age. Sacrificing your future looks for that golden-brown tan might seem good now, but you might not think so when you’re older.
Alternative – Carry Sunblock
Even if you don’t think you need it – such as on a cloudy day – the sun’s UV rays still make it through the clouds. Wear sunblock all of the time. If you’re going to be in water – reapply often.
10. Being too Stressed or too Angry all the Time
It raises blood pressure, can contribute to ulcers and other digestive problems, and it can make you miserable. Forget the fact that stressed and angry people are no fun to hang around.
Alternative – Relieve Stress Through Herbal Remedies
A cannabis strain high in THC can help to relieve stress and anxiety – and it can also mellow you out. Consider buying a vaporizer to get the most out of your herbs. You might also want to consider herbal teas geared towards stress relief.
11. Not Getting Enough Sleep
The more sleep you lose, the more you affect your body. Your immune response plummets and hormones increase, especially those that affect appetite. This can have a serious impact on your health.
Alternative – Eliminate Bad Habits that Contribute to Losing Sleep
Try natural remedies like chamomile to relax you to sleep. Taking melatonin can also help. If you’re still having issues, limit activities that keep you up late to the weekends.
12. Drinking Too much Alcohol
It wreaks havoc on your liver, but it can also lead to high blood pressure, depression, and other health issues.
Alternative – Understand Why You Drink and Find Constructive Ways to Deal
Most people drink to unwind after a stressful day. Find the things causing stress and find better ways to deal – exercise, meditation. If you’re tying one on with friends, you might want to consider limiting drinking time with them.
13. Taking too Many Medications without a Prescription
Medications can have interactions that you may not be aware of. By talking to your doctor and letting him or her know what you’re taking, you can avoid serious interactions that could cause serious effects.
Alternative – Talk To Your Doctor or Use Herbal Remedies
You might want to use herbal remedies where possible, but even these can interact with one another. Talk to your doctor about every medication – prescribed or natural – you’re taking.
14. Being in a Toxic Relationship
Looks aren’t everything. Even if Hottie McHotterson is Stephen Amell’s doppelganger, if he treats you badly or doesn’t support you, the relationship might be toxic.
Alternative – Look for a Good Personality or Soul
There comes a point where being treated well overtakes looks. Put your needs first and find someone willing to meet them – regardless of the outside package.
15. Complaining and Comparing Yourself to Others All the Time
You don’t always have to keep up with the Jones’s. Just because your co-worker has that new Michael Kohrs bag or a pair of Jimmy Choos doesn’t have to start a complaint filled rant about how bad you have it.
Alternative – Take Stock of What You Do Have
You might want to volunteer at a shelter or a soup kitchen. Being around people that have less is a good way to take stock. It will also make you appreciate what you do have.