In this article, we have guest blogger Jenn Kropf talking about 10 Common Bad Habits That Are Surprisingly Harmful. Sometimes we reach a breaking point in our lives.
We wake up and realize that instead of being happy, we are miserable. Instead of being calm and healthy, we are living stressed, lethargic, zombie-like lives. What gives?!
Surprisingly, this is often the result of common little bad habits rather than direct events. Let’s see an example…
Meet Sarah. She is an average middle-aged woman. She is sweet by nature and she lives life to the best of her ability.
But she doesn’t realize that her phone addiction will take ten years off her life, or that the soda she started consuming every day will mean she’ll weigh seventy-eight pounds more in five years. They are all seemingly harmless, but they are common bad habits.
And they have the potential to ruin good lives.
When we look at these little habits, we think they don’t matter, but over time they combine for surprisingly different results. We must be aware of what they do for us.
So, below are ten common, but harmful, bad habits and how to fix them so your future looks great. healthy, happy and impressive. Don’t let this throw you off today!
Before I get into the article, please take a moment to check out my new self-help e-store! Packed with all the self-help tools you need to help you live the life you deserve. Click here to learn more and grab the tool you need now!
10 common bad habits (and 10 solutions!)
So here, in no particular order of importance, are what I consider to be the top 10 bad habits most people have.
1. Skimp on sleep
Have you ever felt sick and unable to concentrate after getting less sleep than you should? There is a reason!
Studies show that sleep is CRITICAL to be at our best. Skimping on sleep can cause anything from depression to chronic illness.
However, adequate sleep helps you live longer, improves memory, and even sharpens focus and attention. Plus, it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight because we make better choices.
Rest and recovery are essential elements to be a great human being. Don’t neglect your dream!
Solution: If sleep is a problem, develop a relaxing routine before going to sleep. Read a good book, write down three things you’re grateful for, or treat yourself to an Epsom salt bath. Then go to bed thirty minutes earlier than normal and enjoy better energy and health.
2. Prioritize your phone
The average person spends more than four hours a day on their phone. In one year That’s over 56 days of your life spent scrolling your phone!
You didn’t have real conversations during this time. No shocking job. Without learning, growing or nurturing your soul. Those hours are lost and never replaced.
We live in a time when it has never been easier to be distracted. But if we let our phones control us, we drastically minimize the beauty of our lives.
Solution: Put your phone away several times throughout the day. Decide on a place in a drawer and set an alarm if necessary.
Also, log off regularly on the weekends. Give yourself time to wander, think and be alive.
3. Going to the store unprepared
Common bad habits at the grocery store make a world of difference to our overall health. What you have in your house YOU WILL EAT. And boy, are we all guilty of this.
When you regularly buy chips, cookies, and ice cream, you’ve doomed yourself from the start. That’s called self-sabotage, and you’ll never make real breakthroughs without a plan.
Solution: Therefore, the utmost care must be taken in the store! Even before eating!
Plan your trips with a list, go no more than once a week, and have a hearty snack before you go. Stick to your list! If you love buying a treat at the store, make it a mini version or a healthy treat like dark chocolate instead of a candy bar.
If you win this little battle, you’ll set yourself up for a dramatically better eating week.
4. Watch the news non-stop
The news is made to be negative.
Pessimism sells and attracts us. The problem? If you consume large amounts of this negative “roof is on fire” news, you waste a LOT of time worrying about negative events that are out of your control.
Solution: If you love to stay informed, find a piece of media or two and set your timer for ten minutes to consume the most necessary pieces of the day. When the alarm goes off, you’re done!
I found this super awesome video on YouTube channel Be Inspired. I think you will really enjoy this talk!
5. Drink your calories
This common bad habit could be taking a huge toll on your health.
That can of Dr. Pepper that Sarah loves? It has 150 calories.
If you have one soda a day, you’ve now added 1050 empty calories to your week. That’s 15.6 pounds in one year! Just for a little soda habit! Crazy right?!
On a day-to-day basis, it seems like nothing, but these calories from zero nutrients don’t even have the decency to keep you full. Instead, they give you a sugar rush only to crash an hour later (and look for something else). All resulting in debilitating health problems later…
Solution: So switch to better-for-you options like iced tea, herbal tea, or flavored water. Try to keep those sodas to a once a week treat.
Or go all out and give up! Your body will thank you!
6. Engage in negative self-talk
We are what we believe. Our perception is our reality. It’s seemingly harmless, that barb you give yourself about your weight or hair color. But it erodes your confidence and self-esteem, making you believe that you are less than worthy.
Also, if you tell yourself a negative story about your limits, you will never reach new personal or professional heights. “I’m terrible at relationships” is very different than “I’ve had some tough relationships and I’ve learned a lot from them for the future.”
Solution: Instead, start each morning with a personal compliment. Or write in your journal something you like about yourself. Get in the habit of being kind to your body, mind, and spirit. Your success and happiness begin with your thoughts.
“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
7. Getting regular takeout
We all have.
Dinner rolls. They were tired. That meal plan doesn’t sound right, or never existed in the first place. Why not choose something for dinner? And as an occasional habit, this is fine. But like all common bad habits, sometimes the occasional ones become weekly, then it becomes often.
The problem with regularly picking up dinner is that you’ve now spent twenty bucks on a meal that possibly has twice the calories. One year later, you’ve spent an extra thousand dollars and consumed thousands of extra calories, too. Adds.
Solution: Cook at home as often as possible. If you must, buy healthy prepackaged options at the store for times like these. Pre-cut salads, rotisserie chicken, and frozen fish are quick and easy dinners.
Also, next time you cook, double it up and freeze it! You’ll have a ready-to-go meal for nights like these!
8. Watching too much television
Just like with the phone, it’s important to be hyper-aware of how much of our time we waste on any given day. Between Netflix, YouTube videos, and video games, you could be wasting your life away. Binge TV is too easy these days.
Solution: Instead, only watch what you intend to watch. Then turn it off. No browsing or perusing to see what’s available.
If you’re really having trouble with pointless watching, move your remote to a different room. Just moving to pick it up will force you to think about whether you really want to do it.
9. Repress your emotions
Life is not always rainbows and butterflies. We get frustrated, depressed and angry. And often we try to deny these emotions. Hide them or bottle them. Unfortunately, what we don’t express will eventually come out in different and nastier ways. Let go of the things that weigh you down!
Solution: Get in the habit of journaling! Journaling is a great way to flush negative emotions out of our systems. Write without censoring yourself and have the courage to delve into what you are feeling. Writing is an extremely cathartic practice that has the ability to cleanse your soul and lighten your heart.
10. Put yourself last
Finally, not making ourselves a priority is a very common bad habit. Many of us go through life letting stress and to-do lists eat us alive. Because our partner needs us. Or our children. Or the work team. We cannot disappoint anyone. But in the meantime, we are suffering and working ourselves to death.
Solution: Schedule your self-care every week. Without fail. What will you do every day for yourself in the next week? Take a walk in nature, go to a yoga class, enjoy a good book and listen to your favorite music. Life is too short to be stressed and tired all the time!
For a full list of awesome habits, check out The Big List of Life Changing Habits
How to break bad habits
Let’s face it, it is very difficult to change something in our lives. But to be honest, I feel like it’s harder to break bad habits. We have become so used to doing or having these things in our lives that we cannot imagine our lives without them.
It can be difficult, yes, but impossible? Nope!
Make up your mind, make an action plan and do it! It really is that simple!
Something to consider with common bad habits
Habits are those sneaky things that make us who we are.
And the bad habits that are common are especially harmful because we don’t stop to assess how they affect our whole life.
So, take the time today to break these bad habits and create amazing new ones. These small changes will lead to dramatically better physical and mental health, explosive productivity, and a much brighter future.