What causes bad habits? The usual culprits are stress and boredom. Instead of dealing with stress and boredom, we grow bad habits as a way of running away from them, and from other obligations that put pressure on us and our lives. Also, anxiety and the lack of enthusiasm that appears on the surface can be results of some deeper issues.
Bad habits take your attention off more important things in life. Excessive drinking, playing video games, fast food consummation, watching reality TV, social networking, or simply procrastinating takes the balance out of your life. It cuts down the chances for improvement and takes the word “progress” out of your dictionary.
If you have never read or talked to someone about the nature of bad habits and how to get rid of them, then you probably do not know that you do not eliminate a bad habit. You replace it. Substitute a bad habit with a good one that will benefit you in some way. Check out the most common things that you ought to quit right now.
1. Excessive Drinking
Liver problems, weight gain, fatigue, and dizziness can be induced by binge drinking. Alcohol causes many hospitalizations and deaths (approximately 3.3 million people died from alcohol-related causes in 2012).
Limit your alcohol consumption to save yourself from such damage. Alcohol is socially acceptable, of course, as a nice way to cut loose from your inhibitions by having a few drinks. But, becoming addicted to it will have negative effects on many aspects of your life. Every type of addiction is bad.
2. Your Phone
A big thanks to the guy who invented push notifications. People nowadays react instantly when they see their smartphone flashing. Is a Facebook comment or an Instagram like of a higher priority than other things in life?
It prevents people from paying attention to their immediate surroundings by making them more concerned about their virtual image and identity. Put your phone down, and talk to the girl sitting next to you. And, yeah, it’s crazy to think that some people have actually died while taking a selfie.
3. Sleep Deprivation
If you get less than 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis, you will make yourself prone to various diseases. It can kill your libido, negatively affect your cognitive processes (thinking and memory), lead to depression, and impair your judgment. Do not get used to late night dinners, or watching late shows from your couch up to 3 AM. You need to be able to function during the daytime. Otherwise, you will be more prone to accidents and errors, and become less productive.
4. Worrying about Other People’s Opinions
Understand that it is impossible to please and be appealing to everybody. If you spend your precious energy and time trying to please everybody, it can lead to you being unhappy and depressed. Isolation is bad for our health, but trying to be liked by everyone is even worse. Instead, try to express your opinions, learn to say no, and start believing in yourself and your judgments.
Spending too much time sitting is shown to have terrible health effects to the human body. It is even recommended for office workers to start standing while on their jobs, at least 2 hours a day, working their way towards 4. Sitting around all the time makes your muscles loosen and your body unfit, weakens the immune system, and increases the risk of obesity and diabetes.
People sit in their office for about 6-8 hours a day, then sit while commuting to home, and then sit when they get home to take a rest. Take a rest from what? Sitting? After half an hour of sitting, your metabolism slows down by 90%. Think about that the next time you spend the whole day sitting down.
6. Avoiding Confrontation
Constantly avoiding confrontation and facing issues can make you passive-aggressive. Yes, facing a problem head-on can make you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, but avoiding it can only make things worse. When someone upsets you, ask that person to talk face-to-face about the issue you have. Avoid solving things through email or text messages, because you cannot see the person’s facial expressions, and can easily misinterpret the tone. This often leads to miscommunication.
“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin”, said Victor Kiam, a successful entrepreneur. The concept of procrastination is simple: telling yourself that you will do things when you feel more like it, instead of right then and there. A balance between things we want to do and things we need to do has to exist.
It is a behavior that leads to stress, missed opportunities, and lowers your self-esteem. Breaking this habit can be achieved through a longer period of time, but it is achievable with planning and discipline.
Make a plan and think of how you will respond to boredom and stress caused by your bad habits. Choose a substitute for any of those negative behaviors. Think about everything that triggers the habit, and cut out as many triggers as you can. Surround yourself with people who lead their lives the way you want to live yours, and visualize yourself succeeding.
Do not wish to be someone else, avoid negative self-talk, or get depressed. All you need to do is become more focused and return to the old you.