You need to quit these toxic habits, in order to make positive changes in your life! These unhealthy behaviors are pretty sneaky, so it’s good to be more aware of them!
New Year’s Resolutions are great, but you don’t need to wait until January 1st to invite change into your life. Unfortunately, all of us have toxic habits that hold us back from reaching our full potential. Whether it’s related to food, alcohol, work, obsessive thoughts, thinking about a situation, or using technology, the root of the problem is usually the same.
We’re becoming excessive in many of our behaviors. This is a product of our fast-paced competitive world and, honestly, the desire to have or to try everything. At the same time.
And here’s the truth: You can have whatever you want. But you can’t have it all at the same time. Just like you can’t eat at McDonald’s for every meal of the day and expect to have perfect health. You have to choose.
So, try to switch gears to take back control of your mind and physical cravings. Find your balance. Chances are you’ll achieve more this way because you’ll be more relaxed, more well-rested, and in better overall health.
If you want to try, here are 14 toxic habits to quit this year. Pick those relating to you and make it a goal to change them.
This toxic habit is a sneaky one. And it has the capacity to suck out your energy from the inside. Instead of enjoying the present moment, many of us tend to dwell in the past or future, either doubting a decision we took earlier or worrying about something about to happen.
This habit is associated with anxious and obsessive behaviors, so it’s best to leave it behind. Instead, you can work on a mindfulness practice which will help you get used to being in the present moment instead of having to chase your thoughts to the past and future.
Cut back on perfectionism and control and let life happen. Instead of always being on edge and getting in a bad mood when things don’t go as planned, try to see the good side.
Make your plans, but don’t overload them. Leave room for life. Learn to let go, because when you do, the outcome might just be better than you expected.
So many factors influence how a situation will unfold, and you can’t possibly control all of them.
Overplanning and perfectionism are toxic habits that often do more harm than good. They will keep you back instead of letting you develop your skills and grow in the process. Instead of overpreparing, just start working and taking small steps toward achieving your goals. Accept that failure is part of the process and be okay with it. It happens to everyone.
Becoming Too Digital
Excessive social media and smartphone use is another unhealthy toxic habit to break.
Undoubtedly, social media and our phones come with their benefits. That’s probably also the reason they’re often addictive. Yes, smartphone addiction is real and can lead to anxiety, depression, sleep, and relationship problems.
Spending a lot of time on social media could also contribute to more of the same by creating problems with your self-image and exacerbating the so-called ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out).
Try to do a digital detox and cut back on the time you spend on your phone or social media. Try living as if it’s the 90’s for a day of the week. Meet up with friends, go out for a walk in the park, clean your house, make simple meals, ride your bicycle, be present for what is happening in your immediate environment. This is how you’ll find out what it’s like to be human again and that it’s actually pretty good.
Staying committed to dehydration
And as with most of these toxic habits to quit, I’m talking to myself here. When you’re dehydrated, you’re nervous, tired, and dizzy. You may have a headache and a dry mouth. Dehydration also increases your cortisol levels, thus making you feel more stressed. Now, it doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, does it?
Well there is a cure! And it’s really easy – just start drinking more water! About eight glasses per day or more if you like. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, flavor it with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, or a slice of fruit, or brew a herbal tea and drink it unsweetened.
Being busy all the time
Have you ever thought about doing something fun or important for your social life or health, but then remembered: “Ugh, I can’t! I’m so busy!”.
Yeah, me too. And that happens all the time. So often, in fact, sometimes it feels as if there’s not a lot of time for the good things in life. And if this busyness goes on for a long time, it can affect your physical and mental health and even lead to burnout. That’s what makes constant busyness one of the toxic habits we need to be more aware of. Because when you’re aware, you can change!
So if you notice busyness creeping into your life, make sure to pause and to make time for fun, creativity and leisure. Be okay with not being busy. You’ll actually be more productive when you do this. And don’t worry, work isn’t going to go anywhere, there will always be something to do.
Sure, being successful, organized, and busy sounds impressive. But it’s not everything. Because if you don’t even have 15 minutes to go out for a walk during the day, cook dinner for your family or play basketball with your kids, is it worth it?
Setting aside time for pleasant and healthy activities can make you happier and allow you to replenish your energy. So when you’re making your weekly plan, leave some room for the small things and try spending more time with friends and family or practicing a hobby you enjoy. It is so worth it!
Sitting Most Of the Time
Sitting too much definitely deserves a spot on the list of toxic habits to quit this year. It’s one of my biggest goals to lead a more active lifestyle this year.
A lack of regular physical activity in your life could have severe implications for your physical and mental health. Leading a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, and depression.
Most of us seem to know this. After all, we’re very well informed by the constant use of our smartphones. Yet, we continue this unhealthy behavior because of our jobs or because we’re overwhelmed, or honestly lazy. Maybe all of those.
So, try to incorporate more movement into your life. You’ll feel much better! For example, have a 10-minute break every 1-2 hours when at work. Stand up, stretch, and walk around. You can also try a standing desk and spend part of your workday on it.
Another measure to counteract the effects of sitting down too much is to include at least 30 minutes of more intense physical activity daily, even walking counts. Lastly, maybe you’ve heard of the 10 000 steps a day? Start there.
Have you ever considered that just because you kinda like something, you don’t have to have it? Yeah, me neither. Until lately. I started becoming more and more picky with what I spend my time, energy and money on. I don’t like to waste any of those. But let’s talk money.
If you don’t have any savings in the bank or elsewhere, it’s time to work on that. And even if you do, everyone can use some extra money. You can donate it too, instead of supporting businesses that don’t support you. So where are you spending unnecessarily? Maybe subscriptions? Technology? Clothes? Things for you home? Eating out? Find out and quit the overspending habit!
Next time you think you need to buy something, ask yourself whether you really need it and wait a day or two before buying.
Whether it’s food, information, or alcohol, having too much of anything can harm your body and mind. That’s why overconsumption is one of the toxic habits we definitely need to stop! Learn to be satisfied and grateful for what you have.
When having a meal, consider chewing more and stopping to eat before you feel full. This is useful because the brain needs some time to register that the stomach is full. By the time this message gets up there, you’re likely to have overeaten, increasing your chances of weight gain, gas, bloating, and other unpleasant conditions.
When it comes to information – information overload is an easy trap to fall into these days. This could cause stress, overwhelm, and lack of focus as well as impair your decision-making ability. So, cut back on technology use to avoid information overload.
Excessive alcohol use increases the risk of developing cancer, impairs cognitive function and leads to relationship problems. A little bit of alcohol won’t make you sick, but just keep it to a minimum.
Feeling sorry for yourself
Self-pity has also earned a spot in this list of toxic habits that you need to quit. Shocker, I know.
Give up self-pity today and accept the notion that you are capable of changing your circumstances. Everything else is a defeatist position that will get you nowhere in terms of professional and personal success.
Feeling disappointed when things don’t go your way is normal. How you decide to continue from that point on makes a difference in the quality of your life.
So, stop making excuses and blaming external factors when you get a negative outcome. Instead, embrace your failures and think of them as learning experiences.
Well, this toxic habit can be a bit challenging to break. But at least try to keep it to a minimum. Gossiping is not all negative, it definitely helps you bond with other people, which is great. But doesn’t it always leave you feeling kinda bad?
Like, for me I can’t say anything not positive about someone without regretting it, immediately after. It’s a tricky habit, as it comes so naturally – we’re just discussing what is happening, but we need to start doing better.
One great place to start is to stop watching videos of commentaries, news, including celebrity news or reading those types of magazines.
Instead what you can do is focus on your own life – your business, your health, your relationships! That’s so much better and more rewarding long term. When you do this long enough, at some point when someone asks you “Hey, did you read about so and so?” you will have no idea what they’re talking about. And you’ll be glad you don’t. Focus on your own life and realizing your own ideas.
Going to bed way too late
Cortisol is a hormone in the body’s fight-or-flight response or stress reaction. It’s usually at its lowest in the evening, which clears the way for the production of melatonin, a hormone necessary for sleep.
However, when you put off going to bed by working, watching a movie or even cleaning (happens to me all the time), your body keeps producing cortisol at times when there is no imminent real threat to activate the fight-or-flight response.
This could interfere with the quality of your sleep. And since sleep’s essential for good health, these disturbances can contribute to symptoms of heart disease, anxiety, depression, and other diseases. That’s why going to bed too late night after night is one of the toxic habits you need to quit.
Going to bed when you feel the first signs of sleepiness, or better yet – at the same time each day, will make you wake up calmer and refreshed the next day. If you need to, create a soothing bedtime routine and stick to it!
Overeating on sugar
Eating sweets may feel good, but consuming too much sugar in the long run is associated with poor health outcomes. It increases the risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The biggest problem is that sugar isn’t found just in sweets, but it’s very often present in the ingredient list of everyday foods like bread, canned soups and sauces, ready-made meals, and so on.
Stay safe by adhering to sugar limit recommendations of 25 g for women and 36 g for men. Avoid eating processed foods, and always read the labels carefully. Let’s make this clear – there’s nothing wrong with a piece of cake from time to time! But if you notice you have to have it more often, then eating too much sugar is definitely a toxic habit you need to stop giving into.
Not reaching out to your social circle
It’s easy to fall into this trap when leading a busy life, but most relationships deteriorate if not nourished over time. Humans are social creatures, and staying away from friends or family can backfire in many negative ways.
Social interactions with people close to us boost our health and help us release stress. Researchers even found that having meaningful friendship connections leads to fewer negative health conditions and contributes to a longer lifespan.
It’s essential to nurture your relationships – reach out to old friends or make an actual effort to find new ones. You’ll feel happier, more connected, and loved and you’ll discover life’s full of opportunities and surprises.
Focusing on the negative
Having a negative mindset, always being upset with someone, always complaining and blaming is definitely one of the toxic habits that should disappear from your life.
Change the narrative in your brain by switching your focus in a positive direction. Instead of thinking about the negative things which happened during your day, try to pay more attention to the good ones.
Practicing gratitude can help with that. This is a habit that contributes to overall happiness, health, and greater life satisfaction. You can start a gratitude journal and write in it three things from the day that you are grateful for. Over time you’ll retrain your brain to look for the good in a situation first instead of the bad.
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