Ditch These Bad Habits To Help You Live A Longer And Happier Life

Sleeping with a smartphone - Photo by: m01229 - Source: Flickr Creative Commons

We all want to live a long, happy life, but it can take a lot of work to get it right, and there may be certain bad habits that are holding you back. You may find that there are things you do that don’t register in your mind as outwardly bad or damaging, but often, the effects do not show up until years later.

As people age, they often reflect back and regret not looking after their body and mind when they were younger. Don’t let your life be filled with regrets, now is the time to ditch those bad habits and create a healthier future for yourself. If you need something to push you in the right direction, here is our list of bad habits you should leave in the past.

Smoking

Smoking is extremely harmful and is one of the leading causes of cancer. Although the negative effects of smoking are well known, there are still a lot of people worldwide who smoke. The negative side effects of smoking are endless, it can damage your teeth, skin, vision and potentially lead to lung blebs. A lung bleb is a small cyst or blister that forms in your lungs and can eventually lead to collapsed lungs. If detected early, they are easier to treat, but if you continue smoking, you will only end up causing more lung blebs to develop. Ezra’s article gives an easy breakdown of explaining what lung blebs are and goes into more detail about the treatments available. This could help you to get started on your healthcare journey, and take a proactive step in the right direction. 

Of course, the popularity of smoking is down to its addictive nature. The high addictiveness of smoking makes it a very hard habit to break, so don’t expect to be able to quit overnight. Perhaps start with cutting back on the amount you smoke a day. This way, your body will slowly begin to manage the reduced nicotine intake. Another option could be to switch to vaping, which allows you to smoke a smaller amount of nicotine while still getting the same feel as smoking a cigarette. There is still a lot of research to be done on the effects of vaping, but as it stands currently, it is a good alternative to cigarette smoking.

Excessive Drinking

While the definition of excessive drinking may vary depending on personal tolerance, generally speaking, excessive drinking means consuming large units of alcohol in a short sitting and on a regular basis. Being aware of your drinking and how it affects you can be extremely effective in recognizing the early warning signs of addiction. While drinking excessively on occasion does not necessarily mean you are an alcoholic, if you start to feel like you are depending on alcohol, you need to seek advice from your doctor. Your doctor will be able to guide you to the right place where you can receive the proper help and support. 

Excessively drinking can have a number of different negative effects on our wellbeing. Weight gain, memory loss and depression are some of the milder effects alcohol has on our bodies. If you drink excessively for prolonged periods, you are putting your body at risk for serious conditions like liver failure, heart disease, and a stroke. Now, this does not mean you need to cut out alcohol completely. Instead, manage your intake in a healthier way or perhaps limit yourself to only drinking on the weekend or on a special occasion.

whiskey drinking alcohol

Irregular Sleeping Pattern

An irregular sleeping pattern is bad for our well-being in several different ways. For example, not getting enough good sleep can seriously impact our mental health. Studies have found that irregular sleep is connected to bad moods and depression, so you could be causing yourself serious harm by not having a regular sleeping pattern. An irregular sleeping pattern can be defined as not getting enough sleep, but it could also mean that you are sleeping too much. Sleeping too much or finding it impossible to get out of bed are both symptoms of depression, so if you are starting to identify these traits within yourself, you should make an appointment with your doctor. 

If you are currently struggling with an irregular sleeping pattern, you can adopt methods to try and reset your sleeping schedule. The first thing you should try is not to set the alarm so that you are woken up at the same time every day. This may be difficult at first but try your best to wake up to your alarm and avoid napping during the day. Another thing that can help is not drinking any caffeine at least three hours before bed or eating a big meal before settling down for the night. 

Isolating Yourself

The pandemic has played a huge role in increasing feelings of isolation among many people. Although the world is starting to open back up again, many people are finding it hard to get back out there and socialize. Isolating yourself can be highly damaging to your mental health, so it is important to recognize when you are beginning to feel low and try not to push people away. Recognizing these signs can be helpful as you can reach out straight away to your friends and family. Additionally, one you begin to understand the early signs, you can start to recognize them within others too, which means you can help those around you.

Many things can contribute to feelings of isolation. The world’s current affairs are not exactly wholesome or nice to read, which can lead you into a cycle of something called ‘doomscrolling’. Doomscrolling is the act of devoting an enormous amount of time to scrolling through and absorbing negative news. It is very easy to get addicted to excessive amounts of screen time, and when you are filling that screen time with nothing but negativity, it is bound to have a severe impact on your mental health.