Let’s talk about bad habits. No, not superstar musician Ed Sheeran’s hit. We’re talking about the little things you do every day that slowly affect your quality of life and personal well-being.
When I was looking for a featured image for this article, I noticed that almost every photo under “bad habits” showed a person smoking. Smoking is horrible for you and a nasty habit – but there are SO many bad habits that will take someone down a rabbit hole faster than smoking.
The bad habits mentioned in this piece are “light” bad habits, easy to change to improve your life.
This short list does not take into account drug use, sleeping too long, being late everywhere (sluggishness), driving too fast or being distracted like an idiot (my brother was hit on his bike by a cell phone driver) – allow yourself disliking a person based on gender, race, or any other social issue that you consider “wrong.” The social problems we face at this point in history are all bad habits that we are trying hard to erase from our lives.
Any tribal prejudice can be changed in our own lives. Things like discriminatory behavior in the workplace or anywhere should be addressed in our own lives because we want to change – not because society forces something on us. Behaviors or attitudes towards out-groups based on in-group thoughts must be faced within ourselves – they are bad habits, and you can change them.
Habits come in many shapes and sizes. These range from your regular morning routine to the nervous ticks that get you through the workday. Some habits are helpful, such as refilling your water bottle regularly to remind you to stay hydrated. Others aren’t so great, like biting your fingernails, chewing your hair, or talking too fast when you’re nervous.
There are a few bad habits which are relatively harmless. However, there are others that can seriously leave you behind in the race of life. This list outlines some of the most common and harmful habits that can lead to significant problems – but be aware – most of these bad habits are easy to fix.
1. Staying up late
Sleep is an essential part of everyday life. Without proper sleep, it is incredibly difficult to function. Just think about the last time you worked a shift after a rough night. Did you find it difficult to stay focused and motivated? Imagine how you would feel after several consecutive nights of little sleep.
The common culprit when it comes to fatigue and exhaustion is a bad one nightly routine. Without planning it, you spend too much time watching Netflix or scrolling on your phone well past your bedtime. Soon your alarm will be set to just five o’clock and you’ll have already set yourself up for failure in the morning.
To overcome this habit, you need to be a little more disciplined. Set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it. If you really have to, consider creating a personalized schedule that includes everything from brushing your teeth to turning off the lights. As you get more sleep, you should notice an increase in energy and morale.
2. Scrolling too long
Everyone is guilty of this sometimes. You may have come across this article because you spent too long scrolling on your device. Technology is a great addition to our lives, but it’s also dangerously addictive. A lot of time is wasted screen time while it can be used for so many bigger things.
This is not to say that you should completely eliminate electronics from your life. Social media provides high-quality entertainment and helps you stay in touch with friends and family. However, you should actively look for ways to better moderate your screen time. You can download an app or use internal features that record and limit your screen time.
Another possible solution is to try multitasking. If you want to scroll through TikTok, try it on a stationary bicycle. This way you can enjoy those funny videos you love while getting some beneficial exercise at the same time. You can get really creative, like putting on your favorite YouTube stream while you’re cooking in the kitchen or leaving your phone in another room while you’re sitting at the table.
3. Compulsive snacking
This bad habit became a problem for many during the peak of Covid-19. When working from home, the temptation to sneak into the kitchen for a snack was always high. Sure, this may have helped you stay afloat in a very uncertain time, but it may have developed into a questionable habit that leads to the future.
Compulsive snacking can quickly ruin even the most balanced diets. You’re adding extra, unplanned calories that can lead to weight gain or even blood sugar imbalances. As your physical health deteriorates, you will find it more difficult to carry out normal daily activities.
There’s nothing wrong with an occasional snack. As with most habits, you need to exercise some self-control. Try to incorporate your snacks into your meal planning so that your dietary habits are not compromised. You can also buy healthier snacks that are lower in sugars and fats, which can be a concern.
4. Slumped at your desk
A lot of work is done nowadays at a desk behind a computer. In fact, that may be where you are right now. If so, take a moment to think about your attitude. Is your back arched? How is your neck?
When you’re young, bad posture doesn’t seem to affect you at all. Teenagers slouch all the time, with very few visible consequences. As you age, even minor deviations from proper posture can cause pain and discomfort that derail your productivity and quality of life. If you bend your neck over your laptop for too long, you’ll feel stiff for the rest of the week.
Try hanging a sticky note on your workspace to remind yourself to sit up straight. A conscious effort can make a pretty big difference. You can also purchase ergonomic equipment that forces you to improve your posture. For example, ergonomic office chairs work best with a straight back. With a monitor stand you can place your screen at eye level, so that your neck is no longer tense at the computer.
5. Sharpen teeth
Teeth grinding is usually not a habit that you are aware of. Most people with a teeth grinding problem do this at night when they sleep. However, the fact that you are not aware of teeth grinding does not mean that it does not bother you.
If you frequently wake up with a headache, it could be a sign that you are grinding your teeth at night. Dealing with headaches is never fun, and looking for ways to eliminate them should be a top priority. You may also be experiencing poor sleep due to teeth grinding, waking you up without feeling well rested.
Consider checking in with your dentist to see if they can spot signs of teeth grinding and help you overcome this nighttime habit. They can help you make a night guard that protects your teeth from teeth grinding at night. For a home remedy, over-the-counter pain relievers and warm compresses can help reduce inflammation and pain in the jaw.
6. Self sabotage
This is perhaps the worst bad habit a person can have. It can lead to the development of many other bad habits. Self sabotage can be defined as getting in the way of your own success and development, whether intentionally or not.
There are many reasons why people might sabotage themselves. It may be due to a lack of self-esteem or a coping mechanism for dealing with past trauma. Individuals mistakenly begin to think that they do not deserve success and happiness. This makes them justify bad actions, turning to alcohol, video game addictions, and even simple laziness to try and fill an empty void.
If you’re a chronic self-saboteur, consider reaching out to a therapist who can help you. They are willing to listen to your concerns and concerns and guide you through helpful recovery steps. There are also resources that can be found online that can help you avoid developing a self-sabotaging habit.
Ed Sheeran was right about one thing. Bad habits lead to late nights, and not in a good way. One bad habit can ruin your sleep schedule, mental health, and even your career. Keep an eye on any bad habits that form so you can maintain your mental and physical health.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Ann Perkas; Pexels; Thank you!