There are some habits that we know are bad for us, and some that we do every day without realising how detrimental they are to our wellbeing. If you’re looking for tips for a healthier lifestyle, here are eight habits that might be damaging your health – from holding a sneeze in, to spending too much time on your phone.

1. Showering In Water That’s Too Hot

It’s a common misconception that washing our bodies in extra hot water will kill and remove germs, but doing so can often do more harm than good.

Washing in water that’s too hot can turn your skin into an ideal environment for bacteria and germs to thrive on. Not only this, but the skin’s natural barrier is designed to lock in moisture to keep the surface soft and hydrated, but extremely hot water can strip it of its natural oils, which can often leave skin dry, flaky and sensitive.

2. Smoking

Smoking is a dangerous habit that can cause a long list of health problems. Both long-term and “social” smoking are just as detrimental to your body, with the potential to cause a host of problems including:

  • COPD
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Cataract
  • Lung cancer.

No matter your circumstances, making the decision to stop smoking will benefit your health. From therapy to medication, there are many things that will assist you on your quitting journey.

3. Not Releasing A Sneeze

We generally think of sneezes as being pretty harmless actions, but not releasing a sneeze could potentially result in injuries to your ears, nose and throat. The pressure caused by a sneeze is greater than you might imagine - and that pressure has to go somewhere. Although a rare occurrence, holding in a sneeze may cause the pressure to travel back through the sinuses, resulting in ruptured blood vessels.

The pressure of a sneeze could also lead to damage occurring in the eardrums. Though injuries such as these are uncommon, next time you feel a sneeze coming, it’s best just to let it out (into a tissue, of course!).

4. Falling Asleep In Your Contact Lenses

Unless you’ve been told otherwise by your optician, sleeping in your contact lenses is a habit you need to break. Falling asleep while wearing your contacts can not only cause stress to your cornea due to the lack of oxygen, but could also increase the risks of the cornea becoming infected. An infection triggered by wearing contact lenses while sleeping may also lead to your vision becoming permanently damaged.

5. Using Electronics Right Before You Sleep

It’s all too easy to binge-watch your favourite programmes before bed, however, this can negatively affect your sleep pattern. The blue light that’s emitted from TVs and electronics has been proven to not only reduce the amount of melatonin our brains produce (making it more difficult for us to fall asleep) but can also cause a delay in rapid eye movement sleep – the cycle that helps our brains retain information.

6. Spending Too Much Time on Social Media

While a lot of us try to maintain our physical health, mental health often gets overlooked. Research has shown that spending too much time on social media - and on our phones in general - can cause feelings of loneliness or isolation. The masses of information we consume while on our mobiles can also negatively affect our working memory, as well as potentially causing joint pain or tendonitis from typing too much.

7. Slicing Veggies On The Same Board As Meat

It’s common knowledge to make sure our hands are washed and clean before preparing food, but it may not be so easy to remember to wash the surfaces on which we make food, too.

Cutting fruit and vegetables on the same board that you’ve sliced meat or fish on can transfer a shocking number of germs and bacteria into your food, including salmonella. Remember to wash chopping boards, surfaces and utensils regularly while preparing food to reduce the number of germs transferring around the kitchen.

8. Not Washing Your Face After Exercising

When you're working out, it’s perfectly normal to sweat. Washing your face after exercising can help to clean your skin of sweat, which will then help to keep it smooth and clear of blemishes. Most people also touch a lot of exercising equipment when working out, especially when doing so in a public gym, so it makes sense to thoroughly wash both the hands and face after exercise to wash away any germs or bacteria.

As you can see, there are many normal habits that might be damaging your health. Are you ready to make some positive changes to your lifestyle?