While there are many aspects of life that are beyond our control, there are various habits we can stop so that our wellbeing remains in peak condition. Here are nine things to stop doing if you want a healthier life.
1. Stop Neglecting Sleep
Getting a good and full night’s sleep can do wonders for our health. Getting fewer than six hours of sleep on a regular basis can not only put your health at risk but can also make you more likely to suffer from stress and depression, as well as fatigue.
Put the time and effort into ensuring you get the best night’s sleep possible, including ensuring the room is set to a comfortable temperature (on the cooler side is best), keep the room dark and distraction-free and avoid staring at phone or TV screens before going to bed.
2. Stop Smoking
It’s a habit we know is bad for us, yet there are billions of smokers worldwide still risking their health every day. Smoking is one of the most detrimental things you can do to your health, with tobacco remaining the most preventable cause of death. The habit can lead to a host of health complications and illnesses including heart disease, lung disease, COPD, cancer and strokes.
A quit smoking timeline can help you visualise the positive changes quitting can make on your health, and there are various stop smoking tablets available to help you quit. Whether you start by phasing out the habit or you go cold-turkey – the sooner you stop smoking the sooner you can lead a healthier life.
3. Stop Stressing The Small Stuff
Easier said than done, we know, but stress not only takes its toll on your physical health but your mental health too. While there are some things in life that deserve our worry and attention, many of us waste time stressing about the small and insignificant things as well.
If you’re struggling to unwind, try practising some forms of self-care in order to help you relax at the end of each day. Meditating, breathing exercises and journaling are all great examples of ways you could relieve your stress levels and improve your mental health.
4. Stop Assuming Small Changes Won’t Count
While big alterations to your lifestyle may seem like the only way to get started on your road to a healthier you, the small changes can make all the difference in your journey. Smaller swaps such as taking the stairs at work, choosing salad with your soup over bread and getting an extra 10 minutes of sleep each night can all make a huge change to your overall health.
Don’t assume the little steps are futile compared to the big ones – working in new and improved habits into your day-to-day routine will point you in the right direction and make those bigger milestones more achievable.
5. Stop Being Anti-Social
Research has shown that staying social and participating in friendship groups can both help manage our stress levels and strengthen our immune system. It’s important to try and stay connected to people, especially with the current global anxieties we’re all facing. If you struggle to make friends or live a long distance away from family members, give networking opportunities a go to try to meet new people and form positive relationships.
6. Stop Putting Off The Exercise
It’s easy to put off exercise after a busy and hectic workday, but the health benefits of physical activity will far outweigh any excuse you can think of to avoid it. Exercise not only helps maintain a healthy weight but can also lower blood pressure, improve heart health, help aid memory and brain function, improve joint pain, maintain balance and muscle strength, improve sleep quality and reduce feelings of anxiety.
7. Stop The Lack Of Water
Making sure we consume enough water is essential in ensuring we stay healthy. The liquid is used within the body to maintain cell, organ and tissue function and helps to regulate our temperature – so your body is relying on you to keep it well hydrated. It’s super important to ensure we are drinking enough water, especially in the warmer months of the year, as our body can lose water through digestion and breathing, as well as sweating.
8. Stop Eating Too Many Processed Foods
The problem with processed foods is that they generally come with an excess of sugar, sodium and saturated fats, which is why although they’re fine in moderation, eating too much of them can lead to health problems. The risk of hypertension, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease is increased through the overconsumption of processed foods, and while they may be more convenient to eat, they can also become addictive. Try to eat a well-balanced and varied diet that includes foods that are high in fibre and low in sodium.
9. Stop Excessive Screen Time
Living in the current digital age means that most of us are not only staring at the screen in our free time, but throughout the working day too. Too much screen time can not only lead to physical health issues such as obesity, neck and back problems and sleep problems, but it can also affect our mental health too, increasing our risk of developing depression and anxiety. Reducing the amount of time you spend looking at the TV, your phone or your tablet will result in a healthier lifestyle and improved wellbeing.