It’s pretty much a given that smoking, drunk driving and eating too much fried food can kill you. However, there are other daily habits that are just as nasty, and equally as lethal, too. Which one(s) on this list do you have, and why not make 2019 the year to kick bad habits to the curb?
Not making enough time for family and friends can take years off your life. People are social beings meant to form and thrive in relationships. Sure, no family is perfect, and yes, friends can sometimes disappoint you, but engaging with people can bring joy and satisfaction beyond measure. If your work schedule is so frenetic that you can’t make time to socialize, then it’s time to revise and reprioritize your life.
Too much worrying can lead to all kinds of health problems. Such events as loss of a job, death of a loved one, or a serious health crisis are certainly life occurrences that cause worry and anxiety. However, fretting over little details in daily life (i.e., a co-worker who’s always late, a boyfriend who leaves dishes in the sink, etc.) are really a waste of time. Carrying too much stress can increase your blood pressure which causes heart disease. In addition, stress can make you moody, cranky, and unpleasant to be around.
Constantly comparing yourself to others is a lesson in futility. Thanks to social media bombarding us every minute, people are constantly posing, posting, exposing and bragging about themselves. It’s hard not to feel inferior or “left behind” sometimes. Take a break from that screen. Take stock in who you are, be thankful for your gifts and accomplishments and take every opportunity to be good to yourself.
Using any form of medication, even over the counter meds can lead you into dangerous territory. Taking pain killers when you don’t need them can result in opioid addiction, which is a grave issue in this country. Instead of taking something to relax you after a trying day, take a walk with your pet or a good friend. Never use old, expired prescriptions or someone else’s medicine.
Not getting enough sleep is a recipe for all kinds of problems. A good night’s sleep (7-9 hours) is as important to your health as exercising and healthy eating. Sleep is the body’s way of renewing itself; when you don’t get enough, it can interfere with your digestive system, immune system, and mental health. Lack of sleep can also lead to weight gain and put you at greater risk for colds and flu.
Stop sitting so much. Whether you’re at work sitting in front of a screen, or at home in front of the TV binge watching your favorite series, a sedentary life will kill you. At work, get up every half hour and stretch and move around. At home, do crunches and stretches on the floor or over an exercise ball while watching your shows.