Quit Bad Habits Today and Lead the Healthy Life You Deserve!
Ever wondered why we can’t resist bad habits? We all know that smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and unhealthy eating are behaviors we need to avoid so we can boost our overall well-being. But according to research, avoidable behaviors like smoking, alcohol drinking, poor diet, and lack of exercise are among the underlying causes of about 50% of deaths in the U.S. Statistics suggest that tobacco alone is responsible for over 18% of total deaths in the country. That’s a huge number! The question is why do we refuse to give up habits that are detrimental to our health? The answer will surprise you!
The Need to Feel Comfort
There’s a purpose behind every action you take. Nonetheless, your actions are sometimes driven by the unconscious mind. Thus, the purpose may not be clearly visible. For instance, the purpose behind bad habits is to find the comfort you need. Researchers indicate that the human brain is stimulated by rewards. In terms of bad habits, our ‘reward’ is the comfy feeling we get when we adopt a new habit. The performed behavior triggers the release of the ‘feel good’ hormone, known as dopamine. Then, our minds start associating the bad habit with that good feeling. As an example, smoking during work breaks leads your brain to link this habit to relaxation and freedom from work.
Socially Acceptable Bad Habits
We’re likely to rationalize any kind of behavior that society finds acceptable. For example, a person will easily fall into the habit of binge drinking just because all their friends drink like a fish. We feel that it’s okay for us to do something as long as a huge number of people do the same thing. Socially acceptable bad habits are not uncommon. Lots of people enjoy snacking, skipping exercises, and even puffing cigarette smoke. This often leads to an inward rationalization. Even when you realize that your actions reflect a poor decision, you’d think about justifications to ward off feelings of guilt.
Most people are well aware of the consequences of any bad habit they’ve developed across the years. The health warnings on cigarette packets are written in bold. But people buy them anyway. Moreover, governments around the world are promoting campaigns on exercising and healthy eating, through adverts and TV programs. Bad habits have dangerous consequences that must not be overlooked. They might cause both physical and mental health issues in the long run. These include cell damage, cancer, poor health leading to pain or lethargy, unhappiness, and depression, as well as increased health problems in later life. So, be mindful of the decisions you make today to live a super healthy life when you grow older.
Tips to Quit Bad Habits
Though bad habits are hard to quit when they become deep-rooted in our lives, you still have a shot to reprogram your mind. First of all, you need to be mindful of the nature and frequency of a bad habit. Spot the triggers and try to identify the purpose behind your actions. Think about what made you form the habit in the first place. Then, commit yourself to get rid of it. Not easy? Try replacing the bad habit with something positive. For instance, instead of reaching for a bar of chocolate after a rough day, you’d better reward yourself with a healthier snack. Keep in mind that stress is a common trigger for bad habits. So, look for effective ways to ward it off. Go jogging or take a walk and give your brain a better reason to release dopamine!
Tell us, how do you manage to break yourself of bad habits?