Whether you like to admit it or not, you probably have a few bad habits. There’s no reason to be ashamed of it. We all have them. Unfortunately, some people don’t even know they have a problem and an even greater number of people don’t realize the possible outcomes associated with continuing these bad habits. Just how long it might take to erase those bad habits can vary from person to person. Regardless, if you want to succeed at eliminating any of these poor habits, the first step is typically acknowledging your problem. We’ve compiled a list of six bad habits and some helpful tips and strategies to correct them.
Are you still blaming your procrastination on being a perfectionist? If so, according to a Canadian study, you’re not fooling anyone but yourself. The study estimates that as many as 20% of people are guilty of procrastinating and the true reason behind it is a lack of self-confidence. The solution? Willpower. If you want to break the habit bad enough, and you start believing in yourself, researchers say it is possible to make the change. Remember: If you believe it, you can achieve it.
2. Negative Thinking
If you refer to a half glass of water as half empty, chances are you’re a negative thinker. According to UK researchers, this may be a cause or a symptom of depression. They add that depression and negative thinking can combine to form a vicious cycle. How do you stop it? The Mayo Clinic suggests evaluating what aspects of your life are creating the negativity, hanging out with a positive and friendly crowd, making an effort to see the lighter side of life, exercising no less than three times per week, and thinking positive thoughts.
3. Nail Biting
Do you think nail biting is a harmless habit? Think again. It’s not only linked to a higher risk of infections and colds, but, according to Polish researchers, it could also be an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Want to stop? Cut your nails short and regularly chew gum. You could also consider wearing bandages over your fingernails. And, if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll be able to unlock the mystery as to how bandage-wearing Justin Bieber is able to attract models and actresses. If not, at least you’ll be curbing your bad habit, saving your nails, and reducing your risk of infection.
4. Sweetened Beverages
Did you trade in your favorite soda for the supposedly healthier diet version? Sure, it has fewer calories, but according to a recent Illinois study of more than 260,000 Americans, it could come at a price. The study found people drinking at least four servings of either fruit punch, ice tea, or diet sodas suffered from a greater risk of a future diagnosis of depression. Do yourself, and specifically your future mental health, a favor and ditch sweetened beverages altogether. Drink water. And, if you need a flavor shot, try adding lemon, orange, or lime juice.
5. Staying Connected
As the night winds down, are you finding it increasingly tougher to pry yourself away from your tablet, TV, or the Internet? Break this habit. Don’t worry, Leno, Kimmel, Letterman, Colbert, and Conan won’t miss you. And, those emails and Google searches can wait until the morning. Why? Studies indicate that staying connected to these devices is having a negative impact on your melatonin levels and resulting in inadequate sleep. Remember to power down your devices earlier. Virtually nothing you miss will be as valuable as the sleep you’ll gain.
6. Drinking Alcohol
For most, drinking alcohol is a rite of passage into adulthood. The problem is it’s also a habit-forming beverage that could lead to a variety of issues including liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, and ulcers. And, that doesn’t even take into consideration the damage to your wallet or waistline. The power is in you to stop. According to WebMD, the way to do so is by evaluating the reasons you’re drinking, crafting a plan to stop, enlisting the help of your family or friends, and sticking to the plan. If the problem is serious, contact your physician or Alcoholics Anonymous.