Behavior that leaves you angry, worried, or stressed all of the time
Why it’s Dangerous: An unhappy lifestyle releases a cascade of stress hormones that increase your blood pressure and blood sugar, lower immunity, slow digestion, and make you feel downright mean. Nature intended stress to be a short-lived fight-or-flight response to a threat, but modern life can lead to chronic stress and to far-reaching impacts on your health, such as increased risk of being overweight and overeating high-fat, sugary foods. Both raise your odds for heart disease and diabetes.
Why You Should Stop: Stress-reduction techniques have been proven to lower blood sugar, improve immunity, reduce depression, ease chronic pain, lower blood sugar, and possibly protect your heart, too. A regained sense of joy and control is worth its weight in gold, and the physical health benefits will be substantial as well.
Reverse the Habit:
– Learn to stop getting stressed so easily: How you react to triggers determines your stress level. Next time you feel a situation emerging, work hard at managing it and staying cool.
– Learn a formal stress-relief process: Among the most proven are yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.
– Rediscover optimism: Pessimism is a learned behavior. Regaining your sense of hope can go a long way toward stifling stress and regaining a sense of happiness.
– Eat healthily and exercise: A healthy lifestyle does wonders for your ability to manage stressful situations.
– Enjoy a relaxing hobby: Calm down by immersing yourself fully during your downtime.
– Rediscover silliness: Remember that in every grown adult resides a young child. You’re older, but your spirit doesn’t have to be. Stop suppressing your sense of fun and silliness and remember to enjoy yourself. Be sure you check out these 37 tips for managing stress while you’re at it.
Why It’s Dangerous: Skipping the first meal of the day can have serious consequences for your weight, your energy levels, and even your blood sugar. Munching a piece of morning toast or crunching a bowl of bran flakes signals to your metabolism that it’s time to kick things up a notch. Skipping the fuel keeps your metabolism running on low, which can lead to weight gain and sluggishness. You’ll also create a starve-now-indulge-later eating pattern, which is why breakfast-skippers tend to overeat later in the day.
Why You Should Stop: Starting a breakfast routine is easy. The moment you do, you take a major step towards fixing the problems skipping breakfast caused, including excess weight and unhealthy blood sugar swings. Eating breakfast will result in more stable blood sugar, which means fewer food cravings and hunger pangs later in the day. Because you’re re-fueling your body early in the day, you’ll also have more energy in the morning. You may find that you start to control your weight more easily, too.
Reverse the Habit:
– Work with your body: Not hungry first thing in the day? Wait an hour or two until you’re ready to eat.
– Eat foods you like: No need to start the day with breakfast food. Have a sandwich, a bowl of soup, or last night’s leftovers—whatever your pleasure is.
– No time? Make a portable breakfast sandwich: Bring along a piece of fruit, and maybe some milk in a coffee mug.
– Grab an energy bar and a cup of yogurt: Both are instantly ready, and together they are the perfect amount of nutrients and calories to start your day.
– Have a smoothie: Whirl low-fat yogurt, frozen berries, half a banana, a little OJ, and some honey in a blender. It’s the ultimate healthy on-the-go breakfast.
– Set things up in advance: Prep breakfast the night before, so you can eat it at the kitchen table in 10 minutes or less.
Drinking too much alcohol
Why It’s Dangerous: If you over-drink on a regular basis, alcohol can be a poison. Women who regularly consume two or more drinks a day and men who regularly down three or more are at higher risk for liver damage, various cancers including those of the liver and mouth, high blood pressure, and depression. Women, who are more sensitive to alcohol, can also develop heart disease, brittle bones, and even memory loss.
Why You Should Stop: Soon after you cut back or quit, your digestion will improve and you’ll sleep more soundly. Your blood sugar will be lower and steadier, your blood pressure may fall toward a healthier range, and even your brain will bounce back. You’ll have a healthier liver and cardiovascular system. Since you’re limiting your alcohol intake, you’ll also be cutting your risk of being in a car accident. On top of feeling more energetic, you’ll probably have better relationships with your family and friends, if drinking has caused problems in the past.
Reverse the Habit:
– Stick to healthy limits: That’s two or less drinks per day for men, one for women.
– Reserve alcohol for meals: You’re more likely to sip your drink slowly that way.
– Drink for flavor, not to get drunk: As an adult, you shouldn’t drink to escape. Find a healthier coping mechanism.
– Can’t stop? Acknowledge the addiction: Talk with your doctor and contact a support group like AA.
– Take screenings for bone density and cancers seriously: Check with your doctor if you should be screened more often.
– Liver damaged? Get a health plan: Talk to a doctor about a high-calorie diet to help your liver regenerate.
Don’t miss these 17 tips to help you cut back on drinking, too.