5 Healthier Alternatives To Bad Habits That Will Change Your Life

These healthier alternatives to bad habits will change your life for the better and pave the way for a happier, healthier lifestyle

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September 23, 2019
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No matter how disciplined we are, we all have habits that we’d do better without. Habits constitute an important part of our lives as most of our day consists of performing actions we’ve performed a thousand times before. We don’t think about these actions but do them out of habit and even when we recognize that they are harmful to us and try to stop ourselves, we keep coming back to them. Leaving a bad habit behind is not easy but it’s possible, you just need the right approach and an ample amount of persistence.

The key thing to consider here is that you don’t just cut out a habit of your life, but you replace it with a healthier alternative. Most of our bad habits are born out of stress or boredom, so you need to find new ways of dealing with them if you want your new, healthy lifestyle to last and your bad habits not creeping back upon you. Here are a few ways in which you can swap your bad habits to better ones.

Moving instead of being idle

Not getting enough physical activity is a worldwide problem nowadays. We usually drive our cars or take public transport to work, where we continue to sit for hours on end only to come home to more resting on our couch. Some things cannot be helped, but others certainly can be. For a start, if your workplace is within a reasonable distance, walk instead of driving – or perhaps get on your bike and get a dose of physical activity early in the morning. We also tend to work while sitting down, but you can swap the habit of sitting too much with the help of a standing desk or an adjustable desk that will allow you to change positions throughout the day. When the time for a work break comes, don’t just sit elsewhere. Use those few minutes to walk around a bit and get your circulation going.

Engaging in active hobbies instead of too much technology

Technology has most of us enslaved at least to a degree – after all, what is the first thing you do after waking up? If your answer to this question is not checking your phone, congratulations, but for the majority, the habit of spending too much time hooked up on social media is a genuine problem. The first thing you should do is truly ditch those morning checks and swap them for a more mindful, quiet morning routine that won’t clutter your mind and hinder your productivity. For instance, meditate for a few minutes or do yoga. When it comes to your free time, again, some technology is okay, but being idle too much affects your health badly, so it’s recommended that you swap some of your time spent looking at screens for active hobbies, preferably something done outdoors such as a sports activity, but even just picking up a book and reading offline can make a difference.

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Swapping harmful substances

Some habits are more harmful than others, and there is no doubt that smoking is one of the worst things you could do for your body (and those around you). Unfortunately, it’s also one of those habits that are not so easy to quit. Still, it’s never too late to turn your habits around and make a significant change in your life. If you’ve tried a few methods and it doesn’t seem to work, consider a different approach. Swap your traditional cigarettes with e-cigarettes as this can be a more natural transition that won’t have you reach for your pack of cigarettes (which you should get rid of, to begin with, so that it’s not within easy access) as you will still be performing those motoric actions that you’re used to.

Creating a healthier diet

A lot of us today don’t have time to prepare food and end up turning to fast food more often than we would like simply because of its availability. However, this habit can be worked on. For a start, try swapping your visits at Burger Kings with places that specialize in healthy food. At the same time, start getting into meal planning and you might find that cooking a few times a week and preparing your meals in advance will prevent you from giving in to the call of those fast food junctions. The same goes for snacking. We all love having some chips while watching TV, but if you stocked your pantry with healthy alternatives (for example, vegetable chips as well as dried fruit instead of sweets), you’ll naturally reach for those. Instead of sugary sodas, turn to cold press juices that provide you with vitamins but still taste delicious.

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Learning to say no

While this might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you’re thinking about your bad habits, putting other people and their needs above yours all the time and never saying no when someone asks you a favor is indeed a detrimental habit. This is not to say that you shouldn’t help other people, this is just to say that when it gets to the point where you’re experiencing difficulties, have trouble juggling your (and other people’s) responsibilities and become constantly stressed out because of it, it’s time to turn things around and learn how to say no. This won’t make you selfish – this is only a reasonable thing to do. So, instead of prioritizing other people, adopt the habit of placing yourself and your mental health first.

Habits make up our lives but they are not as permanent as they might seem. While it might look like an impossibility to change something you’ve been doing the same way for years and years, it is very much a possibility. Swapping your bad habits to healthier alternatives will require you to put in an effort at first, but as time passes, these new routines will come as naturally as your previous habits did. So, all you have to do is want to change and try.