We all wonder sometimes whether our habits or behaviors are healthy or taking us closer to aging. While you cannot get rid of the civilization that surrounds you and cannot be the obscure one all the time, there are some small lifestyle changes you can make to live longer and be healthier. Quitting some of these habits and foods can be hard at first. You also have to remember that every new habit takes at least six weeks to get used to, so you need a lot of patience. However, the end result will be worth it; a healthier and happier you and a longer life.

  1. Laziness

While we sometimes simply feel like we have done too much, getting lazy is not a way to have a good life. Instead of slumping down on the sofa as soon as you get home from work, tired and all, you will have to find something to do that makes you happy and content. Inactivity will make your muscles and brain lazy. Even if you are physically tired, you can still read on the sofa. If your head is buzzing after a hard day at work, you can clear it by going for a walk or jog. If you often find yourself doing simply nothing you have a problem and need to make a change.

  1. Depending on Other People

No matter if you are in a romantic relationship and can’t imagine living without the other person, or rely on your parents too much, it is not healthy. First of all you have to be OK and content with yourself, or everything you do will depend on others. You first have to look out for yourself so you can make others happy. Other people cannot make you feel content and happy; only you can do that. If your mood depends on how others behave around you, you should try meditation to feel whole without constant confirmations.

  1. Procrastination

One of the main causes of personal and professional failure is procrastination. Whether you feel like you need to sleep on the problem for a couple of days, or are telling yourself that things will sort themselves out, you are doing more harm than good by not acting. Just imagine if you put off booking a doctor’s appointment just because you were worried about the test results? It sounds silly, but some people actually behave this way. While it is not good to jump into things without thinking, too much hesitation can be just as bad.

  1. Microwave Food

You should always know what is in your food. Microwave meals might be comfortable and easy, even taste good, but you should not rely on them. They have hardly any nutrition in them, and the ingredients’ description is usually vague on the box. You need to step up your game and learn to cook from scratch, so you always know what you are eating and avoid the harmful chemicals found in preserved and frozen meals.

  1. Candy

It is not easy to say goodbye to candy. It is sweet, comforting, and often our only pleasure. If, however, you find a way to replace it with fruit or even natural sweets, such as dried pitted dates or Goji berries, you will be just as satisfied over time and much healthier. You will not only protect your dental health, but also prevent diabetes and other related issues caused by excess sugar intake. Sugary food, however, doesn’t always come in the form of candy; there’s loads of sugar in ketchup, shop bought jam, and preserves.

  1. Fizzy Drinks

Fizzy drinks are not only bad for your oral health, but also your mind. They can cause indigestion and bloating, and are often full of unhealthy sweeteners. There’s no reason why you can’t make your own ice green tea using stevia and other healthy sweeteners. Once you have mastered this skill, you will never want to go back to the convenient soda.  

  1. Processed Carbs

Many people – even those who don’t suffer from celiac disease – go on a gluten free or low carb diet. There are various trends that have won over people over the past few decades; low carb, ketogenic, paleo, and gluten free. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you might find it extremely hard to cut out pastry and bread from your diet, but it is not impossible. You could replace regular flour with buckwheat or coconut products, and get more nutritional value with every meal.

  1. Preservatives

If you like snacking on comfort food, such as chocolate and biscuits, you are working on shortening your own life. There are several healthy alternatives to biscuits and chips, and they come without the preservatives. The bad news is that the different chemicals used to preserve your food are not thoroughly researched, and even scientists don’t know whether or not they are related to long term health conditions. It is best to avoid them. You can make your own chips and onion rings in an air fryer without oil, and you will know exactly what’s on your plate.

  1. Milk

There is a reason why many dietitians advise you to avoid milk, even if you are not lactose intolerant.  The hormone treatments of cows are not regulated around the world. It is a proven fact that today’s cows produce multiple times the amount they used to hundreds of years ago. Not to mention the different medication that they receive that is in your milk bottle. After all, cow’s milk is designed to be consumed by the calves and not humans.

  1. Nicotine

Even if you don’t smoke, you might be subject to second hand smoking. If you have family members who smoke, it is your responsibility to convince them to give up. Even those who made the change might develop COPD later in life, due to the tar and toxins in tobacco products. If you go out at night and people smoke, make it your first job to wash your hair, have a shower, and put your clothes in the washing machine.

  1. Alcohol

While some people say that a glass of red wine or two can be beneficial for your health, you might want to quit drinking, especially if it affects your mind and mood. People often develop alcohol intolerance and react badly, getting aggressive and moody. When making a decision you should consider the most important benefits of quitting alcohol and ask yourself whether you really need this substance to feel good about yourself.

  1. Painkillers

Even if you are dealing with a long term health condition and a chronic illness, you should not rely on painkillers. They can be extremely addictive, and it is just as hard to quit taking them as giving up alcohol or other drugs. Make sure that you try alternative medication and hypnosis before you would reach for the box.

  1. Trying to Please Others

Finally, it is important that you stop trying to live a life that pleases others. You need to develop your own values and vision in life, so you can fulfill your personal mission. If you chase money just to show off your wealth, you will forget to enjoy life. If you are trying to achieve social status, but have to behave a certain way, you are causing unnecessary stress that will shorten your life.

Whether you would like to stay healthy for longer or simply live longer, quitting these unhealthy and unhelpful habits will help you achieve your goal. Don’t allow yourself to fall for the empty promises of quick meals, alcohol, or fizzy drinks, and treat your body as if it was your own temple.

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