The thing about habits is that they are hard to stop, hard to identify when it started and sometimes hard to figure out why we do them. It’s important to understand the original cause of habits. We have to distinguish intentional and unintentional habits.

When we have an intention and purpose behind forming a habit, usually they are positive and require patience and discipline to form. However, if the habits were completely unintentional, they are easy to adopt, hard to break and most concerningly, hard to even identify because we don’t even know if the habit is bad, to begin with.

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This is why, before we try to improve our health and lifestyles, let’s assess the effects and influence of habits. Intentionally creating good habits for your health and lifestyle is great. Unintentionally forming bad habits is the main cause of concern that we will delve into this article.

When bad lifestyle habits are made, our health, physical and mental condition can deteriorate. The scary thing about bad lifestyle habits is that sometimes you don’t even know if they’re harmful. 

With that being said, here are five lifestyle habits you need to stop.

1. Sitting down too much

Lifestyle Habits You Really Should Stop

When you’re at the office or school, you’ll spend a lot of time sitting. When you get home, you want to rest, and often people will do that by sitting. By sitting too much and having a sedentary lifestyle, you’re not doing your back, joints, and bones any favours.

By sitting down too much, your body doesn’t get any exercise, your joints and bones weaken as you don’t use them and you’ll gain weight as you aren’t burning any calories through movement. Even though sitting can be seen as harmless, by sitting too much as a routine, it will add up and take a toll on your body

The solution: Create a routine where you have to get physical at least once during work and once at home. This can mean setting aside 10 minutes in the office to walk around, stand up and stretch.

When you get home, set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour for physical activity. You can hit the gym, play sports with friends or even walk around the neighbourhood. Doing this consistently will help you to break the habit of sitting down too much and reverse its negative effects.

2. Using electronics before bed

Lifestyle Habits You Really Should Stop

This is one of the worst habits in most adults and more concerningly, in children in our current society. Many experts believe that exposure to too much blue light before hitting the pillow can harm your ability to fall asleep as well as affect its quality.

With the majority of adults struggling to sleep in the UAE, electronics will only cause further problems. (Read our blog about Sleep deprivation here.)

The solution: Get rid of all electronic gadgets and devices from your bedroom or turn them off well before going to bed. This means creating a routine before going to bed, that will help you to have a better quality sleep.

Many experts believe that switching off electronic devices 20 minutes before you go to bed, should keep you on the safe side.

3. Binge eating snacks

Lifestyle Habits You Really Should Stop

If you’re eating too many snacks between meals or just before bed, you need to stop. Even if they are low in calories or very small portions, they will add up eventually.

And by turning this bad practice into a habit, you’ll be gaining weight without being able to explain how or why as you’re under the impression that small portions and low-calorie snacks couldn’t possibly be the reason.

The solution: Firstly you shouldn’t be snacking on junk food if you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle. If you have junk food, get rid of it from home entirely, so you don’t have to give in to your cravings.

Secondly, start monitoring your calories by calculating your daily intake. Many online applications can help you. Once you start counting your calories and macronutrients, you’ll be able to limit your snacks, so they don’t add up to harmful effects to your body.

4. Creating unrealistic goals for yourself

Lifestyle Habits You Really Should Stop

This is a habit most people don’t even realize. When setting personal goals, people are so fixated on the result. They don’t truly understand or comprehend the journey of getting there.

This results in goals that are never met because people get lost along the way. This often happens with goals such as dieting, fitness, social life, and other personal development matters.

The solution: It’s ok to look and desire the final picture of the goal. But look at it, assess it and backtrack from there. By plotting the journey towards reaching the outcome, you’ll set shorter key targets that are achievable.

This will also prevent you from giving up and will also give you a sense of responsibility and build discipline. By being realistic and managing your expectations, your goal won’t be so hard to achieve anymore.

5. Comparing yourself with others

Lifestyle Habits You Really Should Stop

Some people don’t see this as a bad habit as comparing yourself with others can sometimes motivate you or push you to achieve greater things. But when this becomes a habit and is overused, this can significantly affect your mental health as well as your physical health.

Comparing yourself with others will result in you treating yourself according to the needs of others as opposed to your needs.

The solution: Embrace who you are and evaluate yourself based on your own life. Everyone has different genetics, financial and social backgrounds. We need to treat ourselves according to our own. Learn to embrace yourself, and your lifestyle and health will follow. Accept what cannot be changed and before you know it, this bad habit will end.

Are You Still Unsure What to Do?

These are only a few bad habits. There are still hundreds more that are common in most people. If none of the solutions works for you, it’s always ok to reach out and seek help. Everyone has bad habits, and everyone has their problems. You should never have to feel alone.

One of the best resources in identifying and breaking bad habits is to speak with a medical expert. This can be your doctor or a psychiatrist. 

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.