Everyone has a good understanding of which habits are good and which are not. However, some bad habits are much worse than you might realize. When you understand how damaging many common negative habits really are, you should be more motivated to start engaging in positive changes to your behavior. Always remember, a bad habit is generally more damaging than a good habit is helpful.
See how eliminating a negative habit will often be of greater benefit than instilling a positive habit:
- Not Sleeping Long Enough.
Failing to sleep enough results in several problems, including but not limited to decreased motor functioning, decreased memory, poor decision making, greater risk for heart attacks, and decreased longevity. Remember, your body needs regular and sufficient sleep.
- Not Flossing.
Beyond removing plaque from your teeth, there are bacteria that are implicated in different forms of heart disease that primarily reside in the mouth. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your teeth. Cavities provide an opportunity for these bacteria to make their way into the bloodstream, which flossing can help prevent.
- Eating When You’re Not Hungry.
One of the greatest threats to health is obesity. Eating when you’re not even hungry greatly increases the odds of becoming severely overweight. One of the best tips I heard people say who successfully balanced their diets was that once they feel full, they stop eating, even if they haven’t finished their meal.
- Debt Spending.
Using debt to purchase consumer items is common, and it’s detrimental to your financial health. This financial stress is bad for both your mind and body. Financial education can help save your from anxiety and unnecessary stress.
Waiting until the last minute can result in being late with a task, not doing your best work or even adequate work due to a lack of time, or not having everything you need to complete a task. Starting early allows you to deal with unseen obstacles. Waiting too long to get started requires that everything goes perfectly.
Talking about others is rude and potentially problematic. Others don’t trust those that gossip. You might say something about someone that gets back to them. You develop a bad reputation. You also waste your valuable time.
- Spending time with negative people.
Negative people hurt you more than you think. You become more like the people you spend time with. Spend time with people that you want to be like and avoid the others to the best of your ability.
- Staying in bad relationships.
Some people feel the need to be in a relationship no matter how bad it gets. It’s worse to be in a bad relationship than it is to be alone. Get out of a bad relationship as soon as possible and start looking for a better match if you don’t like being alone.
- Negative thinking.
Negative thoughts lead to a distorted view of the world that makes life much more challenging. Negative thoughts lead to incorrect actions. Incorrect actions lead to a difficult life. Negative thinking poisons your mind and your results.
Behaviorally, negatively framed thoughts focus on what you find aversive, rather than what you need to do to be rewarded (reinforced). This makes your behaviors shaped through the lens of being punishers (decreasers in your old behaviors)
Bad habits can be more damaging than you realize. A bad habit is similar to loading rocks in your backpack while climbing up a hill. Focus on eliminating bad habits before building positive habits. Those bad are you back!