Each of us has our own individual shortcomings, but bad habits are often similar. Living according to a certain schedule, we sometimes do not have time to notice how unhealthy addictions make their way into our routine — from excessive alcohol abuse to late bedtime waste.
And if at first these vices seem nice and pleasant, then soon we begin to notice their very unpleasant side effects-from deterioration of well-being to loss of productivity.
It can’t go on like this, and below we have collected effective ways to break out of the captivity of bad habits, recommended by experts.
Alcohol is a pleasant thing, but very insidious. It can be very difficult to track the moment when you start to get used to it, and then to depend on it. At first, you just have a drink with friends every Friday or weekend, then you delight yourself with a bottle after a particularly difficult day and before you know it, a glass of alcohol becomes a mandatory end to any day.
Meanwhile, drinking more than two drinks a day or 14 drinks a week can weaken your immune system and cause a cascade of other problems, from poor sleep to an increased risk of cancer.
When deciding to limit yourself to alcohol, Aaron White, Ph. D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, advises trying to avoid an all-or-nothing approach that can provoke relapses.
One way to move away from this bad habit gradually is to break the automatism of the routine. Instead of the usual ritual with beer or whiskey every night, prepare a new interesting cocktail with low or zero alcohol content. The effort and pleasure of creating something new should help you start drinking a little less.
2. Addiction to constant snacks
Delicious food raises our spirits and helps us feel satisfied. But while eating is vital for our body, with the abundance of snacks and sweets on the market, we always have the risk of constantly delighting ourselves with delicious treats, unconsciously dragging them into our mouths throughout the day-especially in the evenings and at night.
And this threatens not only to increase the indicators on the scales, but also to reduce energy levels, digestive disorders, poor sleep, and even the development of such serious health problems as diabetes.
“One way to reduce your consumption of comfort food is to limit your meals to a specific setting, such as the kitchen table,” advises psychologist Wendy Wood, Ph. D., author of Good Habits, Bad Habits.
This helps you associate the table with food and is less likely to consume it elsewhere.
3. Postponing training “for later”
Stop deceiving yourself and others by claiming that you are too busy to train! Let’s say more — even if you finally have a free minute, without willpower and motivation, you are unlikely to spend it on sports.
The more time we have, the more we have to waste. This is a finding from a large body of research on procrastination, which has found that people are often less willing to take on a task when they are given extra time to complete it.
“Whether you work at home or in the office, the antidote to the habit of skipping workouts is the same: set aside time and space for exercise,” says Pierce Steele, Ph. D., a psychologist at the University of Calgary.
He recalls that routine is the kryptonite of procrastination, because once formed, the habit of exercising can eliminate the temptation to quit training.
“Habits are like highways without exit ramps,” Steele adds.
Schedule your workouts for specific days and, if necessary, install a dedicated activity tracker, such as Strava, to get extra motivation.
4. Late withdrawal
After the end of the working day, we need to have time to do a lot of things before lights out. Yes, it is, but let’s face it: the main reason for our late lights — out is often not household chores, but the next episode of a favorite TV series or a feed on social networks.
It is especially easy to become an owl when you work remotely, or you have a flexible schedule, but even in this case, it is quite possible to get rid of the habit of going to bed in the morning.
If you do not have a serious sleep disorder, because of which you need to visit a doctor and start taking their prescribed medications, then the solution to the problem is very simple. Start, finally, to adhere to the regime and at least half an hour before bedtime do nothing.
“It sounds simple, but it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done,” says Michael Perlis, Ph. D., director of behavioral sleep medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.
At first, you will probably toss and turn and feel exhausted in the morning, but if you overcome the desire to take a nap in the afternoon and continue to adhere to the established schedule, you will soon correct your sleep schedule — according to Perlis, this usually takes 3-5 days.
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