14 tiny habits that will kill you before you know it

Your habits can either make or break you. As Will Durant once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” The problem is most people don’t make a deliberate effort to craft their habits. They allow them to form accidentally without questioning why they do what they do.

While some of these habits may be beneficial, others can harm your overall well-being. You must take action and cut these habits out of your life and replace them with healthier ones that lead you to your desired life. Your future and well-being is in your hands.

Here are 14 tiny habits that will kill you before you know it:

1. Not sleeping enough/sleeping too much

Your body performs important functions while you sleep, like clearing out waste and releasing hormones. It’s when your body and brain can repair itself without interruption. Thus, sleep is essential for good health. Sleep is required for survival, hence we spend a third of our lives investing in it.

However, it’s still possible to overdo or underdo it. According to the Sleep Foundation, being in a prolonged state of sleep debt or sleep deprivation regularly increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.

Being sleep-deprived is also linked to other problems like reduced immune function, metabolic dysregulation, weight gain, and increased risk of falls and accidents. Studies have also found that prolonged sleep deprivation also affects memory and cognitive functions.

Here’s the thing: Most people only worry about not getting enough sleep, but getting too much sleep may also pose several health concerns and be a sign of underlying health conditions. According to the Sleep Foundation, oversleeping impacts overall health and can negatively affect you, similar to sleep deprivation.

Some health issues associated with oversleeping include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Headaches

That said, the right amount of sleep varies from person to person. Experts generally report around 7 to 9 hours is enough. It may be a sign of a deeper issue if you regularly need more than 10 hours of sleep to feel rested.

2. Not exercising

One of the most important things you can do for your health is engage in regular physical activity. This can help you improve your muscle strength and boost your cardiovascular endurance. Namely, exercise sends oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

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A better-functioning cardiovascular system can make you feel more energized and increase your ability to tackle daily activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not getting enough physical activity can lead to heart disease—even for people who have no other risk factors. It may also increase your odds of developing other heart disease risk factors, like obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

3. Excessive eating

People overeat for several reasons, ranging from boredom to stress to poor dieting choices and more. Occasionally eating an oversized meal or snack wouldn’t do much harm, but maintaining a consistent excessive eating habit can lead to serious health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart and blood vessel conditions, and obesity.

Instead of mindlessly consuming food, pay attention to when you eat. Why you eat matters too. For the most part, the role of food is to provide the body with energy to function effectively. If your purpose for eating is outside of that, you’re better off holding back. Following a well-crafted balanced diet plan could also be a good solution.

4. Not doing enough social activities

We humans depend on social interaction and cooperation to survive and thrive. Without social and emotional connections, we’re doomed. Research shows that those who chronically lack social contact are at a higher risk of experiencing elevated levels of stress. To step things up a notch: A study from 2010 discovered that those with weaker social relationships have a higher risk of early mortality than those who did not. Get out and start socializing. If you don’t know where to start, join a community or volunteer.

5. Spending too much time behind screens

As much as technology helps us get ahead, too much screen time is not good for you. Looking at screens for too long can cause fatigue or discomfort in your eyes and, in the worst cases, can cause dimmed vision. Beyond that, the light from screens signals to your brain to stay alert.

This constant input throughout the day can make it difficult to unwind at night. You’re also more prone to headaches, which are caused by screen glare or display brightness. Experts suggest adults limit their screen time outside of work to less than two hours per day. Instead of spending time on the screen, use your free time for physical activity. Keep your body moving to stay healthy.

7. Overworking

There’s tons of research to suggest that working long hours doesn’t make you more productive. A study from Standford University revealed that productivity sharply declines when a person works more than 50 hours a week. The results also show that any work done after 50 hours is pointless because productivity drops so much. If you work 70 hours, you’re effectively getting the same amount of work done as someone working 55. Not only is overworking bad from a productivity point of view, but it’s also bad from a health standpoint.

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The stress from working too much can increase the production of the hormone cortisol, which elevates the risk of heart attack or stroke. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO), long work hours have been the cause of death for hundreds of thousands of people annually. The study revealed that working 55 or more hours per week was associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of death from heart disease compared to working 35 to 40 hours per week.,

8. Staying in unhealthy relationships

People often get stuck in unhealthy relationships out of fear — not because they’re unaware. The fear of being alone and low self-worth drives their decisions. If they’ve invested heavily in the relationship, that may also play a role. In psychology, this is known as the sunk cost fallacy. It’s when a person is reluctant to abandon a course of action because they’ve put a lot into it.

The problem is being in an unhealthy relationship negatively affects your well-being. Your anxiety levels go up, you feel more depressed, you experience more body pains, and, worst of all, your self-esteem is destroyed. It’s better to leave than remain in something bad for you.

9. Not getting enough sunlight

Everyone knows too much sunlight is unhealthy, but not enough can also be bad. For context, regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a significant role in keeping your immune system healthy. It does so by boosting your immune cells’ production of pathogen-fighting proteins.

Thus, a lack of exposure to sunlight may result in a weakened immune system, which means you’re more susceptible to getting the flu, cold, or other infections. As a rule of thumb, try to get at least 10-30 minutes of sunlight daily.

10. Negative mental attitude

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” The wrong mental attitude is a negative mental attitude. This is when your outlook on almost everything is generally pessimistic.

Not only does it zap the life out of the beautiful world around you, but it also blinds you to opportunities and repels people from you — people don’t like to hang around a negative Nancy.

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11. Sitting for long hours

Several studies suggest that sitting for long periods is linked to a series of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and more. It can also take a toll on your mental health. Even if your job is office-based, take short breaks where you walk around and move your body. You could also invest in a standing desk, which is much better than sitting.

12. Bad posture

Posture is defined by the position of your body while seated or standing. It describes the alignment of your spine with your head, shoulders, and hips. Good posture means your spine is neutral, meaning your muscle groups, joints, and ligaments are aligned such that stress on them is reduced, your body is flexible, and your balance is easily maintained.

Bad posture occurs when one is out of alignment. It can result in problems like muscle or joint strain or body pain. It may also affect your appearance and confidence. Always do your best to display good posture. This sends positive signals to everyone around you and is better for you overall.

@dr.dan_dptThis might be the easiest routine you can do to improve your posture with just household items. Repeat on a daily basis and you will notice that you will be having a much easier time standing tall with your shoulders in a good position.#physicaltherapy#posturecorrection#posturecheck♬ original sound – Dr. Dan, DPT

13. Spending money before it arrives

Spending money before it arrives in your bank is the fastest way to land yourself in debt. I used to do this quite a lot. Before I got paid, I’d already spent the money in my head, and sometimes, I’d even go as far as using my credit card.

This caused me problems when clients delayed payments or when I was not paid as much as I expected. Sometimes, I often found more important needs came up when I got paid, which meant I never put back the money as I intended to. It was just stress. The best thing you can do is live below your means. If you haven’t got the cash to pay for it, don’t buy it.

14. Living on autopilot

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The funny thing is those who fall into this category don’t think they’re insane; they’re just comfortable.

They’ve become used to thinking the same thoughts, carrying out the same habits, and doing the same things. The problem is that when you stop challenging yourself, you stop growing. You stop getting better and begin accepting the status quo.

If you want your life to get progressively better, you must do all you can to prevent this from happening. Don’t live on autopilot. Decide to challenge yourself.

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