Habits can be hard to break, but some of them need to go.
The following habits are making many of our lives more difficult, lonely and full of anxiety.
By reducing and cutting the following habits out of your life, you can return to a satisfying stasis and be ready to take on new challenges and opportunities that come up.
Let’s dive in.
1) Overuse of social media
Social media has connected people like never before, but it also has all sorts of downsides.
“42% of young adults reported feeling sad or depressed after using social media for an extended period of time.”
Social media has a habit of making people show only the best parts of their lives and creating jealousy and sadness in those who feel a fear of missing out (FOMO).
It’s also a time vacuum that leaves people feeling energetically drained and even lonelier after interacting with so many people on a purely virtual level.
2) Leaving too much for later
Do you have a procrastination habit? I do, although I’ve been working on improving it.
Procrastination is easier in the short term, but in the long-term it leads to a lot of stress and headaches.
Even though you can avoid what you need to do for a while, sooner or later it will catch up to you.
It’s like doing the dishes or putting them away:
When you leave them they just stack up, get encrusted with old food and become much harder to wash.
When you go for it and wash them up, it takes some discipline and motivation but they’re fresh and clean and you feel a sense of satisfaction and completion.
3) Undervaluing yourself and your time
Before asking anyone else to respect you, it’s necessary to respect yourself.
This means having boundaries on your time, energy, affection and schedule.
You can’t just be available for anyone who wants you around all the time: you need to build your own life that doesn’t depend on others.
This is easier said than done, but try to avoid the habit of being at the beck and call of people when they ask for you or want you to help them in a one-sided way.
This relates to the next point…
4) Being too agreeable and available to others
This relates to the point I made earlier about being overly available to others.
When you’re overly agreeable you can end up backing yourself into a corner.
Because you try to be everything to everybody, you end up being nothing to yourself and left feeling stranded in life.
It’s not a nice feeling to have and moreover other folks who aren’t well-intentioned may well try to take advantage of this over-agreeableness in you.
5) Bottling up your emotions and keeping them all inside
Emotions are difficult to deal with sometimes, but that doesn’t mean they can just be repressed or ignored.
One habit that makes life much harder than it needs to be is bottling up your emotions.
If you find that you tend to bury painful feelings like sadness and anger instead of expressing them, it’s time to find new approaches.
These could be new hobbies or situations wherein you get to express your emotions more authentically.
6) Eating unhealthy junk food on the go
What you eat is vitally important, but for far too many of us it’s a last-minute decision.
Eating unhealthy food or too much food on the go can become a major detriment to physical (and emotional) health.
Making a habit of eating more consciously, smaller portions and staying well hydrated will make an immense and positive difference in your life.
Begin practicing healthier food habits:
I guarantee you won’t regret it.
7) Living a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle
The habits around physical activity are some of the most important in life.
If you tend to live a fairly sedentary life, it’s time to change that.
Regardless of your level of mobility, age or health, find some physical activity to do that gets your blood pumping.
Begin implementing parts of your day that get you out and about and make you sweat.
You’ll feel much better, and your overall health will begin improving.
Plus, as it becomes a habit, your motivation to stick to your routine will increase.
8) Ignoring your sleep schedule
We spend 30 to 40% of our lives asleep:
To say sleep is important would be a huge understatement!
When you get a restful and sufficient sleep you feel much better and much more able to tackle the day in front of you.
When you don’t sleep well or get a less restful sleep, everything becomes much more stressful and hard.
Sleep matters, and making a habit of getting enough sleep and high quality sleep is vital.
9) Constantly multi-tasking
Multi-tasking is a useful skill depending on your job and interests.
But making a habit out of it can be draining and overwhelming.
You also develop the habit of diverting your attention so frequently that you end up fracturing your actual attention span and ability to focus on one thing for an extended period.
Constantly multi-tasking can become an addiction and cause real damage.
This ties directly into the next point:
10) Allowing yourself to be hit by an information overload
There’s so much information surrounding us, some useful, some not so useful.
It’s exhausting, and far too often we open ourselves up to it without really considering the drain on our energy and attention.
It’s important to make a habit of becoming more conscious about the information you consume and why.
Instead of just jumping into the latest focus of the news or pop culture, consider abstaining.
You have the power to direct your attention towards what you wish.
11) Remaining in toxic relationships
One of the worst habits you can get into is staying in toxic relationships.
It may have been good when you started, but a relationship that devolves down into an emotionally, sexually or even physically abusive situation is not something you want to stay in.
The roots of believing you can’t do better or even just seeking to avoid the drama of breaking up, can do enormous damage.
It’s better just to rip off the band aid.
Don’t get into the habit of believing that this toxic routine is all you deserve, because it’s not true and sometimes you won’t know that until you break free.
12) Being overly dependent on other people
Having people you can rely on is a great thing.
But depending on others is something I highly advise against.
Of course, we all rely on our parents at a young age and in our formative years, but this is something that’s supposed to wear off as we gain more independence and self-sufficiency.
When we return to a highly dependent mindset and habits in relationships, friendships and our job, we end up disempowering ourselves.
This is a good habit to become aware of and reduce.
13) Only seeing the problems and downsides of everything
Negativity can become an addiction:
I know because I used to be an addict.
The reality of existence is that much of what happens to us here and after we’re not here is a true mystery. By defining it as negative (or wholly positive) we strip it of its lived reality.
Letting things be what they are is a core principle of many philosophies such as Buddhism because it helps us break through to a place beyond labels and categories.
Sometimes life isn’t as bad as you think. It just is.
14) Trying to find an explanation for everything
There are many things which are explicable scientifically or even psychologically.
But trying to enumerate or understand everything in your life and in your surroundings can also demystify it in a way that becomes ultimately depressing.
Some things are better left a mystery.
I’m currently exploring the state of Virginia in autumn, for example, and enjoying the beautiful fall colors:
I could focus on why the leaves turn golden, red and brown and read extended explanations of that, but instead I make a habit of enjoying things without fully needing to understand them.
15) Living in the past or the future
The past and future are both important. But they aren’t a place for you to focus the majority of your time or attention.
The past is over, and whether you’re stuck in nostalgia or regret and pain, dwelling on it just traps the energy you could have available for the present.
The future hasn’t happened yet (but hopefully will):
Dwelling on your anxiety or excitement about the future also drains the energy you have available for your present and the endeavors you’re working on right now.