15 Bad Habits & How To Stop Them For A Happier You

bad habits and toxic habits to stop immediately for a happier life

Bad habits prevent you from truly being your best self and from being happier. These unhealthy habits also prevent you from successes and from being open to life-changing opportunities.

The worst part of toxic habits is that they can sometimes be inconspicuous. This means that not only are they harder to spot, but they’re also harder to stop. The great news is that with some effort, you can spot them, take steps to stop them, and replace them with healthier habits.

Unhealthy & List Of Bad Habits To Avoid

1. Not Prioritizing Self Care

Life can be fast-paced and feels like there’s always something to do – especially now. But if you don’t prioritize and ensure that you slow down and take care of yourself, your body will do it for you and force you to rest. And really, what is better? A rest that you’re forced into? Or one where you can actually enjoy with a relaxing self-care routine? Try some of these self care ideas to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul.

2. Not Practicing Self Love

Practicing self love is crucial for a better life. There’s nobody that you will ever spend more time with. Treat yourself with the love, honor and respect that you deserve. The way you love yourself sets the tone for how others treat you and more importantly, for what you will and will not accept.

3. Self Critiquing Too Much

While it’s good to be aware of your shortcomings and grow from your mistakes, it’s possible to be too critical of yourself. Self-critiquing too much can lead to the destruction of your self-confidence and self-worth. Focusing too much on the negatives and striving for perfection can do more damage than good.

4. Comparing yourself to others

Comparing yourself to other people can be very damaging to your self-worth. This toxic habit makes you second guess yourself and your value. It takes away from your uniqueness and prevents you from being and sharing your gifts and qualities with yourself and your loved ones. It can stop you from trying because you think you’re not good enough and someone can do it better.

But the truth is that your voice, your value, and your contribution can never ever be replaced. Work towards not comparing yourself with others by taking a social media break, ending unhealthy relationships and by realizing and owning how awesome you are.

5. Self Doubt

Believing in yourself is critical to living a happy, fulfilled and successful life.

Doubting your abilities and your strengths, putting yourself down and negative self-talk are incredibly harmful habits.

Instead, use positive affirmations to change your mindset and start believing in your abilities. 

6. Needing Too Much Control

You have control over your actions, reactions, and your decisions.

When it comes to situations that are out of your control, focus on your reaction and your role in the situation. More often than not, the best way to approach this is with positivity. Always ask yourself, what’s the lesson? What’s ‘the good’ in this situation? What are you going to do to overcome and make the best out of a situation that you cannot control?

7. Wasting Time and Procrastinating

Even though life is busy, prioritizing is key to getting the things that are most important done. Sometimes, we fall into the bad habit of wasting time on things that aren’t important – scrolling through social media, for example.

Reclaim your “lost” time by doing a time audit. There are lots of apps available now to track your time over a period so that you can see where you are spending your time. Use this information to change the way you do things and use your time more wisely. Focus your time and attention on things that add value to your life.

Procrastinating is a bad habit that alot of us struggle with. You may intentionally avoid certain tasks by doing something more enjoyable but less important. The stinger is that the tasks that you’re avoiding still need to get done and when you finally get around to it, you most likely have to rush and don’t give it your best, leading to an undesired outcome. Procrastinating can also lead to feeling demotivated and a lower self confidence.

To stop this bad habit, try promising yourself a reward for completing the tasks, be more proactive with the type of tasks that you usually procrastinate with – as they arise, try your best to act on it and “get it out of the way” and maybe even ask a friend to check in with you to ensure that you’re staying on track.

toxic habits to stop now for a happier life

8. Letting Your Past Define You

Your past is gone, don’t let it negatively affect your future. When you let your past define and control you, you’re setting yourself up for a crappy future. You’re prolonging the pain or negative feelings you had with your past experiences and allowing yourself to live there.

Instead, take all the good, work through the bad, and embrace the lessons you’ve learned. Live in the moment and look towards a bright tomorrow.

9. Letting Mistakes Define You

We all make mistakes but we are not our mistakes.

It can feel easier to let the fear of repeating a mistake prevent you from trying again. However, the problem with this reaction is that you’re most probably preventing yourself from achieving great things. You’re not allowing yourself to live up to your potential.

The best thing you can do is learn from your mistakes so that you grow and become a better version of yourself. Recognize and learn critical lessons from your mistakes to gain fresh perspectives and angles to tackle your situation, goal, or dream. Arm yourself with these lessons to adjust or change bad or toxic behaviors and to help make better future decisions.

10. Not Forgiving

Forgiving is not as simple as just saying sorry. Forgiving others is just as important as forgiving yourself.

Forgiving and letting go is definitely not an overnight process but you can make great strides once you put your mind to it and you intentionally take the right steps to heal.

You may be able to work through situations on your own or you may need professional help. The important thing is that you take the necessary time and put in the effort to be able to truly forgive and let go.

11. Negativity and Pessimism

Bad things obviously happen in life but harping on it is just no good. Developing a negative mindset and outlook on life is a recipe for a pretty unhappy life.

Instead, I strive to see that there’s beauty in everything and that there’s good in every situation. Try taking your tough moments as lessons and an opportunity for growth.

If negativity is a bad habit that you are trying to stop, try learning to recognize what triggers your negative thoughts. Once you know your triggers, you can stop your negative thoughts and instead replace them with positive thoughts and affirmations.

12. Complaining

Complaining or being around someone who complains a lot is emotionally draining and stressful. Constantly complaining is not only a downer, it’s unproductive. What’s going to change when you focus most or all of your energy on seeing the bad and complaining?

Instead, learn to take full responsibility for your life, including your actions and reactions to situations. Find ways to cool off, talk with a loved one, or journal. Then, focus on lessons to be learned and problem-solving. If you aren’t happy with something, find a way to make a change! Sometimes, it may be a small adjustment, other times it may bigger, like leaving an unhealthy environment or situation.

13. Being A Pleaser

Being a pleaser most times means that you make too many sacrifices at your own expense to make others happy, to avoid conflict or tough conversations. The worst part is that you’re likely to lose yourself in the process of trying so hard to please others.

In life, conflict and tough conversations will arise, but once you work on your confidence and self-esteem, you will be in a much better position to handle these situations.

Also, the fact is that you can’t make everyone happy and that is ok. Give what you can freely and be comfortable with your efforts. Step back if you feel that you are being treated unfairly and take care of yourself.

14. Not prioritizing your health

Looking after your health is of course, vital to your quality of life. However, it’s easy to skip meals or eat fast foods and not get sufficient exercise when you make excuses.

Start taking charge and prioritizing your overall health today. Start by drinking sufficient water, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise.

15. Using your phone right before bed and as soon as you get up

While being connected is a great advantage for us, it can also be highly addictive and harmful. It’s definitely one of the main time sucks for most people. You lay in bed to quickly check something before going to sleep, only to realize hours have passed. Perhaps worse, is the fact that your quality of sleep is negatively affected if this is your habit before bed. So, toss the phone and try some deep breathing to drift off to sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, try some of these sleep tips.

Similarly, checking your phone as you wake up is really a bad habit. In these times it’s understandable to want to check in with your loved ones. Just be sure to prioritize your morning properly. If you’re not careful with your time, checking your phone before you get important things done can lead to being late and missed deadlines.

The Best Way To Break Bad Habits

The first step in getting rid of bad habits is to recognize them. Journaling, answering some key questions about self discovery and, talking to a supportive loved one, or talking with a professional can help to identify the bad habits that you need to remove.

The next very important step is to own your bad habits. Don’t try to minimize or trivialize them. Take responsibility for your habits and actions and understand why you want to stop the toxic behaviors now.

Lastly and perhaps the most challenging step is to make an effort to stop your bad habits. You can probably stop some bad habits easier than others and some may take longer than others. But make the mindful decision to start the process to stop and remove the bad habits.

The best way that I’ve found to replace a bad habit is to try to replace it with a healthy habit. Consistency and persistence are also key on this journey.

I really hope this post has inspired and prompted you to cut some bad habits out of your life so that you can live a happier and more fulfilling life.

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