5 Habits That Are Hurting Your Health and How To Break Them

Many people give up on their New Year’s resolutions this time of year because it seems too hard to make them come true. Although you may have good intentions, perhaps other habits are preventing you from being the healthiest you can be.

I learned this the hard way. I used to consider myself a health nut. In reality, though, I juiced every once in a while, I did hot yoga and toyed with being vegan or vegetarian. Despite my efforts to be healthy, I wasn't losing weight and my dreams were not coming true.

When I got really honest with myself, I realized that my habits were actually hurting me. My romantic relationships were strained, I was a vegan (for a month) who ate a lot of muffins, and therefore had a muffin top, and after yoga sessions, I'd head straight to Taco Bell. When I pulled off my blinders, I saw that my entire lifestyle could use a makeover.

Only when we get honest with ourselves, can real miracles happen. I peeled back the layers that were keeping me from being the best I could be and today my life is much different. Yoga is as much a part of my daily routine as breathing. These days I don't crave sugar, fast food, or anything but vegetables.  I have lost weight, my skin glows and I have more authentic connections with people.

Here are 5 habits that could be hurting your health and how to break them: 

Habit 1: You hold on to negative, fear-based thoughts. 

This habit can actually prevent us from reaching our goals. Negative thoughts affect our entire body. If you constantly belittle yourself, or think negatively about your body, then your body will react to those thoughts. We live in a vibrational world, and a large part of any cleanse should start in the mind. 

When you choose loving thoughts and kind words, your world begins to reflect those thoughts and you gain the benefits. When I switched the nasty, negative voice in my head to a kind and loving one, I started to lose weight naturally.

Break it: The first step to reversing negative thoughts and behaviors is to recognize them. Begin to address them by saying the mantra, "I release my negative perceptions and today I choose love."

Habit 2: You compare yourself to others.

It's natural to look at others and notice differences. However, when we compare ourselves to other people, we really hurt ourselves. Every person on earth has his or her own unique plan. Looking outside of ourselves to try to align to someone else’s plan causes us to lose our own. 

Whether you focus on someone doing a perfect crow in yoga or your coworker getting the promotion that you expected, those judgmental thoughts can keep you from reaching your own health goals. The more time we spend looking outside of ourselves, the less time we can spend focusing on our own unique purpose.

Break it: To stop comparing yourself to others, practice small, subtle shifts. In the moment of comparison catch yourself, close your eyes and repeat "I am awesome and special just the way I am; I accept and love myself for being uniquely me."

Habit 3: You're tripping out about the future or your past.

I used to do this, and I was never fully in the present. This resulted in depression, weight gain, layoffs and numerous break ups. When we focus our attention on what could or couldn’t happen, we step out of alignment with the natural life flow.

Break it: Instead of worrying about the unknown or agonize about your past, allow yourself to be comfortable in the present moment. Be fully present by using all of your senses to ground you in the experience of living in the now.

Habit 4: You cling to expectations. 

This can really hurt your ability to be happy and healthy. When we focus on something happening, when we want it to happen, whether a New Year’s resolution, a goal, a partner proposing, or a boss giving us that overdue promotion, we detach ourselves from the flow of life. 

If you find yourself manipulating, grasping or controlling any aspect of your life, let go and relax. You will know where you are clinging to expectations because it will feel like you are working "REALLY" hard to make a relationship work, or to make a job work. Stop working so hard and relax! The universe has a bigger plan for you; let it catch up to your dreams.

Break it: Rather than focusing on what you think should happen, focus your attention on what you're thankful for now.

Habit 5: You're not feeling your feelings. 

Many of us work over, stress over, eat over, do drugs over, get into new relationships over, have sex over, work out over, or drink over our feelings. We avoid our emotions by becoming human  doers. This prevents us from reaching our optimal health and vitality because we numb ourselves with substances and negative drama.

Break it: Be present in the moment and focus on being honest with yourself. Allow your feelings to pass through you. When you feel them and incorporate them in your life completely, the negative ones can move on quicker and the positive ones can help you succeed.   

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Shannon Kaiser has been labeled a modern thought leader on the rise by CafeTruth. She is the bestselling author of “Find Your Happy, an Inspirational Guide to Loving Life to Its Fullest,” and the founder of the website PlayWithTheWorld.com, which was awarded Top 75 Best Personal Growth Websites and top 100 Self-Help Blogs on the internet by The Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Connect on her author Facebook Page @Shannon Kaiser Writes or Twitter.

She left her successful career in advertising to follow her heart and be a writer, life coach, inspirational speaker, travel writer and author. She is a five-time contributing author to Chicken Soup for The Soul. Shannon’s work has been featured in media outlets such as Good Morning America, Good Day New York, and Inside Edition. She’s writing her next book The Mental Makeover (Berkley/ Penguin Random House 2015).

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