Habits that can Break You – and How to Get out of Them
Do you know that your habits can make or break you?
Your habits as a child earned you parental praises or a disciplinary smack on the butt.
Then you started going to school and developed new habits – habits that either made you the darling of the class or the class bully. Which was it?
High school passed swiftly and you entered college and a new set of habits. Can you remember them? Did it help you make it to the Deans’ list or put you among those who were deemed least likely to succeed.
You finished college anyway and entered the workforce with yet another set of habits. This time they were more significant in your life. You were not playing for grades but of making a career. This time, too, your habits either made you breeze up the organizational ladder, or made you struggle, one rung at a time.
Looking back through the years can make you beam with pleasure or turn blue with embarrassment. They are nostalgic, yes, yet makes you wish you did better.
But that’s water under the bridge, so to speak. Now you are old – with a new set of habits. How are you making out with them?
Yes, my dear John, at your age your habits can still make or break you. They can spell the difference between a bouncy and happy old you, or the grumpy type which society loves to stereotype us in.
Your habits can either take you places to explore, or no farther than your doctor’s clinic.
They can either make you live longer or cut your retirement short.
You don’t know what they are?
Well, here’s a list of habits that can break you and tips to get out of their stranglehold.
Right now 18% of seniors are lonely and 43% reports feeling lonely on a regular basis.
Though loneliness is not a habit, it can develop into one if it comes regularly. And it can have dire consequences.
A study made by a psychology professor at the Brigham Young University shows that loneliness can shorten a man’s life the same way as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
This finding is very tragic at a time of instant messaging and the proliferation of social networking sites. These days being lonely is anachronistic.
So before loneliness breaks you, break free from it.
If you are a “loner” develop a hobby, travel, volunteer or join a group in your locality. Get involved.
Learn how to use the Internet so you can get in touch with family and friends, exchange stories or old photos, or meet new friends online.
Anything to keep your mind off your loneliness is a step away from depression, or dementia.
Vivek Murthy, former US. Surgeon General has labeled loneliness as a worldwide epidemic.
Don’t be a part of it.
If you have the habit of spending hours on end in front of your TV, break it before it breaks you. That is like taking a slow boat to an early death.
Studies show that too much sitting increases your risk for colon cancer, endometrial and lung cancers.
In a worldwide study released last April 13, 2013, a sedentary lifestyle is responsible for 6% coronary heart disease cases, 7% type 2 diabetes, 10% breast cancer and 10% colon cancer cases. In fact, it further stated that inactivity causes more deaths than smoking.
If you want to break this habit, yet too lazy to exercise, don’t use the remote control so you will be forced to get up each time you want to change channels, and keep a bowl of popcorn on your lap. Walk to the ref if you have a replenishment.
These little acts of self-sacrifice may allow you to enjoy life a lot longer.
3. Insufficient sleep:
Though aging affects a person’s sleep patterns there is no truth that seniors sleep less. Regardless of age, a healthy sleep is still between seven to eight hours (depending on the person).
You can get by with occasional sleep insufficiency, but if it becomes a habit, you expose yourself to the risk of strokes and heart attacks, high blood pressure and diabetes.
The next time you want to bask under a noonday sun or underneath an artificial sunlight, be careful. Your desire to have that golden brown tan can become a nightmare.
A study published in 2014 showed that it causes for cases of skin cancer than lung cancer from smoking.
If you must, don’t stay under the sun from 10 am to 3 pm – that’s when the sun is at its hottest. And never forget to cover your body with a sunscreen lotion of no less than 30 SPF.
And don’t ever think that indoor tanning is safer than outdoors. Both emit the same amount of UV (ultraviolet rays) – the sun’s spectrum that gives you that beautiful tan can also result to skin cancer if you don’t curb this habit.
5. Poor diet:
Another habit you must get out of concerns your diet. Not that you want to go hungry, but age diminishes the sensitivity of the taste buds. If this go together with cognitive decline, anxiety, depression and lack of access to nutritious foods, the habit of eating just about anything or nothing is formed.
The result? Poor diet.
Poor diet, or malnutrition, is a worldwide concern considering that the world is getting old everyday. In the U.S., one in three elderly admitted to hospitals each year is due to malnutrition.
Malnutrition among seniors is plain bad news. It can lead to various health concerns such as weak immune system, muscle weakness which can lead to falls and fractures, and many more.
While poor diet is easy to address for healthier adults, the lack of resources, mobility problems and to nutritious foods may be insurmountable for seniors.
Breaking out of this habit requires the help of family members and close friends. You cannot handle it alone. Many factors have gone into making your form this habit and tackling each one requires help. And you must reach out.
Breaking old habits and forming new ones is always difficult. But there is no truth to the saying that “old dogs can’t learn new tricks.” They can and so can you.
If given the choice between living a happy and vibrant old age, or being hobbled by countless medical problems, it is pretty obvious which to take.
Please share with other seniors to help them get out of habits that can break them.