Healthy Habits For DayTrading

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The Benefits of Healthy Habits

You know that healthy habits, such as eating well, exercising, and avoiding harmful substances, make sense, but did you ever stop to think about why you practice them? A healthy habit is any behavior that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health. These habits improve your overall well-being and make you feel good.

Healthy habits are hard to develop and often require changing your mindset. But if you’re willing to make sacrifices to better your health, the impact can be far-reaching, regardless of your age, sex, or physical ability. Here are five benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Eating right and exercising regularly can help you avoid excess weight gain and maintain a healthy weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, being physically active is essential to reaching your weight-loss goals. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, boost your immune system, and increase your energy level.

Plan for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. If you can’t devote this amount of time to exercise, look for simple ways to increase activity throughout the day. For example, try walking instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or pace while you’re talking on the phone.

Eating a balanced, calorie-managed diet can also help control weight. When you start the day with a healthy breakfast, you avoid becoming overly hungry later, which could send you running to get fast food before lunch.

Additionally, skipping breakfast can raise your blood sugar, which increases fat storage. Incorporate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet per day. These foods, which are low in calories and high in nutrients, help with weight control. Limit consumption of sugary beverages, such as sodas and fruit juices, and choose lean meats like fish and turkey.

Doing right by your body pays off for your mind as well. The Mayo Clinic notes that physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to a better physique. You’ll feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem. Short-term benefits of exercise include decreased stress and improved cognitive function.

It’s not just diet and exercise that lead to improved mood. Another healthy habit that leads to better mental health is making social connections. Whether it’s volunteering, joining a club, or attending a movie, communal activities help improve mood and mental functioning by keeping the mind active and serotonin levels balanced. Don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with family or friends on a regular basis, if not every day. If there’s physical distance between you and loved ones, use technology to stay connected. Pick up the phone or start a video chat.

Healthy habits help prevent certain health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. If you take care of yourself, you can keep your cholesterol and blood pressure within a safe range. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

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Regular physical activity and proper diet can also prevent or help you manage a wide range of health problems, including:

Make sure you schedule a physical exam every year. Your doctor will check your weight, heartbeat, and blood pressure, as well as take a urine and blood sample. This appointment can reveal a lot about your health. It’s important to follow up with your doctor and listen to any recommendations to improve your health.

We’ve all experienced a lethargic feeling after eating too much unhealthy food. When you eat a balanced diet your body receives the fuel it needs to manage your energy level. A healthy diet includes:

Regular physical exercise also improves muscle strength and boosts endurance, giving you more energy, says the Mayo Clinic. Exercise helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and gets your cardiovascular system working more efficiently so that you have more energy to go about your daily activities. It also helps boost energy by promoting better sleep. This helps you fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep.

Insufficient sleep can trigger a variety of problems. Aside from feeling tired and sluggish, you may also feel irritable and moody if you don’t get enough sleep. What’s more, poor sleep quality may be responsible for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, and it can also lower your life expectancy. To improve sleep quality, stick to a schedule where you wake up and go to bed at the same time every night. Reduce your caffeine intake, limit napping, and create a comfortable sleep environment. Turn off lights and the television, and maintain a cool room temperature.

11 Healthy Eating Habits

Easy healthy eating habits are an important part of the healthy living diet. They can make or break your success when it comes to health and weight loss.

What to eat and not eat are top of mind when it comes to health and weight loss, but little thought is usually given to how food is prepared and consumed. Best food preparation practices and how and when you eat are just as important as choosing quality nutritious foods for your body.

Healthy Eating Habits to Make Part of Your Life

Nutritious food, proper food preparation, and easy healthy eating habits are the three pillars of a good meal plan. Good eating habits are not about rules or being perfect. They are about making mealtime more enjoyable and healthful for your mind and body in the long-term. They are about helping you digest well and assimilate the most nutrients from your food.

Feel free to adapt the suggestions below to fit your needs and lifestyle.

1. Adopt a Healthy Living Diet.

The healthy living diet is an easy healthy eating plan suitable for most people. It can be adapted for weight loss (or gain) and special needs with a little tweaking. It includes a wide array of nourishing foods and beverages as well as some leeway for not-so-good for you foods you like.

Find out what to eat on this healthy living diet plan here. If this plan isn’t right for you, find one that is and stick with it.

2. Make your first meal of the day nutritious.

Of course, your body deserves to be fed healthy food at every meal, but if your overall diet is less than life-giving, then a good meal to focus your attention on first is the first meal you eat. When you break your fast, enjoy a nutritious meal that gets your body off to a good start.

Have protein such as eggs or quinoa with avocado and vegetables. Or enjoy a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal with berries and a tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed in. Include superfoods during your first meal of the day. If you are in a rush or just don’t feel like solid food, healthy drinks, such as green smoothies or plant-protein meal replacement shakes. offer a rich supply of nutrients in a pinch. Real whole foods may be better, but a donut is much worse.

Whether eating breakfast within an hour of waking is a healthy eating habit or not is debated health and nutrition experts.

Some research shows that eating an early breakfast shortly after you wake up is best. Other research shows that if you wait until 11 AM and exercise first, you will burn more fat all day and do better by your insulin levels. Whether you choose to eat an early breakfast or wait, eat your first meal when you are hungry and not just because it is time or you think you should.

A good practice is to start your day with a glass of water or lemon water or other hydrating beverage, preferably one without sugar or artificial sweeteners. Then eat afterwards when you feel hungry.

3. Follow the 80-20 rule.

An easy healthy eating habit is to have 80% of your calories from food and drinks come from healthy sources and to stop eating when you are 80% full.

On this meal plan you primarily eat whole, minimally processed healthy whole foods. At least 80% of your calories come from a wide variety of real foods that nourish your cells. If you want to know what those foods are, Jack LaLane said it best:

If God didn’t make it, don’t eat it.

In today’s world this is a very difficult standard to achieve. That’s why we have the 80-20 rule. It takes the edge off temptation and guilt, while still providing a nutritious diet.

You may indulge your ‘junk food tooth’ for up to a total of 20% of your calorie intake. Calorie counting is not necessary when you primarily eat nutritious, whole foods, but for illustrative purposes let’s use this example. If you consume 1800 calories a day, up to 360 calories may come from processed foods and beverages. Beware. Those calories add up quickly. If you have health concerns, it may be better if you follow the 90-10 rule and keep sugar and processed foods to a minimum.

Also follow the 80-20 rule for how much you eat. Stop eating before you are full. This healthy eating habit helps prevent excess calorie consumption and allows your stomach to do its job of churning and breaking down food without discomfort.

4. Practice traditional food preparation methods.

Indigenous peoples naturally follow a healthy diet. They don’t just eat healthy foods, they know how to prepare them in nourishing ways. There is great wisdom in traditional food preparation. It neutralizes nutrient-blocking compounds, aids absorption, and preserves the quality of foods.

Some traditional practices are easy to incorporate into your cooking and healthy eating routine.

  • Soak most beans and grains for several hours before cooking them slowly over low heat. This makes them more digestible and neutralizes certain compounds.
  • Cook meat at low temperatures (250 degrees) to avoid damaging proteins.
  • Boil dark leafy greens for up to an hour to break down cell walls so nutrients are more accessible.
  • Add vinegar to a salad to help it ‘cook’. Get apple cider vinegar with the mother at the bottom. The mother is strands of protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria.
  • Add a little healthy fat to vegetables and salad to help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
  • Include a small serving of cultured food or beverage with your meals for a probiotic boost and better digestion. If you buy cultured vegetables, get them in the refrigerated section.

For delicious recipes and interesting information about dietary traditions and wholesome ways to prepare food, I highly recommend Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. It’s my favorite cookbook.

5. Think convenience.

Another healthy eating habit is to have nutritious foods and beverages on hand. Then they are ready to go and you are more likely to eat them instead of reaching for unhealthy fast food.

  • Prepare and store food and nutritious beverages ahead of time. It’s just as easy to make two or more batches of whatever you are cooking as one.
  • Freeze extras or pack up for lunches or to re-purpose as another dinner.
  • Buy cut-up or frozen vegetables that are ready to cook up quickly. Or cut up your own. Let the kids help, they’re more likely to eat them if they help prepare them.
  • Cut up melon and fruit into bite-sized pieces. They are a lot more likely to get eaten that way.
  • Make a big pot or two of ultra-healthy soups and stews each week for a ready extra dinner or lunches. Vary your recipes so you don’t get bored with them.

The hearty soup shown here contains 13 bean soup mix (soaked overnight first), diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, mushrooms, onions, dulse flakes, a variety of vegetables, a big handful of kale, salt, curry powder and turmeric. It’s also good with cut-up potatoes and a bit of leftover meat.

6. Eat meals within a 8-10 hour time frame.

Intermittent fasting is all the rage right now and with good reason. Eating two or three daily meals within an 8-10 hour window on most days has numerous health benefits. This healthy eating habit improves insulin sensitivity, weight control, and mitochondrial function.

Limiting your feeding window may take some getting used to if you are in the habit of eating whenever you want.

Ease into this healthy eating habit by cutting back an hour of eating time every few days. At a minimum, aim for 12 hours of fasting between your last meal or snack and breakfast. It is best to stop eating at least three hours before bedtime. Feel free to drink water, tea or coffee (unsweetened) whenever you want.

Learn more about intermittent fasting in this short video.

7. Prepare food with positive energy.

Everything is energy. Food prepared with negativity holds that energy. Food prepared with love and positive thoughts is a blessing.

If you are familiar with Dr. Emoto’s experiments with water crystals, you’ll remember that the words and thought transmitted to the crystals made them either beautiful and vibrant or ugly and sick looking. You are made up of about 75% water and so is most of your food.

Again, we can look to the wisdom of the ancients who blessed their food before eating it. They blessed and thanked the spirits of the animals and plants that provided it. Prepare your meals and eat them w ith a same spirit of gratitude.

If you are angry or stressed, calm yourself before eating. Stress interferes with digestion and increases cravings for carbohydrates and junk food.

Develop a healthy eating habit for your mind as well as your body. Feed your mind with a steady diet of nourishing, supportive, loving thoughts and positive emotions.

8. Sit at the table for mealtime.

Sitting at the table with family and friends isn’t just for the movies. It is a healthy eating habit that nurtures mind, body, and spirit.

If you have a family, sit and eat a meal together at the table at least a few times a week without electronic distractions. Put aside your cell phones and turn off the TV.

Mealtime is the perfect tome to nourish your relationships, your spirit and your body at the same time. Research shows that children who eat with their families at least five times a week do better at school, have better eating habits, and are at less risk for substance abuse and weight problems.

Sharing a meal with friends and loved ones is the perfect opportunity to bond and build a sense of community. It fosters communication and a sense of well-being. Enjoying a relaxing healthy meal together also increases levels of the feel-good love hormone, oxytocin.

On the other hand, munching mindlessly in front of the TV makes eating more unconscious and is a good way to consume more food than you need.

Eating on the run or eating quickly is a recipe for indigestion ad overeating, especially if you’re feeling stressed.

9. Remember why you eat.

We are talking about the health reasons here. The main reason you eat is to provide all the cells of your body with the nourishment and fluids needed for optimal functioning. Your cells need nutrients to do their jobs, to keep themselves healthy, and to replace themselves with new healthy cells.

If you are eating to alleviate stress, anxiety, food addiction, or boredom, take note. Emotional eating often leads to eating too much, too often, and too much of the wrong foods. At the same time, stress eating can cause poor digestion and assimilation of nutrients because your body’s energy is being diverted to parts needed for fight or flight.

Bottom line – healthy cells equal a healthy you. And sure, if you also want to eat healthy foods (and a little soul food) for pleasure and social bonding, that’s great too.

10. Try new healthy foods, beverages, and spices.

Most of us are in the habit of eating the same foods, perhaps in a different form, week in and week out. Have you ever counted how many different foods you eat? To keep it simple, count all your wheat-based cereals, breads, cakes, and pastries count as one. Milk- based milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheeses count as one. For a lot of people, these two foods account for half their diet!

Trying new foods, beverages, and spices once a week or even once a month helps you expand your palate, get a wider variety of nutrients, and excites your taste buds. Your taste buds can communicate up to 100,000 flavors to your brain through neurochemicals. As you age, sensitivity to taste changes, so what you found too intense to like as a child, may now seem delicious. Likewise, the blander foods you liked as a child may now seem tasteless.

A good way to try new foods and drinks is to

  • try a new recipe with one or two spices or foods that are new to you.
  • try a new blend of herbal tea.
  • add a small amount of a new food to a salad or casserole or pizza. For example, if you hated olives as a child, you may find a few of them acceptable or even tasty on a pizza or in a salad.
  • if you are at a buffet, add a small serving of an unfamiliar food to your plate and give it a fair two or three bite try.
  • prepare a food in a new way. If you don’t like steamed vegetables, you might like them roasted or raw.

11. Eat mindfully and slowly.

Do you wolf your food so fast that your brain can’t signal you to stop eating before you are full? It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to send the signal to the body that it is full.

Are you so distracted by the TV or computer that you lose track of what you are eating and how much? If so, gift yourself time to just focus on your meal.

Chew thoroughly to start the digestion process in your mouth. This mixes your food with the enzyme in your saliva that breaks down carbohydrates. Stop eating after several bites and take a breath. When you are about 80% full stop eating. You’ll eat less, enjoy it more, and your digestion will thank you.

Here is a simple mindfulness eating meditation to try:

Look at your plateful of food. Put a mouthful on your fork and notice how it looks and feels. Put it in your mouth and notice the taste and texture as you chew it. Notice how it feels as you swallow. After several mouthfuls, notice how your body responds to the food. Do you feel nourished and energized or yucky and blah?

You can start your meals like this or even an occasional full meal.

These easy healthy eating habits are an important part of your wellness lifestyle. How you eat and what you put in your body play a major role in the health of all your cells.

In addition, your relationship with food goes beyond what you eat. It is about listening to your body, preparing nourishing foods in healthful ways, guarding your thoughts and attitudes, and viewing eating as a positive, healthful experience.

  • Healthy Living Diet – not a diet but a food plan for life
  • Tips for Healthy Weight Loss

Healthy Eating Habits page updated 02/2020

10 Unhealthy Habits That Are Worse for You Than You Thought

It’s not too late to reverse your worst habits (stopping smoking, drinking, over-eating, and more) and immediately start living a happier, healthier life.

Snacking when you’re not hungry

Losing touch with your body’s natural hunger and satisfaction signals can lead to chronic overeating and unhealthy extra pounds—which increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other serious conditions. And if it’s junk foods you snack on, you’re also flooding your body with unhealthy ingredients. By paying attention to your hunger signals and switching to healthy snacks, you can boost nutrition, control cravings, and avoid energy slumps. Your weight will fall to a healthier level, and you’ll replace unhealthy trans and saturated fat, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and extra sodium with more nutritious fare.

How to fix it: Eat because you’re hungry—not because you’re stressed, bored, angry, or sad. And finish eating when you feel just a little bit full, not stuffed. Avoid keeping unhealthy food in your home, or at least make sure you have more healthy foods, like fresh fruits, veggies, nuts. Think low-fat versus fatty treats; whole-grain versus unhealthy carbs. And when you eat those healthy snacks, eat them as if they were a meal: on a plate, accompanied by a glass of water, with you sitting down at the table.

Spending too much time on the couch watching TV

The more TV you watch, the less physical activity you’re getting, increasing your odds of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes. If television is replacing time you’d otherwise be spending engaged in a favorite hobby, visiting with friends, or exercising your mind, you may also be speeding up memory loss. By committing to a healthy TV/activity balance, you can burn more calories, become more fit, and reduce your odds for related health problems quickly. You’ll have a fitter body and more time for sleep, plus more energy, a better mood, sharper mind, and more social connections.

How to fix it: Try to keep your TV time to a minimum of two hours a day, and make sure you’re getting at least 30 minutes of exercise. Get the best of both worlds by doing some light workouts, like walking in place or doing sit-ups, while you’re watching. Even doing some household chores, like vacuuming or doing laundry, during the commercials can add up to 20 minutes’ worth of calorie-burning time. Avoid snacking in front of the TV, which makes it far too easy to eat hundreds of calories’ worth of chips and barely realize it. These are some more reasons why binge-watching TV is unhealthy for you.

Overspending your way into debt

Money worries can have serious health consequences. In a Rutgers University telephone survey, responders said financial stress contributed to high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, headaches, digestion troubles, aches and pains, ulcers, excessive eating and drinking, and gaining or losing weight. Regaining a hold on your finances takes time, can be hard on your ego and your lifestyle, and requires you to be constantly vigilant, plus it’s all too easy to revert back to your old habits. But for those who succeed, and many do, the results are nothing short of amazing. You’ll feel more in control of your life with less stress and fewer worries.

How to fix it: There are many things you can do to gain control over your finances. Educate yourself on the basic rules and methods of personal finance—including credit cards, mortgages, budgeting, and investing. Create and keep a budget, keeping track of how much money is coming in every month and how much you’re spending on essentials. Pay at least the minimum each month on your bills, to stay ahead of your expenses and prioritize paying more to the credit card with the highest interest rate. Automatic bill pay can ensure you’re never hit with late fees. A to be sure some of your paycheck gets automatically transferred to your savings account, set up recurrent monthly transfers via your employer’s payroll department or your own online banking. For more money-saving tips, these habits of people who are great at saving money are a great way to get started.

Eating too much fast food

A steady diet of double cheeseburgers and fries washed down with an oversize soda or milkshake can lead to a growing waistline and the health problems, like heart disease and diabetes, that come with it. Trans fat, often found in fast food, raises triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, which increases inflammation and contributes to the build-up of fatty plaque in artery walls. The health benefits of making the switch to healthy food will be almost immediate and will have substantial lasting benefits.

How to fix it: Making a permanent lifestyle change won’t be easy at first. Fast food is super-convenient, inexpensive, and, thanks to all that fat, salt, and sugar, undeniably tasty. Start by cutting back a little each week and by buying less each time you go. For instance, replace the soda with a water or the fries with a salad. Avoid popping into a fast food joint out of habit or on a whim, especially when you really aren’t hungry or when it isn’t mealtime. Cook more at home. Preparing your own healthy meals will save you money. If inconvenience is a factor don’t overlook healthier prepared meals from your local grocery store or sandwich shop. Check out the best healthy-eating tips that nutritionists use.

Getting sunburned a few times every summer

If you love sunbathing or make an effort to maintain a golden-bronze tan, you’ve unwittingly contributed to the aging of your skin. Sunbathing destroys the elastic fibers that keep skin looking firm and smooth, leading to earlier wrinkles, blotches, freckles, and discolorations. More important, sunburns contribute significantly to cancers of the skin. If you’ve included trips to the tanning salon, that’s even worse. Despite what ads suggest, using tanning beds doesn’t build up a “safe” base tan. It actually raises your risk for skin cancer and wrinkles.

How to fix it: First of all, always wear a high SPF sunscreen if you’re going to be outdoors in the sun. Sticking to the shade and wearing a hat, sunglasses, long sleeves, and pants during peak sunburn hours can also help keep your skin safe. Schedule an annual “mole check” by a dermatologist; the doctor will inspect your skin for any unusual changes. And keep your eyes on your skin yourself. Anything new that doesn’t look right to you should be checked by a doctor. Finally, if you can’t live without the bronzed look, you can get it without the cancer risk by using a self-tanner.

Behavior that leaves you angry, worried, or stressed all of the time

An unhappy lifestyle releases a cascade of stress hormones that increase your blood pressure and blood sugar, lower immunity, slow digestion, and make you feel depressed and downright mean. Nature intended stress to be a short-lived fight-or-flight response to a threat, but modern life with chronic stressors can have far-reaching impact on your health, such as cravings for high-fat, sugary foods that increase your risk of being overweight. Both the ingredients in the bad food and the added weight increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

How to fix it: A regained sense of joy and control is worth its weight in gold, and the physical health benefits will be substantial as well. Next time you feel a stressful situation emerging, work hard at managing it and keeping your cool. Among the most proven stress-relief methods are yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. Make the most of your down time, to enjoy a relaxing hobby and fully immersing yourself in it. Don’t be afraid to embrace your sense of fun, optimism, and silliness every now and then. And finally, just as being less stressed can make you healthier, living a healthier lifestyle can decrease your stress level and help you better manage stressful situations better. Check out these 37 tips for managing stress for more ideas.

Eating breakfast (or any meal) when you’re not hungry

The “rule” that you should never skip breakfast is just not true; it’s based on misinterpreted research and biased studies, says the New York Times. Almost all studies about breakfast show an association, they say, not causation. And many studies, based on self-reporting, fall prey to inherent bias and misuse of causal language.

How to fix it: Eat when you’re hungry; fast when you’re not. Intermittent fasting—voluntary abstinence from food and drink for a stretch of time each day—has received a lot of attention as of late. Research suggests that going without food for a certain length of time keeps blood sugar even, which boosts metabolism and can help the overweight shed pounds. Benefits include better glucose control and regulation of circadian rhythms (better sleep); all of these can help prevent diabetes.

Drinking too much alcohol

If you drink to much on a regular basis, alcohol can be a poison. Women who regularly consume two or more drinks a day and men who regularly down three or more daily are at higher risk for liver damage, various cancers including those of the liver and mouth, high blood pressure, and depression. Women, more sensitive than men to alcohol, can also develop heart disease, brittle bones, and even memory loss. Soon after you cut back or quit, your digestion will improve and you’ll sleep more soundly. Your blood sugar will be lower and steadier, your blood pressure may fall toward a healthier range, and even your brain will bounce back. You’ll have a healthier liver and cardiovascular system.

How to fix it: You don’t have to quit cold turkey; stick to healthy limits. That’s two or less drinks per day for men, one for women. You’re also more likely to sip your drink slowly if you reserve alcohol for meals. Drink for flavor, not to get drunk. And if you can’t stop, acknowledge the addiction. Talk with your doctor and contact a support group like AA. Check with your doctor if you should be screened more often for bone density, cancers, and liver damage. These 17 tips to help you cut back on drinking will help you make a great start.

Smoking cigarettes

As far as health goes, no habit is as harmful as smoking. It directly causes 30 percent of heart disease deaths, 30 percent of cancer deaths, and a massive 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancers, not to mention increasing your risk for mouth, throat, and, bladder cancer. This bad habit also astronomically raises your odds for heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure, on top of possibly triggering or aggravating breathing problems like bronchitis and asthma attacks. After you quit, the health benefits are almost immediate. Within a month, your lungs will work better and you should be coughing less, feel more energetic, and have less shortness of breath.Your sense of taste and smell, as well as your endurance, will also improve.

How to fix it: Treat it like an addiction, not a habit. Before you stop, prepare for the tough road ahead. Plan to quit during a calm period—not over the holidays or when you’re under a lot of stress. Prepare a strategy, a support team, and a Plan B if your first methods fail. Ask your doctor about a stop-smoking drug like Buprion and varenicline, or a nicotine patch or gum. Seek support, whether that’s from your friends and family or resources like counselors, hotlines, and support groups. And, finally, remember that a lapse isn’t a failure. Use slip-ups to discover your personal obstacle to quitting and create a plan for dealing with those the next time. Check out these 23 ways to stop smoking if you need more help.

Overusing painkillers and sedatives

When they’re not taken properly, long-term habitual use of prescription pain killers can lead to addiction, causing more problems than it solves. Even OTC drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin for arthritis or muscle pain can over time increase your risk for ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Clues you’re taking too much of a calming drug or sleeping pill include memory loss, excess sleepiness, feeling unresponsive or confused, and falling frequently. When meds make you feel good, you may want to keep on taking them, turning them into a habit or addiction before you know it. Kicking the sedative and prescription pain pill habit is possible with commitment and support, and once the pill-taking has ceased, your body will quickly rebound from their effects.

How to fix it: New pain-relief strategies can ease muscle, joint, and head pain with fewer pills and side effects. For chronic pain, ask your doctor about switching to acetaminophen; it doesn’t cause stomach irritation and doesn’t raise blood pressure like aspirin and ibuprofen. Save ibuprofen for flare-ups of severe, short-term pain. For frequent headaches, see your doctor; migraines can be stopped often with the right medication. If you think you’ll be susceptible to addiction, challenge any doctor who wants to put you on pain, mood, or sleeping medication long-term. If you’re already relying too much on them, get help if you can’t stop. There’s no shame in asking for help from family members, friends, or your doctor. Read on to learn about more bad health habits doctors wish you would stop ASAP.

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