There are some habits that have been ingrained into us for so long that we might not even realize that they're detrimental to our health. Whether unconscious habits from our personal lives or misguided values from society, our lack of attention toward these health mistakes can have medical repercussions down the road.
Here are seven common health mistakes most people don't even realize they're making. Become aware of these, and you're well on your way to changing your life for the better!
1. Not drinking enough water
We're constantly hearing about the revitalizing benefits of drinking water, but how many of us actually consume enough each day?
Along with being a vital resource that every living thing needs, healthy levels of water intake can help energize muscles, revitalize skin, and promote weight loss (better water than high-calorie soft drinks!). It also flushes out your kidneys and promotes regular bowel function.
In general, drinking more water makes us feel refreshed and less tired, so drink up!
2. Holding tension in your muscles
It's easy not to notice when our anxiety manifests in our muscles. We often tense up and stay tense for hours after a stressful period. Over time, this can lead to bad backs, tension headaches, or even more serious conditions.
Although the saying that one hour of sleep before midnight is equal to two hours after is a myth, there's some truth to this notion. Going to bed past midnight results in loss of valuable, deep, non-REM sleep.
Try shifting your schedule around to sleep and wake earlier so you maintain the same healthy number of sleep hours.
6. Forgetting to breathe
When we're upset, angry or stressed we often forget our body's most powerful control mechanism: breathing. Just by taking long, controlled breaths we can slow our heart rate, calm our nerves, and find more clarity.
Oxygen powers everything in our body, so by increasing our oxygen flow we can give more vitality to not only our muscles and organs, but most importantly our brain, which controls all aspects of our emotions and psychology.
Next time you feel out of control, low-energy, or stressed out, try practicing some breathing exercises.
7. Not smiling enough
It always seems like happy people live longer, and for good reason! When we smile, our brain releases endorphins that counteract stress and make us feel more relaxed.
One of the best parts about smiling, though, is that it's infectious. By smiling we can spread the cheer around, increasing trust and building relationships with those around us.
So even when you're going through a tough time, try to find something to be happy about. Don't forget to smile.