What is a bad habit? It depends on who you ask. Some will say biting your fingernails, while others will say it’s gossiping about your coworkers. Regardless of the personal definition, everyone’s idea of a bad habit almost always includes or involves some form of unhealthy or unethical behavior.
Those looking to quit their bad habits are often in search of better alternatives. Whether it’s assembling model kits, exercising every day, learning a new language, or studying a new discipline, better activities are healthier ways to spend your time and energy. Over time, this contributes to better living.
Here are several ways choosing healthy activities over bad habits leads to living a better life:
Many people cope with stress and anxiety with drugs and alcohol. Whether it’s pharmaceuticals, liquor, or narcotics, the brief escape they offer is hardly worth the long-term damage they cause. How long does a Xanax high last compared to the exhilaration of climbing a mountain or the thrill of playing live music? The joy generated by these and other healthy activities long outlasts the fleeting highs granted by substance abuse.
Many healthy activities involve high endurance and mental agility. These beget themselves; the more active you are or savvy you perform, the greater you’ll be in these ways next time. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle or cycling between drug binges and the daily grind will only drag you down even further over time. Better living involves having the energy to be there for big moments and chase after the next one. That starts with developing several healthy habits in favor of bad ones.
The benefits of healthy activities depend on what you’re doing, but there are usually several for each option. For instance, putting together a model train town in your basement will involve fine motor skills, mental focus, and a healthy dose of patience. These abilities linger long after you’re done playing with your trains. Likewise, the benefits of regular exercise, acquiring new skills like learning a new language, and other activities will remain for the rest of your life. Can you say the same about time spent in the tavern or scrolling social media?
Many bad habits are expensive to maintain. From smoking tobacco to frivolous shopping, the money required is often much more than the cost of a gym membership or dollar amount associated with other healthy hobbies and activities. Consider how much money you’d save switching from drinking your stress away to jogging it away. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy an indulgent night on the town from time to time, but the key is to make it the exception, not the rule.
As far as we’re concerned, the price of a bad habit is different from its cost. The costs associated with drinking, smoking, and similar unhealthy activities are financial, but the price involves far more critical factors. Relationships, careers, and life itself can all be up for grabs when the final tab is due. None of these are at risk if you decide to pursue healthier forms of entertainment and recreation. There’s a good chance you’ll even start to pay off some of the debt accrued from all those years doing less-than-ideal things in your spare time.
Bad habits come in all shapes and sizes. They range from mildly irritating to inevitably lethal. Everyone is forced to confront their bad habits sooner or later. The question is, what happens next; do they continue uninterrupted on an unsustainable course towards disaster? Or do they turn things around? If they choose the latter, it often comes down to forming better habits and participating in healthier activities. Doing so sets them and their loved ones on the path to better living.
Article Submitted By Community Writer