What You Must Know About Bad Habits

I have gotten weary of all those virtuous people who seem to be pushing at the world with their accounts of how great they are at living a healthy lifestyle, eating quinoa burgers, applying perfect make-up, posting pictures on their social media accounts of their gorgeous bodies and many articles on how I have been doing all things wrong in my life, whether that be pairing the right foods with each other or wearing mascara that looks clumpy and every life hack in-between.

Everyone has habits; routines, systems, ways of doing and being that are repetitious. Some of these are carried out without our even thinking of it, especially when we have been doing them for long periods of time. Have you noticed that when you arise in the morning at a set time through the alarm clock, that you have a tendency to wake up at this time also, on your ‘off days’ too?

It is commonly suggested that there are good and bad habits and that we ought to nurture the good ones and dispense with the bad ones. Who, however, decides which is which? Experts on any given subject have an opinion, doctors, teachers, psychologists, coaches and everyone in-between; celebrities, bloggers, Instagram stars and the list goes on.

This is my belief though; good habits produce good, wanted consequences in your life and bad habits produce bad, unwanted outcomes.

In my life experience I have concluded that it is frequently other people who have decided for us what is construed as either a bad or good habit, dependent on how much it upsets them when we engage in the habit.  For example, I know that many of us will identify with the irritation that is listening to someone who eats noisily. After a time, this person’s noise makes us want to clout them around the side of the head in an effort to make them refrain from chewing any more. This is what we would bluntly say is that persons bad habit.

I think that many of our habits are merely our idiosyncratic ways of doing things; part of our personality traits; our quirks, if you will. I put it to you this way; if our bad habits are not detrimental to our health, to other people, to our finances etc. is it really a bad habit? If we are not being hurt or hurting others through engaging in that bad habit, then where is the issue with it?

If I bite my nails down to the nail bed and cause them to bleed and become sore and infected, then I am hurting myself and I can assume that this is a bad habit. Yet, if I am nibbling the nail because I enjoy doing it, like the taste, use it as a form of stress relief or choose to use my teeth as a manicure tool; is it then a bad habit or just annoying someone else?

Thus, should I stop biting my nails because another has told me that I must stop biting them because it is a bad habit (in other words, to satisfy their need to be in control of my nail biting) or because I have chosen to stop it due to either hurting myself or because I have decided that the time is right to stop biting them?

Bad habits; my suggestion to you is that it is up to us to decide if and when to ditch them and not listen to others unless they make a compelling argument for doing so that is sensible to us.

And, if I want to eat chocolate daily and my health is unaffected by doing so, then the sugar police can go and “do one”.

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