Turn These 8 Unhelpful Habits Into Healthy Habits
Last updated: January 2021
Here are some common habits that can be unhelpful, read on to find out how to turn them into habits that can improve your health.
1. Constantly worrying about food
It’s understandable that when you have a condition such as IBS, you may worry about eating and the symptoms that are created as a result. But if you’re constantly worrying about food, then it can become another stressor, affecting your overall health and well-being. Food is a key component when it comes to health but constant stress and worry can cause more harm than good.
Stress is a trigger for IBS symptoms so try to have strategies to manage your worry. Examples are exercise, meditation, and journaling.
2. Constant snacking
We’ve all been there, going back and forth to the kitchen constantly snacking, often we have no idea why. There can be a few reasons: either our main meals aren’t satiating or we are emotional eating due to boredom or other reasons. Having a snack is fine, but constant eating isn’t good for you, especially if you have IBS.
Turn this problem around by eating balanced meals and have healthy snacks available when you feel the need for a snack. Practice mindful eating; when you feel like snacking, stop and wait for 5 minutes, observe your thoughts then decide if you are actually hungry.
3. Eating too much sugar
We all know too much sugar is bad for our health but sugar is also highly addictive so it can be a difficult habit to stop.
If you’re a sugar addict then try to quit, but have healthy snacks on standby, ideally, snacks that have protein, healthy fats, and some fiber will be helpful here such as yogurt and fruit.
4. Using antacids
Antacids are a go-to medication for people who experience reflux. But it could be making your problems worse. People who constantly take drugs such as antacids that suppress stomach acid, are placing themselves at greater risk of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), impaired nutrient absorption, and lowered resistance to infection.
Instead, work with a health professional to find the root cause of your reflux so you can avoid taking antacids.
5. Emotional eating
Eating out of boredom, loneliness, sadness or stress is emotional eating. Emotional eating means you’re not eating out of hunger, you are eating in response to emotions and not listening to the natural signals from our body.
Mindfulness is a great way to overcome emotional eating. Mindfulness is awareness and observation of the present moment, including any thoughts and feelings without judgment. Over time with regular practice, you will become less reactive and are less likely to cave in to emotional eating.
6. Poor sleep habits
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our health. Certain habits can prevent you from achieving a good night’s sleep, some of these include; watching devices or television at bedtime, drinking alcohol, or too much water.
Having a sleep routine before bed can set you up for success; this can include turning down the lights, turning off devices, and doing something relaxing.
7. Excess coffee
Both coffee and alcohol can cause problems for those with IBS. When it comes to coffee, slowly try to reduce your intake and swap for something else with less caffeine such as green tea. If you’re drinking coffee for the energy, then it’s best to find the reason why you are so low in energy; working with a health practitioner is a good approach here.
8. Living with chronic stress
Most people are familiar with stress. Stress can be normal and healthy. But when stress is chronic or persistent or becomes the norm in your life, it is detrimental to your health, especially your gut health.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to manage stress, here are a few:
Have you ever tried acupuncture to relieve IBS symptoms?