Healthy Habits

Last Updated: October 8, 2023

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A habit is a behavior that requires little thought or effort to carry out because you have become so accustomed to doing it. Habits tend to be automatic, uncontrolled, and almost unintentional.

What is Considered a Good Habit?

If you are someone who buckles your seatbelt every time you get in the car, you probably don't even think about doing it. When you put on your seatbelt, it's like you're on autopilot. This is a habit.

Healthy habits are habits that promote health and wellness in your life — like exercising, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and socializing with friends.

Of course, important habits don’t always have to do with your physical health. An important habit can be a beauty habit, a mental habit, a habit of manners, or even a habit you use when socializing with others.

Basically, habits of health are worth cultivating.

What is a Bad Habit?

Bad habits are just like good habits in that they are rote, and you probably hardly think about them before carrying them out.

There are many examples of bad habits, and everyone will have their own bad habits — some of which may actually be good habits or important habits for someone else!

Overall, however, bad habits are "bad" because they cause you harm — either right away or over time. Healthy people tend to have fewer bad habits, but that doesn’t mean they have none at all. It’s all about balance. One of the major bad habits we have is our inability to handle stress properly. 

Symptoms of Bad Habits

Recognizing the symptoms of bad habits is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Often, these habits can subtly impact both your body and mind, leading to noticeable changes over time. Here are key symptoms indicating that a bad habit may be affecting your overall health:

  • Decreased energy levels: Feeling consistently tired or lethargic can be a sign of unhealthy habits like poor diet or insufficient sleep.

  • Increased stress or anxiety: Certain habits, such as overusing caffeine or screen time, can heighten feelings of stress and anxiety.

  • Weight fluctuations: Unhealthy eating habits can lead to weight gain or loss, impacting your healthy weight goals.

  • High blood pressure: Habits like consuming high sodium foods or a lack of physical activity can contribute to elevated blood pressure.

  • Mood swings: Poor habits often affect mental health, leading to mood changes or irritability.

  • Physical discomfort: Symptoms like headaches or muscle aches can result from habits such as inadequate hydration or poor posture.

Incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine, like eating healthier meals, engaging in physical activity, and ensuring enough sleep, can significantly improve these symptoms. Transitioning to a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a balanced diet with healthy fats and fruits and vegetables, and adequate rest promotes better health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and enhancing emotional well-being.

Remember, consulting health professionals is advisable if you're experiencing persistent health problems. Small changes in your habits can lead to a healthier life, helping you to manage stress better, maintain a healthy diet, and improve your overall well-being. The journey to optimal health starts with recognizing a health problem and the need for change and taking proactive steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

What are he Health Benefits of Healthy Habits?

The problem with habits that are distinguished as "bad" is that they're difficult to break. Any habit, good or bad, can be hard to break.

If you are able to break bad habits and cultivate healthy ones, however, it can change your life for the better in a multitude of ways.

Here are some of the benefits you can look forward to if you can cultivate more healthy daily food habits in your life.

You’ll have more energy.

Living a fit and healthy lifestyle offers its own rewards. For instance, healthy sleep habits will directly lead to less stress and fewer colds and illnesses.

Still, many people think of important habits like sleeping more, eating well-balanced meals, and exercising as time and energy suck. It’s a common misunderstanding that, when you invest in yourself by forming these healthy life habits, you’re unfortunately losing that time.

In fact, the opposite is true. When you start healthy eating habits, sleeping habits, and exercise habits, you’re actually giving yourself more energy! And more energy means more time and drive to do the things you love. A healthy habit keeps on giving.

You’ll have a stronger immune system.

natural ways to boost the immune system

With a healthy immune system, you’ll get sick less often, feel happier, look better, and live longer. But like all systems in your body to stay healthy enough, your immune system needs special attention.

If you want to get healthy and develop good habits to have for a healthy immune system, start cultivating these important habits:

  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet

  • Exercise at least five times a week

  • Drink alcohol in moderation

  • Don’t smoke

  • Get enough sleep

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Minimize stress as much as possible

It will be easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Whether you've always been at a healthy weight or you’ve recently lost excess weight and are now at the point of maintaining it, keeping track of your weight can be a challenge.

Without a doubt, forming healthy eating habits can help you lose unwanted weight and maintain a healthy weight without having to think about it.

Here is a list of habits that will help in this area:

  • Daily exercise: Make exercise a habit by working it into your day naturally. Walk or bike to work, if you can. Do a short digital workout right before bed.

    Or, schedule an online exercise yoga class for a certain day of the week. Pilates is another alternative. 

  • More fruits and vegetables: Aim to never eat a meal or snack without at least one vegetable or fruit being included.

  • Drink water: Keep a water bottle with you all day. Sometimes, when you feel inclined to reach for a sugary snack, it’s not actually because you’re hungry; you may just be thirsty.

You may live longer.

According to The American Council on Exercise, walking just 30 minutes a day lowers your risk of early death.

This simple act can be easily incorporated into your routine as a healthy habit. You don’t even need to walk 30 minutes all in one go.

Instead, focus on developing good habits like parking at the back of the parking lot when you go shopping, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking a quick walk around the block after dinner.

If you can work these habits into your daily life, you can add up all your walking minutes, and you’ll easily get in 30 minutes or more of exercise every day.

"We all wish for world peace, but world peace will never be achieved unless we first establish peace within our own minds."
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Your mood will improve.

There are numerous good habits to start, and one commonality between nearly all of them is an improved mood. When your life is full of healthy habits, you will feel like a happy child.

In part, this is because healthy habits (exercise, eating better, getting more sleep, etc.) promote endorphins in the brain. More endorphins (special brain chemicals) mean a happier and more contented attitude and healthier life.

But healthy lifestyle habits can also improve your mindset because it feels good to carry through with a goal. When we strive to start a new habit and actually follow through, this boosts our mood and lifts our confidence.

Tips for Healthy Habits

Adopting healthy habits is pivotal for maintaining overall health and well-being. Here are effective tips to help you cultivate a lifestyle that supports your physical and mental health:

  1. Prioritize Physical Activity: Engage in physical activities like walking, yoga, or tai chi for at least 30 minutes, twice a week. This boosts heart health, increases muscle mass, and enhances mood.

  2. Focus on a Balanced Diet: Eat healthier incorporating a variety of different foods into your meals, especially whole grains, lean proteins, and a bounty of fruits and vegetables. Eating healthy foods and reducing intake of red and processed meats, fried foods, and sugary drinks can significantly improve your health and help you lose weight.

  3. Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water daily is essential. Aim to stay hydrated throughout the day, which helps regulate body temperature, maintain blood pressure, and improve brain function.

  4. Ensure Adequate Sleep: Cultivate healthy sleep habits by aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can lead to health problems like high blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Proper sleep will also help reduce stress and keep the body in good health.

  5. Minimize Screen Time: Reducing time spent on electronic devices, especially before bedtime, can lead to better sleep quality and reduce eye strain.

  6. Embrace Mental Exercises: Activities like learning a new language or engaging in puzzles can enhance cognitive function and emotional well-being.

  7. Quit Unhealthy Habits: If you smoke, seek resources for quitting smoking. Reducing alcohol intake and avoiding caffeine, especially later in the day, can also contribute to better health.

  8. Practice Stress Reduction: Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises are effective in managing stress.

  9. Regular Health Check-ups: Visit health professionals for regular check-ups. This includes monitoring risk factors for chronic diseases and discussing any health concerns with your doctor.

  10. Seek Support and Community: Engaging in social activities and maintaining connections with others contribute to a sense of well-being and can provide motivation for maintaining good habits.

By integrating these healthy habits into your daily life, you can significantly enhance your quality of life, achieve a healthier weight, and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. Remember, small steps can lead to big rewards in your journey towards a healthy life.

Healthy Habits: Frequently Asked Questions

Why are habits so important?

In large part, your habits make up everything you do. For many people, a day can be broken down into various habits: waking up at a certain time, eating a certain thing for breakfast, taking a certain route to work, etc.

If you can harness your habits and only focus on doing those that actually enhance and improve your life, you will reap a world of benefits.

How do you create a habit?

Some sources say that a new habit can be instilled by practicing the desired behavior for 21 days in a row. This is a good place to start, but there are other ways to cultivate habits too.

For example, you can help yourself get into the habit of eating healthy foods and a healthier diet by simply not allowing there to be unhealthy foods in your kitchen.

Alternatively, you can have a friend or loved one hold you accountable for starting a new habit — for example, if you commit to meeting a buddy at the gym three times a week.

How long does it take to form a new habit?

This really depends on the habit, the person, the actual specifics of the goal, and the circumstances.

For some people and with some habits, it may take just 10 or 12 days to start a new behavior. For other people and for other goal habits, it may take six months or more.

What are some of the worst habits?

Some bad habits that you should absolutely try to avoid include:

  • Smoking

  • Excessive drinking

  • Consuming an excess of processed food

  • Spending time with people who treat you badly or who are a bad influence

  • Not getting enough sleep

  • Not exercising

  • Not getting enough quality sleep

What are five healthy habits?

If you are looking to cultivate new important habits, consider these five healthy habits to get you started:

  • Exercising at least five times a week

  • Drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day

  • Getting at least eight hours of sleep every night

  • Eating breakfast every day

  • Eating six to eight servings of vegetables and/or fruits every day


Eating to boost energy - Harvard Health

How to boost your immune system - Harvard Health

Yes, drinking more water may help you lose weight | Hub

Exercise and Depression: Endorphins, Reducing Stress, and More

Healthy habits: The connection between diet, exercise, and locus of control - ScienceDirect

Healthy habits: efficacy of simple advice on weight control based on a habit-formation model | International Journal of Obesity


The contents of this article are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any health-related changes or if you have any questions or concerns about your health. Anahana is not liable for any errors, omissions, or consequences that may occur from using the information provided.