What do you think of when you hear the word HABITS? Do you think of the bad ones or the good ones?
We all have both kinds – some we don’t want to think about and many we would rather not change. Some of our habits affect only us, and others may affect those around us. Some even affect generations to come!
What Are Habits?
Habits are behaviors we perform daily and with little forethought. It’s almost as if some of our daily habits are automatic.
We often label habits as either being good or bad. There are also everyday habits that allow us to carry out essential activities and routines.
Everyone has habits. From what time we go to sleep or wake up in the morning, to what time we eat our meals or even tie our shoes – these are all actions we perform daily without even thinking about them.
The best part about habits is that small changes make BIG impacts!
Good habits are those behaviors that benefit our lives:
- Eating right
- Getting enough sleep
- Being financially responsible
- Staying active daily
On the other hand, bad habits are learned behaviors that don’t improve our lives or no longer work for us.
- Fingernail biting
- Excessive alcohol use
- Drug use
Then, there are daily routines that become habits, too.
- The coffee you always buy from the same coffee shop on the way to work or the kind you brew at home
- What time your body wakes up naturally every day
- The way you put your clothes on in the morning.
Why We Use Habits and Why Habits Are Important
There are several reasons why we use habits and why they are important. We use habits to make our lives easier. For instance, think about the simple task of brushing your teeth. You don’t have to concentrate on how to brush your teeth every day; you just do it out of habit.
When we do things out of habit, our brains are allowed a break. Performing these tasks allows the brain to assign more energy to focus on complex tasks and decisions. So, habits are actually important for brain function.
Habits are hard to break, whether they’re daily tasks, good or bad. Similarly, new habits are hard to form. Doing so requires a conscious effort.
Lots of times, people end up going back to their old habits, even after trying hard to form new ones. This is why losing weight or breaking addiction is so hard. Changing your habits, changes the way your brain works, and it’s no simple task.
Small Change, Big Impact
An example of ONE habit we can change is using 500 billion plastic bags every year! Yes, we use 500 billion plastic bags globally, and it takes at least 500 years for a plastic bag to decompose.
Our ecology, wildlife, and even our own health are suffering as a result of plastic bags.
Plastic waste is taking its toll on marine life. Marine plastic has been found in the stomachs of thirty-one different species of marine animals, as well as over 100 diffeent species of sea birds.
Animals (such as seals, dolphins, and seabirds) can become trapped in plastic bags that wind up in our waters. With a plastic bag around its neck, an animal will have difficulty swimming through water, catching prey or feeding, and avoiding predators.
Sea turtles love to eat jellyfish. They think the plastic is food, so they eat it. The plastic clogs their digestive system and chemicals circulate through their bodies resulting in their death.
How Do Plastic Bags Harm Humans And Our Environment?
Every year, plastic bags are made from millions of barrels of oil. Americans use more than 380 billion plastic bags and wraps each year. To make this many bags, it requires 12 million barrels of oil. Making and transporting plastic bags requires a lot of energy. Reducing our energy consumption is better for the environment.
Furthermore, as plastic bags decompose in the sun, hazardous chemicals are released into the soil, and when plastic bags are burned, harmful substances are released into the air, causing air pollution.
What Small Change Can We Make?
We can start carrying paper or cloth bags in our cars to use in grocery stores. If we put them in the front seat where we see them, we might remember to take them in and use them.
We can begin to notice all the various plastics we in the HABIT of using.
Remember…any SMALL change can have a BIG impact!
Habits can be anything we do daily, from the mundane tasks to the decisions we make every day that affect your life. Habits can be considered good or bad, but we know that they are an important part of how our brains work. We can choose our habits in order to live a healthier lifestyle or change our environment for the better.
If found this interesting, please leave your comments below.
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