Some habits are really good to have- brushing your teeth, exercising regularly, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables all keep you healthy and feeling your best. Bad habits, however, are easy to form and hard to get rid of.
Some bad habits are fairly obvious- smoking, nail-biting, or staying up until three o’clock in the morning, for example. You may have some behaviours that are less obvious, but have become so habitual that you don’t even think about them. These can be the hardest to break, but are worth kicking in order to improve your health.
Seven Bad Habits to Break
Some of these habits may not seem like much, but they can have some fairly significant consequences. If you do any of these things, you may want to consider stopping altogether.
1. Don’t Charge Your Phone Under Your Pillow
As your phone charges, it can heat up quite significantly. Although it is rare, this temperature increase can cause your phone or the charger to catch fire or even explode. According to a fire department in Newton, New Hampshire, you should keep your phone out of your bed.
The department posted several photos of burnt sheets and pillowcases to their Facebook page with the following warning:
“Research has revealed that 53 percent of children/teens charge their phone or tablet either on their bed or under their pillow. This is can be extremely dangerous. The heat generated cannot dissipate and the charger will become hotter and hotter. The likely result is that the pillow/bed will catch fire.” 
Susan McKelvey is the communications manager for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). She says that you should always charge smartphones in locations that allow for adequate ventilation.
“Charging them under a pillow, on a bed or on a couch doesn’t allow for this,” she said .
2. Don’t Take Photos of Everything on Your Phone
Now that we all have cameras in our pockets (aka- our phones), it’s tempting to want to take a photo of everything we see and do. While this may seem innocent, it can actually become a bad habit.
In 2013, psychological scientist Linda Henkel of Fairfield University revealed in a study that people had worse memory for objects and specific object details when they took a picture of them. When you’re constantly looking at things through the lens of your camera, you may have a photo of the memory, but your actual memory of the experience will not be very good.
“People so often whip out their cameras almost mindlessly to capture a moment, to the point that they are missing what is happening right in front of them,” says Henkel .
Essentially, your mind’s eye and the eye of the camera are not the same thing.
“Research has suggested that the sheer volume and lack of organization of digital photos for personal memories discourages many people from accessing and reminiscing about them,” says Henkel. “In order to remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them.” 
So next time you’re out, try putting the camera away and just taking in the experience- you may not have a photo of the event, but you’ll remember it better.
3. Don’t Pop Pimples
A pimple forms when your pores get clogged with pus or oil. If your first instinct is to squeeze the red bump to “pop” it, you should refrain, and here’s why:
- You could cause scarring
- You can spread the bacteria and pus to surrounding pores, causing more pimples to form.
- It can delay your body’s natural healing process, making the pimple stick around longer.
- You could push the pus and bacteria deeper under the skin, causing inflammation or exacerbating the breakout.
A typical pimple will heal in three to seven days. Popping it could make it take up to fourteen days. If you want your pimple gone fast- don’t touch it .
4. Don’t Forget to Floss
It is very easy for small particles of food to get stuck in your teeth. These bits can be hard to get rid of with brushing alone. Over time, this can cause bacteria to build up on your teeth and your gums and cause tooth decay.
In particular, foods like popcorn that are more likely to leave debris behind can be particularly problematic. Regular flossing is an excellent habit to get into if you want to improve your overall dental health and prevent cavities .
5. Don’t Drink Coffee on an Empty Stomach
You may not realize it, but drinking coffee first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat is a bad habit. This is because coffee’s bitterness can cause your stomach to produce more stomach acid. Although the research is not unanimous, this can cause digestion problems or heartburn for some people .
Additionally, recent research has found that drinking coffee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can impair your body’s ability to control your blood sugar.
If you need to have a coffee first thing in the morning, try having it with something to eat to avoid negative side effects.
6. Don’t Let Wet Items Get Bunched Up
Hanging wet towels on a hook, or gathering the shower curtain to one side is another bad habit that many people have. When you do this, however, the wet creases significantly slow down how quickly these items can dry.
The longer it takes for things to dry, the more time there is for bacteria and mold to grow on them. Your bathroom is the perfect environment to allow these organisms to multiply quickly, especially right after a shower when the room is warm and humid.
Instead, pull the shower curtain across so that there are no creases, and hang your towel on a bar to minimise the number of folds. This will allow them to dry faster and prevent the growth of unwanted organisms .
7. Don’t Put Your Feet on the Dashboard
If you like to stretch your legs and put them up on the dashboard when you’re sitting in the passenger seat, you should stop right away. This bad habit can be extremely dangerous. If you get in a car accident, you can become seriously injured because of the position of your legs and hips.
The impact between your face and your knees could cause bone fractures, or worse. One woman’s hips were crushed when she got in a car accident while her feet were on the dashboard.
When you’re sitting in a car you should always sit upright with your feet on the floor and your seatbelt across your lap.
Bad Habits are Worth Breaking
Although it can be difficult, if a habit can be formed, it can be broken, too. While some of these bad habits may not seem like they’re a big deal, they can have a significant impact on your health.
Instead of trying to break the bad habit, think instead about replacing them with a good habit. Like sitting properly in the car, adding flossing to your nightly routine, or limiting the number of photos that you take so that you stay in the moment.
These small changes can improve the quality of your life, keep you healthy, and keep you safe.
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