If you suffer with a health issue or simply want to improve an area of your health, there are probably behaviors that you are doing that are standing in your way. We talk a lot about those things that we should be doing for optimum health and well-being, but we don't talk as much about the things we need to stop doing.
Sometimes these behaviors are simply things that you do that get in the way of success, like eating the wrong things or succumbing to addictions. Other times you might find yourself engaging in self-blame, isolating yourself, or being afraid to ask for help. No matter what the behavior, it is important to recognize the things that you are doing that are hampering your health and well-being.
In the interest of addressing this problem, writers from different areas of the health channel network at About.com each put together their own "Top 10 List" of things to stop doing. Follow these tips, and you will have a guide of more than 300 things to stop doing to start improving your health today.
The list below provides links to these articles. If you would like more information about improving your health, sign up for the About.com Health Newsletter to receive weekly updates.
You might think it is obvious what you need to stop doing if you have an addiction; simply stop the addictive behavior. The truth is that there are many related things that you do, or that someone else might be doing for you, that contribute to trouble overcoming an addiction. Find out what these behaviors are so that you can stop doing them.
• 10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have an Addictive Personality: Learn how to stop engaging in a variety of addictive behaviors including comfort eating, staying hyperconnected, and gambling.
• 10 Things to Stop Doing if You Love an Alcoholic: If you love an alcoholic you might find yourself enabling your loved one, accepting unacceptable behavior or blaming yourself. Learn how to move past these and other behaviors.
• 10 Things to Stop Doing When You Quit Smoking: Quitting smoking is hard work. Don't sabotage your efforts by doing things like thinking you can have just one cigarette or worrying too much about the past or the future. Focus on today.
Bones, Joints & Muscles
If you suffer with bone, muscle, or joint pain, it is sometimes difficult to know how hard to push yourself. It also becomes easy to start blaming or criticizing yourself. Learn more about these and other counter-productive behaviors when you suffer from low back pain, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, or fibromyalgia.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have Low Back Pain: Back pain is no fun. If you suffer with low back pain, it is time to stop doing things like slouching, engaging in repetitive forward bending, and doing too much heavy lifting. Instead, focus on correct posture and exercises that help strengthen the back.
•10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself if You Have Arthritis: If you have arthritis you probably have a tendency to either overdo it or underdo it; for example you might avoid exercise or ignore your physical limitations and push too far. Instead, learn to pace yourself. These are just some of the things to stop doing if you live with arthritis.
•10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself if You Have Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: If you suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, it is important to rid yourself of unrealistic expectations (both positive and negative), stop criticizing and blaming yourself, and stop asking why.
Brain & Nervous System
Whether you suffer with Alzheimers yourself or are the caregiver for someone with the syndrome, you know firsthand how difficult it can be to cope on a day-to-day basis. Here are 10 things to stop doing both for caregivers and sufferers.
•10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself if You Have Alzheimers: A diagnosis of Alzheimers can leave you feeling depressed and alone, and make you question your memory even when you are right. Here are 10 things to stop doing now if you suffer with Alzheimers.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Are a Caregiver for Someone with Alzheimers: Being the caregiver for someone with Alzheimers comes with its own set of challenges. Are you running on empty and neglecting other areas of your life? If so, you might want to consider these 10 behaviors to stop doing.
A cancer diagnosis can leave you feeling scared and alone. You might ask "why me" and feel like you can't ask others for help. Whether you have been diagnosed with colon, lung, breast, or another type of cancer, it is important to stop doing things that make your situation worse.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have Cancer: A diagnosis of cancer can mean many things. Your diet might suffer because of appetite loss. You might feel alone and afraid to ask for help. You might also ask why this happened to you. Here are 10 things to stop doing if you have cancer.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have Colon Cancer: If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer, some things to stop doing include smoking (or not starting if you are a non-smoker), char-grilling meats, and making unhealthy food and drink choices.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have Breast Cancer: If you have breast cancer, it is time to stop trying to be superwoman, stop being passive about your treatment, and stop letting the diagnosis define you.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have Lung Cancer: Things to stop doing if you have lung cancer include going it alone, tolerating pain, and stressing out over the little things.
Digestive health issues are not only painful and life-altering, but they can be hard to talk about with other people. If you have a digestive health problem, such as celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) there are things you can stop doing that will improve your health and well-being.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Cannot Eat Gluten: Having gluten sensitivity can make you afraid to try new foods, eat out, and travel. You also might find yourself in denial that a food has made you sick; especially when it is one you really like!
•10 Things to Stop Doing When You Have IBS: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) brings with it a unique set of challenges; you might feel embarassed to tell others about your problem or avoid activities because of your symptoms. Relaxation exercises can helpful to calm your anxiety.
If you are looking to enhance an aspect of your body through plastic surgery, it is important to avoid the pitfalls that can go along with the experience. Read about the 10 things to stop doing if you are considering plastic surgery.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Are Considering Plastic Surgery: If you are considering having plastic surgery some things to stop doing include having unrealistic expectations and being afraid to ask questions of the plastic surgeon.
Exercise is important for keeping your body healthy. Whether you are a walker, a runner, a yogi, or practice another sport, be sure you are not engaging in behaviors that are sabotaging your success.
•10 Things to Stop Doing If You Want to Walk Off Weight: If you want to lose weight by walking, some things to stop doing include finding excuses not to walk, thinking that you are burning more calories than you really are, and eating like you just walked a marathon.
•10 Things Runners Should Stop Doing: Some things to stop doing as a runner include wearing the wrong shoes, ignoring pain, and skipping the warm-up.
•10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself in Yoga Class: Are you a yoga fan? Yoga is popular as a way of calming the mind and stretching and strengthening the body. During class there are many behaviors you might want to stop, including comparing yourself to others.
•10 Things to Stop Doing When You Train with Weights: Things to stop doing when you train with weights include avoiding the warm up, exercising with poor form, and lifting with a curved back.
Patient empowerment involves being proactive and taking charge of your healthcare.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Be an Empowered Patient: If you want to be an empowered patient some things to stop doing include accepting doctor's orders without a discussion, taking prescription drugs without careful review and thinking you can go it alone without help of a friend, family member or patient advocate.
Mental health disorders are hard both on those who suffer and the people that are in their lives. If you have a mental health disorder or know someone with a diagnosis such as bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, or an eating disorder, here are some things to stop doing.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have an Eating Disorder: If you suffer with an eating disorder, you probably know what you should be doing, but what things shouldn't you be doing? Here are 10 things to stop doing if you suffer with an eating disorder, including beating yourself up and becoming impatient with recovery.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if Your Adolescent Has an Eating Disorder: If your adolescent suffers with an eating disorder some things to stop doing include being overly critical, blaming yourself, and dieting or criticizing your own appearance.
•10 Things Not to Do if You, a Friend, or a Loved One Has Bipolar Disorder: A list of things not to do if you have bipolar disorder, or are a parent, friend, loved one or family member of someone with the disorder. Think you might have bipolar disorder? Don't hide symptoms from your doctor because your diagnosis might be missed.
•10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself if You Have Social Anxiety Disorder: If you suffer with social anxiety disorder it can be all too easy to keep it a secret, think that you are alone, and not get help.
•10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have a Loved One With Social Anxiety Disorder: If someone that you love has social anxiety disorder, you might want to stop placing blame, being overly critical, and assuming you know what that person needs from you.
If you suffer with a thyroid condition, there are many things that you should not be doing in addition to those things that you should be doing.
•10 Things a Thyroid Patient Should Never Do: If you are a thyroid sufferer, some things you are advised to stop doing include talking to your doctor like she is your friend, hiding the fact that you are taking unprescribed medication, and assuming that all your symptoms are related to your thyroid.
Click the "Next" button to read about what to stop doing to improve your health when it comes to: Pregnancy, Sexual Health, Skin Health, Weight Loss, and Well-Being.