10 Things to Stop Doing to Improve Your Health

Stop Doing These Things and Improve Your Health

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 Verywell.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. 

Addictions

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

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.

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Love an Alcoholic: Learn how to move past enabling and self-blame.

10 Things to Stop Doing When You Quit Smoking: Quitting smoking is hard work. Don't sabotage your efforts by doing these things.

Bones, Joints & Muscles

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

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. Stop doing these things and 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. Instead, learn to pace yourself

10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself if You Have Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Rid yourself of unrealistic expectations (both positive and negative), stop criticizing and blaming yourself, and stop asking why.

Brain & Nervous System

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

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. 

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? 

Cancer

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

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. 

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. 

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have Colon Cancer: If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer, smoking, char-grilling meats, and making unhealthy food and drink choices are no-no's.

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have Breast Cancer: 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

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

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 embarrassed to tell others about your problem or avoid activities because of your symptoms. Relaxation exercises can helpful to calm your anxiety.

Enhancements

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

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. 

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Are Considering Plastic Surgery: For example, stop having unrealistic expectations and being afraid to ask questions of the plastic surgeon.

Exercise

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

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, stop 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: Stop wearing the wrong shoes, ignoring pain, and skipping the warm-up.

10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself in Yoga Class: 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: Stop avoiding the warm up, exercising with poor form, and lifting with a curved back.

Health Care

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

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, stop 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

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

Mental health disorders are hard both on those who suffer and the people that are in their lives. 

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? 

10 Things to Stop Doing if Your Adolescent Has an Eating Disorder: If your adolescent suffers with an eating disorder, stop 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, stop placing blame, being overly critical, and assuming you know what that person needs from you.

Thyroid

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

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: Stop 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.

Pregnancy

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

The childbearing years can be a joy for some and a stressful, challenging and emotionally difficult time for others. If you are dealing with infertility or coping with a pregnancy loss, here are some things to stop doing to yourself.

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Are Fertility Challenged: Infertility can take its toll on you personally as well as your relationship. Things to stop doing include basing your self-worth on your fertility, waiting to live life as a family, and trying to cope on your own.

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Support Someone With Infertility: If you know someone with fertility issues you might not be sure how to handle the situation, especially if you are pregnant or have children. Sensitivity and empathy are important; so are knowing those things you should stop saying or doing.

10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself After a Pregnancy Loss: Miscarriage and pregnancy loss are difficult enough, without the added stress of doing things like blaming yourself, trying to cope on your own, and worrying about what other people think.

Sexual Health

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

Whether you are worried about birth control or concerned about contracting a sexually transmitted disease, there are a variety of behaviors that you can stop doing to improve your sexual health.

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Want Effective Birth Control: If you want to have effective birth control, stop putting off talking about it with your partner and relying on your partner for contraception.

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Improve Your Sexual Health: Do you sometimes let sex happen when you didn't plan to? Assume someone is "safe" because they are clean and well-dressed? 

Skin Health

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

Acne is no fun. At the same time, you might be making it worse with some of the things that you are doing to try and make it better.

10 Things to Stop Doing When You Have Acne: If you suffer with acne, you might do things like blame yourself, over-cleanse your skin, or waste money on "miracle cures." These and other behaviors don't fix your acne so you might as well stop doing them.

Weight Loss

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

Whether you are trying to lose weight yourself, have a child who is overweight, or are trying out a specialized diet like low-carb, there are some things you just shouldn't do.

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Lose Weight: Just can't find the time to exercise? Joined the gym but spend more time socializing than exercising? If this is you, its important to recognize the things that you do that sabotage your weight loss efforts.

10 Things to Stop Doing if Your Child is Overweight: What should you stop doing if your child is overweight? For starters, stop using food as a reward and stop enabling sedentary behavior.

10 Things to Stop Doing on a Low-Carb Diet: If you are on a low-carb diet, stop drinking sugary drinks, being afraid to eat fat, and letting your meal planning become boring and repetitive.

Well-Being

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Photo © Microsoft. Photo © Microsoft

If you want to improve your general health and well-being, stop doing things that contribute to stress or that may shorten your lifespan.

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Live Longer: Stop doing things like eating fast food, smoking, and not getting enough exercise. Letting go of anger and staying social can also mean a longer life.

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Are Stressed: If you are feeling stressed it can be easy to slip into bad habits. However, if you want to cope better with stress it is important to stop doing things like ruminating, not getting enough sleep, and overloading your schedule.

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