111 Habits: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Like your signature, a habit reveals who you are to yourself and to others. What's yours?

Portrait of pretty young girl deciding what to eat: an apple or burger

If you are like 99.99 per cent of the people, you naturally find it difficult to break a bad habit. Here are a few tips to get you started on giving up some of your most clingy [and ugly] habits.

  • Attack just one: Write down all the habits that you think are bad for you and why. Then, identify the one that you want to give up most and start with it. That's because habits are stubborn and take a lot of willpower to change. Working on many habits will dilute your attention, giving you success with none. So start with a habit that is easier to break; it'll give you confidence to tackle the tougher ones.
  • Identify the triggers: What causes you to reach for that cigarette? Fights, pressure, tea break with colleagues? Identify what leads you to fall into the mindless pattern and try to keep away from it and all the people, situations that trigger the trigger.
  • Resist the urge, just that once: When you consciously try to give up certain behaviour, you are more aware of the urges. They will be there, but they won't last long. Just hold out, let it pass just that time—get yourself busy till the urge passes. Do the same, when the next urge comes, and the next time and the next.
  • Cheer yourself: When you manage to resist the urge, congratulate yourself. Talk to yourself, be your own friend. In fact, share your resolve with your near ones and share the good news of every victory over your urge with them. A few pats on the back will encourage you to do an encore.
  • Don't do it ever again, not even once: Once you walk away from a habit, revisiting it even once means you have to travel back to where you started. And you may not have the willpower to do the journey all over again. So continue walking away to break the connection with the habit.
  • Take plenty of rest, have enough water: A tired body leads to a weak mind, which then gets tempted to fall back on old ways. Rest to stay strong. The same goes for water; it will keep you active and refreshed.
  • Fill the void with something good: A lot of people find it easier to exchange one habit for another. This time though, make sure the new one is one that serves you. This will keep your mind off not doing something and on doing something good.
  • Go slow with the new: When you are embarking on the new habit, take baby steps. Say for instance you want to start walking. Try walking for 10 minutes first and gradually increase the time. This will make it easier on you.
  • Picture yourself: Visualisation is a powerful tool. Use it. Imagine yourself gunning for the bad habit, overcoming the urge and successfully giving up the habit. How will you feel? Feel the same feeling. You'll be out of your old ways in no time.
  • Don't beat yourself over a relapse: If you do end up repeating the bad habit, forgive yourself. See what made you fall. And go at it again; this time with a plan to avoid that trap.

~EATING AND DIET~

Woman having coffee1.  Coffee means more fractures

Don’t believe it? Too much caffeine causes our bodies to excrete more calcium leading to brittle bones—means more fractures and other bone problems. Besides, coffee is also bad for your central nervous system, heart, kidneys, and adrenals.

2.  It’s your stomach, not a dumping ground

Overeating forces the body to put more efforts into breaking down food, which causes a build-up of toxins. Lifelong overeating can result in colon disease,  obesity, heart disease, and a host of other digestive and weight problems.

3.  Feed your body, not your emotions

Those who habitually eat out of stress or bad emotions are called binge eaters. Such individuals report more health issues, stress, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts than others. Over time, compulsive overeating usually leads to obesity, which in turn, causes numerous medical complications.

4.  Fast food, slow brain

Junk food slows down the brain’s ability to process information. Parents always knew this one, and now research confirms it. An interesting study reveals that children who eat fast food daily, score drastically below average in studies.

Woman having her breakfast5. Breakfast is a happy meal

Breakfast is God’s prescription for a happy body. Skipping breakfast deprives your body of the energy and nutrients it needs to get through the day. Moreover, in the long run, it has severe adverse effects on your health.

Sugar cubes6. Sugar—too sweet for your own good

Sugar may give you quick energy bursts known as ‘sugar highs’, but they do not last long. In fact, they exhaust you later. Also, if you don’t use up the extra sugar, your body stores it as extra fat.

Man eating too fast7. Eat fast, burp later

Gulping down food without chewing it properly does not engage enough saliva, causing poor digestion. You take in excess air, which can lead to bloating and burping—which we think is an ugly habit.

8. Your tummy minds your posture

Eating in a bad posture places additional stress on the stomach, which hampers proper digestion and causes indigestion or heartburn.

Watching TV and having snacks9.  Watch your plate, not your TV

When you watch TV or read a book while eating, you end up eating 25 per cent more than your need. Makes sense, because you wouldn’t realise that you’re satiated.

eating-610.  Aerated drinks: all gas

Drinking too many fizzy drinks may look cool, but is not happening, as far as your health is concerned. The empty calories cause irritability, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, and affect metabolism, which may lead to heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

~WORKOUT~

11.  Not on an empty tummy, you dummy

Will you attempt to drive your car on an empty tank? Then why try the same stunt with your body? When you work out on an empty stomach, you use up more energy than your body can afford… leading to fatigue and the possibility of a collapse.

12.  Not on a full tummy, either!

If you’re not a dummy, this is self-explanatory. Eating immediately before exercising slows you down, and interferes with your digestion. Eat your meals two to three hours before a mild to moderate workout. For heavy workouts, make it four.

workout-113.  Gainers go with trainers

Over-enthusiasm to try out new exercises without the supervision of a fitness trainer can seriously injure you. Trainers are qualified to guide you on all the aspects of workouts—correct form, technique, intensity and the number of sets/repetitions.

Woman exhausted after gym14. Fast train, only pain

No matter how busy you are, never, ever hurry your workout. Missing a day at the gym is better than rushing mindlessly through your regimen—it hurts.

Man having a shower bath15.  Workout over? Take a baby shower

Taking a small shower after working out is not only hygienic, but also helps relax your muscles. But take care to wait till your body temperature comes back to normal.

Woman doing push-ups16.  Warming up won’t add to global warming

Whatever activists may say, rest assured that your body heat is not responsible for global warming. Doing a proper warm-up helps increase muscle elasticity and protects the heart. Without one, you run the risk of injuries, besides taking longer to finish.

17.  A gap is good… no, it’s critical

Not giving enough time between two workout sessions harms your body and takes away the benefits of exercising. Your muscles need rest to recuperate from the wear and tear of a workout.

~SKINCARE AND BEAUTY~

18.  Spare the face-wash and spoil the face

Washing your face, particularly after you come from outdoors, is necessary for removing impurities, oil, dirt and grime. If not removed, these may lead to clogged pores [blackheads], whiteheads, pimples and spots.

Woman washing her face19.  But wash your face—don’t wash it off!

Yes, we told you that washing your face is a good habit. But washing it too often makes your skin scream murder. It strips the skin of its natural barrier of oils, making it look patchy and dull.

20.  Keep your hands handy

Frequent contact with water and dirt throughout the day causes the skin of your hands to lose its moisture and tenderness, making it dry and coarse. Poor texture of hands is uncomfortable and affects the tasks that need your hands.

21.  Leave your face alone

Rubbing your eyes, biting your lips, touching your skin repeatedly—all tend to cause problems. Only touch your face to cleanse, apply products and other necessary activities to preserve its beauty.

22.  Share make-up [and your infections too!]

This is a sure-fire recipe to catch or spread infections—especially of the eyes and lips.

23.  This screen test should be avoided

Direct exposure to the sun can severely test your skin. UV rays of the sun cause sunburn, premature ageing and even skin cancer. Use sunscreens with an SPF of over 15 when outdoors, and your skin will thank you.

Woman having a face massage24.  Cleanse, tone, moisturise, glow

Just 10 minutes of cleansing, toning and moisturising before going to bed, prevents breakouts, premature ageing, and lends your skin a glow.

25.  Your make-up is ineffective—in your dreams

Cosmetics contain chemicals that harm the skin and cause it to age faster. If left on overnight, they clog the pores and restrict air flow to your skin.

~GROOMING~

26. A bikini at a funeral?

Are you nuts? Never in your life! But the exaggeration makes a point. Always dress appropriate to the occasion. To avoid embarrassing yourself and others, confirm the dress code well in advance.

Scent bottle27. Eew!-de-cologne

If your perfume precedes you, please make sure it's mild and pleasant—lest you may assault the "senses" of people around you.

Woman applying deo in her armpit28. How to lose friends and offend people

Simple. By smelling obnoxious. Bad odour due to poor personal hygiene is bad for your health, and also puts people off. Worse, it makes you unpopular among those you share your space with.

29. Don’t dress to kill

Looking shabby can kill your confidence. On the other hand, ensuring that you look your best not only impresses others, but also makes you feel great.

~HEALTH~

woman holding a dumble at gym30.  Exercise is bad for sadness

Yes, it’s true that if you hit the gym before or after work—or even as much as walk during lunchtime—you will find your stress levels dipping. Besides, exercise also improves your physical health.

31.  Remember the rinse, forget the germs

Not rinsing your mouth after eating creates a perfect environment for germs to cause bad breath, gum disease and other dental issues.

32.  Self-medication is a killer habit

God made doctors for a reason. Please keep them gainfully employed. Doing otherwise can be fatal. Medicines, when taken without professional advice, can be dangerous.

33.  When nature calls, answer… before it’s too late!

Not answering nature’s call on time puts unnecessary pressure on your system, especially on internal organs like kidneys and intestines. Besides, nature can only wait so long.

34.  A check-up a year, eliminates disease and fear

Doctor checking pressure of one patientIn order to detect problems early, you need to know what’s going on in your body. A comprehensive medical check-up, once a year, is a great habit—no matter what your state of health is.

35.  Right dose, illness goes

According to the FDA, between 30 and 50 per cent of people don’t take medicines exactly as prescribed. Not taking them correctly—taking more or less than the prescribed dose—will either prolong your recovery, or harm you.

Taking a break from work36.  “Gimme a break!”, say your eyes

Working with computers for long hours without a break strains the muscles of your eyes, causing blurry vision, headaches or difficulty in changing focus. Give your eyes some rest at least once every hour.

man drinking from big bottle of water37.  Don’t drink like a fish

Yes, there’s such a thing as drinking too much water. Doing it often can cause your brain to swell, which interferes with vital functions like breathing. It can even cause death.

38.  Vacationing is a journey to longevity

Vacations are not just about fun—they’re good for your health too. Research suggests that people who take vacations every year reduce their overall risk of death by about 20 per cent. And their risk of death from heart disease reduces by as much as 30 per cent. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets, today!

~SLEEP~

listening to music and taking a nap39.  Calm sutra for deep sleep

Worry only if you’re not in a hurry...to go to bed. For that matter, anything that disturbs your mind delays your sleep. Calm down by listening to soothing music, meditating or reading a light book.

40.  Food is a poor bed partner

Eating too close to the bedtime can affect the quality and duration of your sleep, making you feel tired the next day. It’s also known to cause heartburn and indigestion.

Timepiece41.  Wake up call!

Sleeping too much, too often is a bad habit. Instead of making you feel more rested and refreshed, it leaves you feeling sluggish and disturbs the body clock. Besides, your day gets shorter! Usually, 6 – 8 hours of sleep is sufficient, if your levels of physical activity are like most people.

42.  Get sunlight to sleep tight

Be sure to open the drapes every morning to let some sunlight in. Because morning sunlight stimulates your body to produce melatonin—a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle—and helps you feel sleepy at night.

~SELF-DEVELOPMENT~

Woman feeling sad43.  Worry is a shortcut to the grave

Worry aggravates psychosomatic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and also cancer. Worse, worry warts are prone to fatal addictions such as smoking and alcoholism.

44.  This medicine is always handy

Rx Laughter, the best medicine—3 times a day, before and after meals—to increase blood flow, improve immunity and relieve anxiety. Laughter is good for your brain too—it increases your ability to solve problems. And best of all, it’s for free!

Boy frustrated with anger45.  The fire of anger burns the angry

And, alas no fire brigade can help! Anger is bad, not only for your health, but also for your success. Research shows that people who lose their temper often are less likely to be promoted, more likely to get fired and lose business often.

Two women chatting and laughing46.  If you think you will live longer, you will!

Research shows that optimists are 14 per cent less likely to die due to illness as compared to pessimists, They are also 30 per cent less likely to die from heart disease than pessimists and are less prone to high blood pressure and diabetes.

~HYGIENE~

47.  Your heart loves flossed teeth

Daily flossing reduces bacteria that cause gum disease. Bacteria enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in the arteries, upping the risk of heart disease. Of course, flossing also means cleaner breath and healthier teeth.

washing hands48.  Doctors are obsessed with germ-free hands

And with good reason—WHO recommends washing hands frequently to prevent not only infections like common cold, but also serious illnesses such as meningitis, bronchiolitis, influenza, hepatitis A, and diarrhoea.

49.  The art of washing your hair

Always wash hair with lukewarm water as hot water dissolves the natural scalp oil that provides protection and natural shine to the hair shaft. Washing your hair correctly keeps your scalp free of dandruff, lice and other scalp diseases.

50.  Ear buds are not your ear’s buddies

By cleaning ear wax using ear buds, we expose our ears to infection. What’s more, our ears are capable of cleaning themselves, so there’s really no need for any additional cleaning.

Woman biting her nails51.  A nail-biting finish

Nail-biters may be at higher risk for bruxism—clenching of the jaw that can cause facial pain, headaches, tooth sensitivity, recessed gums and tooth loss. This can also damage the nail bed, as even a minor cut alongside your nail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter, leading to infection.

~WORKPLACE~

52.  A click in time... saves you from embarrassment

Sending emails is not a game of ‘fastest fingers first’. Spending just a few minutes to check your emails for language, tone, typing errors, right recipients and attachments before you click ‘send’, is a great habit.

53.  Caution: Work in progress, talk low

Booming voices sound good in a theatre, not in an office. Talking loudly on phone, or to colleagues, is ugly—unless someone is hard of hearing. It disturbs others and impedes their work.

Woman having an headache54.  No break puts a lot at stake

Not taking frequent short breaks at work tires out your mind, brings down productivity, and in many cases, causes health hazards too. So take a break [often].

55.  Being late, bad for your fate

You may think you’re fashionably late, but the HR doesn’t. Always being late to work earns you nothing but warnings and more warnings, increasing your chances of getting sacked.

56.  Personal gain, professional pain

Personal use of office equipment is unethical and often construed as unauthorised. And for good reason—it inflates operational costs for businesses by tens of millions each year. So, stop it before they stop you.

57.  Phone tapping can land you in trouble

Tapping your phone keys or fiddling with your phone in meetings is rude. It shows disrespect to others and gives them the impression that you have better things to do rather than participate. FYI, it can also get you thrown out of the meeting.

Badmouthing58.  Badmouthing stinks

Once you badmouth anyone, you cannot take your words back…and it almost always finds its way to the concerned person. Nine times out of 10, your words get twisted and you soon earn a bad reputation.

59.  Pause and applause

When you pause to appreciate, recognise, and cheer your colleagues’ achievements—small and big—it boosts the morale of the achiever and the entire team. As a bonus, you come across as a team motivator that everyone wants to work with.

Boss shouting at her colleague60.  Pressure is procrastination’s twin

If you habitually put off doing things, it’s a good bet that you’re habitually under pressure. Doing things on time prevents the unbearable last-minute pressure that comes from tasks piling up into a daunting mess.

61.  To do or not to do…

Making a to-do list every morning allows you to do more things, more efficiently. It also helps
prioritise your tasks so that you don’t miss out on the urgent and important ones.

~MONEY~

62.  Companies love late-paying customers

After all, they make extra money at the expense of your absentmindedness or carelessness. Paying your bills after due dates not only costs you more money, but also damages your credit rating. Direct debit facilities or electronic clearing services were invented to help such ‘generous’ customers.

63.  From loans to loner

There’s one such person in every office who borrows tens, twenties or fifties from everyone often, never to return it back. Soon, he’s left all alone.

Man losing at gambling64.  Gamblers lose more than money

Those who gamble habitually, risk their careers, reputation, relationships and a lot more—they end up losing all of it. Statistics reveal that the rate of bankruptcy, divorce, crime and suicides is almost double in gamblers than in non-gamblers. Besides, it’s an ugly habit in our opinion.

65.  Ignorance is not bliss

Especially when it’s your own money at stake. Without a good estimate of your financial position, you may end up spending more than you have and get into unplanned debt. By underestimating, you may forego even valid expenses, thereby compromising the quality of your life.

Saving at piggy bank66.  If you don’t save, no one may save you

An SOS doesn’t always work, especially when you’re in a financial mess. The saving habit teaches us financial prudence and builds a fund for any eventuality.

67.  Minimum payments are not in your interest

‘Minimum amount due’ is only the interest that is charged on your credit card’s outstanding amount. If you keep paying only that, you will pay a lot of money, but never clear your principal. In other words, you will find yourself heading into a debt trap.

Woman shopping68.  Buyer beware…of your emotions

Emotional shopping fills up your home, but empties your wallet. If you shop whenever you are happy, sad, angry or bored, chances are that eight times out of nine, you will end up buying things you don’t need or use. If you have excess money, we suggest you do some charity instead!

~TRAVEL~

Laptop bag
Featured: A Victorinox backpack for laptops

69.  Give your luggage the respect it deserves

Some items deserve extra care—use appropriate bags, meant to carry such items. Like laptop bags, which offer sufficient cushioning, proper straps, enduring material, and enough space for accessories to ensure that your expensive laptop reaches the destination in mint condition.

70.  Will you please get out? [On time]

If you tend to think “What’s the hurry?”, we bet you are often sorry. Not leaving well ahead in time could cost you the journey—you may miss the bus, literally.

Passport71.  All in one… big trouble, no fun

Putting your money, tickets and other important stuff in one bag, is like putting all your eggs in one basket. You will be left in the lurch if the baggage gets lost/stolen. Putting your valuables in different bags is a wise thing to do.

Travel bag burst due to overstuffing72.  It’s just a trip, not a move

Your stomach may not burst from overstuffing, but your bag surely will. Even if it doesn’t, think of lugging all that deadweight around. Have mercy on your bag—and yourself. Leave out all the things you may not need; pack light. And if you must cram, at least make sure you have a sturdy bag that can stomach it.

73.  The earlier you pack, the less you lack

When you leave packing for the last minute, you are inviting Murphy. You end up stuffing things shabbily. Plus, you run the risk of damaging things or forgetting to pack important stuff [sometimes, even your ticket!].

~SAFETY AND SECURITY~

Man wearing helmet and riding bike74.  Use your head—wear a helmet!

One out of every five motorcycle accidents results in head or neck injury. And riders who wear a helmet have a 35 per cent less chance of suffering from a head injury. Do you need more reasons to wear one?

75.  The wisest accessory

Wearing a seat belt has saved millions of lives worldwide. We reckon that a seat belt is one of the best accessories you can wear—after all, it protects you in the event of a collision.

Signal76.  Don’t trade red with a hospital bed

Traffic signals are not the government’s ploy to collect more money from you—they are meant to keep you safe. Jumping red signals is a leading cause of accidents in the world. Isn’t it better to lose a minute in your life than to lose your life in a minute?

Cosmetics77.  Cosmetics are not wine

Some women preserve cosmetics like they are wine. A survey shows that nine out of 10 use make-up products past their expiry. But unlike wines that get better with time, old cosmetics become breeding grounds for bacteria.

78.  Tring, tring… hello… Wham!

The reaction time of a 20-year-old driver using a cell phone is the same as that of a 70-year-old driver not using one, says a study. In other words, talking on the mobile is dangerous when you’re driving. It drastically reduces your alertness, making you highly susceptible to accidents.

~SOCIAL~

Mobile79.  An out-of-tune habit

Not keeping your phone on silent in public places [cinema halls, restaurants, trains and such] is bad manners. It’s irritating, rude and can be offensive too. It means you don’t respect others.

Woman having fruits80.  Eat it, shut it, forget it

Talking while eating puts your food on display—in the most disgusting manner. It kills the appetite of those around you.

81.  We’re related to Obama, you know?

For a name-dropper, all the world’s celebrities are distant relatives, if not close buddies. But no one’s buying their claims—‘cos if they really knew a celeb, they’d most likely keep it a secret.

Man digging his nose82.  Your nose is not a goldmine. Why dig it?

Digging your nose in public is one of the ugliest social habits. And inspecting the findings makes you a certified Man-Repellent. Please drop this habit today, for the sake of self and others.

83.  My world, my words… who you?

A healthy conversation is one in which all the people involved get a fair chance to voice their views and opinions. Dominating a conversation or cutting off people implies that only you and your views matter.

84.  Will you please put your foot down?

Resting your feet on furniture—especially when it’s not your own—is unacceptable. With shoes on, it’s downright obnoxious.

Dust-bin85.  Laziness is next to filthiness

If you litter, it means that you are lazy, ignorant and have a ‘don’t care’ attitude, says research. We reckon that littering is an ugly habit that not only spreads diseases, but also causes nuisance to the society. So put the lid on your littering.

social-586.  Honking is not therapy

According to a study, people honk mostly to let out pent-up aggression or frustration. A visit to a counsellor to sort out your emotions may work better.

87.  ‘Touchdown’ is a putdown

Touching yourself in public is appalling and those who do it often must be educated about why certain parts of the human body are labelled ‘private’.

~FAMILY AND FRIENDS~

Sad girl talking on the phone88.  Phone a friend… it’s your lifeline

You can even Email, SMS, Chat—anything to stay in touch with family and friends. Because, keeping regular social contact with your loved ones helps avoid depression and [believe it or not!] premature death.

Two ladies talking to each other89.  Don’t take anybuddy for granted

Friendships grant us a lot—don’t take them for granted. Conveying that you like your friends makes them feel valued. So be a good friend. Say you like them—with words and gestures. [And say it often].

Woman shouting at man90.  Nag, nag, nag till you succeed [in pushing your loved one away]

What may seem like concern to you may sound like nagging to your brother, sister, son or friend. Constant nagging makes the other person feel disrespected, inadequate—or plain insulted. Not to mention, it just gets on the nerves.

91.  Homoeopathy... Allopathy... How about Empathy?

Everybody seeks to be understood. Empathy means that you seek to understand the other before expecting to be understood. Not only does it build stronger and happier bonds, but also acts as a catalyst in healing.

~MARRIAGE AND DATING~

92.  She’s your partner, not a soap brand

‘New and improved’ is a great marketing tactic. But, constantly analysing your partner to insist that she become a new and improved version of herself makes love conditional and leaves her feeling not valued.

93.  Laughing ‘stock’ depreciates bonds

Making your partner a laughing stock in front of others is insensitive and inconsiderate. It encourages a free-for-all, with others taking pot-shots too. What you find funny can hurt your partner and weaken your bond.

Man and woman talking friendly to each other94.  Love is an active verb

Relationships, like plants, need to be ‘watered’ regularly to survive and thrive. Keep the romance alive by spending time with him, sharing your feelings freely through words, gestures and touch.

95.  You must be kidding!

Don’t treat your partner like a kid by insisting that she does what you think is good for her—whether it is a health regime, money matters, or her choice of friends. In short, don’t try to run her life. It makes the relationship that of a parent-child, instead of a
husband-wife.

96.  A compliment a day keeps fights away

According to research, couples that are affectionate, and genuinely compliment each other often, have higher levels of the pleasure hormone oxytocin, which leads to a more positive relationship. It also builds self-esteem and confidence in both the partners.

97.  Be a spouse, not a saint

If you deprive yourself and ‘put your partner first’ in all your preferences, you eliminate the possibility of the all-important ‘us’ factor. Psychologists say that such sacrifices are not out of love for your partner, but to sustain your own image in your eyes—because you are so much in love with yourself.

Couple making love98.  Ritually yours

A good morning hug, a good night kiss, grace/prayers at dinner time, a Sunday brunch, or even just a morning cup of tea together are ‘rituals’ that create stability and help remind both partners of the togetherness that they treasure.

Man and woman facing opposite99.  Detox your talks

Toxicity is as bad for your marriage as it is for your body. If most of your conversations are filled with ‘impurities’ like name-calling, insults that hit below the belt, threats, guilt-inducing allegations, in-law bashing, and comparisons, you must consider a detox of your spoken words—before it’s too late.

100.  Pin drop silence is deafening

Silence that is caused by sulking or remaining aloof, increases the distance between couples. Such silence is a powerful non-verbal communication that shouts out your indifference towards your relationship.

Man smoking101.  Smokers get fewer kisses

We know that you know that smoking is injurious to health. But do you know that it’s also injurious to your intimacy? Kissers are turned off by the stink and the repulsive taste of a smoker’s mouth.

~PARENTING~

Family having dinner together102.  Meal together, feel together

Family meals strengthen the bond between you and your children, as they are a great opportunity for you to share your day’s experiences. They also encourage children to eat a wider variety of healthy foods. Besides, your children may pick up useful social skills like table manners.

103.  Food is not equal to love

Parents force-feed children as a demonstration of their love. Some even insist that the child finish everything on her plate—regardless of how hungry she is. A study suggests that meal-time battles between pushy parents and their children cause eating disorders and obesity in children. It also makes children resent meal times.

104.  Flaunting your trophies

Making your children “demonstrate” their talent at every gathering is akin to treating them as your pride possessions, which you are eager to show off at the slightest opportunity. Bad manners, those.

Father shouting at his son105.  Like father, like son

Statistics prove that the behaviour of children is directly affected by the behaviour of their parents. For instance, a child, with parents addicted to alcohol, is four times more likely to get addicted if he chooses to drink alcohol. So, if you want your son/daughter to inculcate values, demonstrate them yourself first.

Daughter listening to her father carefully106.  “When I was your age…”

Four loaded words that almost every parent has used at some time or the other. Times change and it is senseless to compare your children with what you were like at their age. Such comparisons cause children to feel worthless, and may be destructive to their self-esteem.

Parents holding a girl child107.  Don’t divide and rule

Asking children to choose between mother and father as the favourite is such an ugly habit. For a child, both parents are equal and this kind of practice, even if done in jest, can cause a dichotomy in the child’s impressionable mind.

~SPIRITUALITY~

Girl praying108.  Many thanks for the blessings

Being grateful for what you have puts you in a positive frame of mind helping you to focus on the good, rather than the bad. It promotes happy feelings [and a healthy heart too!]. For best results, count your blessings every morning. Repeat, if necessary.

Man meditating109.  Early or late, make time to meditate

Meditation, practised daily, brings clarity of thought and emotional stability, besides being good for health. But the best benefit of meditation is that you deepen your relationship with yourself.

Woman relaxing on nature110.  Reflect to deflect… illusions

Spending time reflecting on your thoughts and actions helps shed unnecessary emotional baggage. Often, reflecting is a reality-check that shatters many an illusion about yourself and your problems.

111.  The world’s my family

Practising compassion promotes oneness, by creating a sense of belonging. It puts your problems into perspective, making them a lot easier to deal with. It also increases your levels of DHEA, a hormone that counteracts ageing and reduces awareness of intensity of physical pain.


A version of this was first published in the November 2009 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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