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Everyday Habits That Can Be “Deadly,” According to Science

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You never think too much about getting sick until you’re sick. But what if some of the things you are doing every day—seemingly innocent things—are actually shortening your life? And what if just knowing about them, and making a few simple tweaks, could extend your life? Wouldn’t you like to know what they are? That’s why we collected the best advice from doctors about what everyday habits could be “deadly” and what you can do about it. Read on for five essential life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

The woman on the phone in bed, Dr. Jud Brewer, knows how dangerous bad habits are. Besides helping thousands stop addiction, he has also focused “specifically on how habits around anxiety are formed. We’ll call it the habit loop,” he has said. “First, something happens in your life. It could be good or bad. It’s called the trigger.
For example, what does it feel like when something good happens in your life? Let’s use getting a funny text or watching a cute video on your phone as an example. Your brain says, oh, that feels good. Do that some more so you can keep that good feeling going. So your brain lays down this memory. Oh, next time you want to feel good, and you should do that again. Now you start to associate that behavior with feeling good.
Science
The next time you hear that alert on your phone that triggers your brain to act, oh, I should check my phone. The more you do this, getting a warning on your phone, leading you to watch a cute video, leading you to feel good. This works with negative emotions, too,” he says. “Have you ever just thought about how far behind you are on your to-do list or beating yourself up for making a mistake or missing a deadline at school or work?
How does that feel? Not so good. This too lays down a memory.” Brewer encourages you (and teaches his clients how) “to recognize when you’re caught up in these anxiety habit loops, how you’re feeding them and how you can step out to break the cycle.”

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