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The Worst Habits Shortening Your Life Include Procrastinating, People Pleasing and HPV

Are your bad habits shortening your lifespan?
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

It's pretty well known that bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking will shorten your lifespan, but other unhealthy behaviors can also contribute to a premature death that you may not even realize. Dr. Tomi Mitchell, a Board-Certified Family Physician with Holistic Wellness Strategies tells Eat This, Not That! Health, "Other habits that can shorten our life expectancy include eating processed foods high in sugar and fat, sitting for long periods, and not getting enough exercise. While some of these habits may seem harmless, they can all contribute to a decrease in our overall health and wellness. The good news is that many of these habits are under our control. By making small changes to our lifestyle, we can dramatically improve our health and increase our life expectancy. Dr. Mitchell reveals which bad habits to stop immediately and why. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Take a Holistic Preventive Look at Your Life

no smoking sign

Dr. Mitchell reminds us, Many things in our everyday lives can shorten our lifespan without us even realizing it. Smoking, for example, is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. According to the American Cancer Society, smokers are 25 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers. However, let's talk about habits from another perspective. Taking a holistic, preventative approach to life and health is important for longevity. So, grab a pen and paper, and take an honest look at your life and the impact of your personal choices. The list below is by no means complete, as countless habits can shorten your life. "



lazy couple

"It's no secret that procrastination can have some pretty negative consequences," says Dr.Mitchell. "From poor grades to lost opportunities, putting off tasks can have a severe impact on our lives. However, did you know that procrastination can also be a matter of life and death? Studies have shown that cancer patients who delayed seeking treatment were more likely to die than those who didn't. Procrastination can be a hard habit to break, but it's important to remember that your health is at stake. If you or someone you know has cancer, don't risk making the situation worse by putting off treatment. It could be the difference between life and death."


Being a People Pleaser

man stressed at work at his desk

Dr. Mitchell shares, "While many factors can contribute to cancer, one often overlooked factor is being a people pleaser. People pleasers are more likely to succumb to peer pressure, which can lead them to develop cancer-causing habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol. In addition, people-pleasers tend to put their own needs last, leading to unhealthy lifestyle choices. For example, they may skip meals or choose processed foods over healthy fruits and vegetables. All of these factors can increase the risk of cancer. So if you're a people pleaser, it's essential to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself."


Being Embarrassed To-Do #2 In Public Bathrooms

supermarket bathroom

Dr.Mitchell asks, "Do you know that many people fear using the bathroom? This fear can cause individuals to hold onto this waste? Like literally, many of us are full of poop……Holding onto fecal material can create bad habits that new studies show that might not directly increase risk factors for colon cancer. However, holding onto fecal material might contribute to constipation. There is a connection if you couple that with a low fiber diet, which we know is a risk factor for colon cancer. So, it's essential to have a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and other high fiber foods, as a high fiber diet can decrease your cancer risk. "


​​Having a Bad Attitude

Unhappy woman wearing white bath towel checking skin after shower, looking in mirror, touching face skin.

"Just as cancerous cells can grow and multiply in the body, so can negative thoughts and feelings," Dr.Mitchell states. "And just like cancer, negative thoughts and feelings can have a detrimental effect on our physical health. Studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude are less likely to develop cancer. Cancer patients who maintain a positive outlook are more likely to respond well to treatment. There are several possible explanations for this link. First, positive thinking may help boost the immune system, making the body better able to fight off cancer cells. Second, having a positive attitude may lead to healthier habits, such as eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. Third, studies have shown that people with a positive outlook tend to live longer than those who are pessimistic, so it's essential for us to check our attitude and have people around us who are not afraid to tell us the truth." 


Sexually Transmitted Diseases

couple in live holding hads while lying in bed together

Dr. Mitchell says, "For most parts of the country, sex is no longer a taboo topic, and I will not shy around the subject, as it's important–especially when it comes to cancer risk and life expectancy. While cancer is most commonly associated with old age, the truth is that anyone can get cancer at any time. Cancer rates have been on the rise in recent years. One of the contributing factors is the increasing number of people who are engaging in risky behaviors, such as having multiple sexual partners. Cervical, penile, esophageal, vaginal, and vulva cancer, to name a few, have been associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) Each of these types of cancer has been linked to HPV, a sexually transmitted infection that can be passed on through unprotected sex. The risk of contracting cancer increases with the number of sexual partners you have; therefore, it is essential to be mindful of your habits to reduce your risk. Also, there are vaccines available to reduce your risk of these cancers. With any health concerns, it is essential to talk to your primary care provider or sexual health clinic." 


Living a Sedentary Lifestyle

Woman sitting on bed looking at phone bored and in a bad mood

According to Dr. Mitchell "A sedentary lifestyle can have a significant impact on life expectancy. Studies have shown that individuals who live a sedentary life are more likely to die earlier than those who are physically active. There are several reasons for this. First, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity and other health problems like heart disease and diabetes. Second, physical activity helps to keep the body functioning correctly. It helps to keep bones and muscles strong, and it also helps to reduce stress levels. Finally, exercise has been shown to boost cognitive function and protect against conditions like Alzheimer's disease. For all these reasons, it is essential to make sure that you include some form of exercise in your daily routine. Even a moderate amount of physical activity can have a significant impact on your life."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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