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15 Things To Throw Away For Better Health

15 Things To Throw Away For Better Health

When we think about becoming healthier, we often think about joining a gym and starting to eat a more balanced diet. These things are both very important, but becoming healthy also means throwing away anything that is harmful or holding you back.

Every day you encounter harmful household items – here are 15 things that you should throw away today for better health.

1. Old running sneakers

Running shoes experience serious damage every time you exercise in them, so make sure you replace your pair every three to six months. As they wear down they lose cushioning, so your feet and muscles take most of the force, meaning you are more likely to suffer from running injuries in the future.

2. The kitchen sponge

Studies have found that the kitchen sponge is the germiest thing in the average household, but swapping to a wash cloth will reduce the germs. Sponges suck the germs inside of them, and as they stay at room temperature any bacteria in them will thrive. Wash cloths hold far less germs, and putting them through the washing machine each week will help to kill bacteria.

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3. Plastic cutting boards

Bacteria can grow in the cuts and grooves on a plastic cutting board, and it is very difficult to clean away once it is there. Wooden chopping boards are a great alternative as antimicrobial wood kills bacteria.

4. Antibacterial soap

According to a report from the FDA, antibacterial soap is no more effective than normal soap – and it may even be dangerious. The active ingredient in antibacterial soap can alter hormones in animals, and there are growing concerns that antibacterial soap is linked to antibiotic resistance.

5. Plastic containers

Old plastic containers made from clear, hard plastic that are stamped with “7” or “pc” can be dangerous to your health. They contain BPA, a harmful synthetic compound that can leak into food that is stored in the plastic container.

6. Diet soda

A study from Nature found that the sweeteners saccharin and sucralose in diet soda can disrupt your gut bacteria, which can cause health problems like glucose intolerance.

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7. Air fresheners (solids, plug-ins and sprays)

Although some companies have promised to phase out phthaletes, most air fresheners still include them. Phthaletes can have harmful effects on overall development and the reproductive system.

8. Old air filters

Air filters can accumulate around 40 pounds of dust, which it will then recirculate throughout your house. This can aggravate allergies and asthma, and sometimes very old air filters will grow mould. Swap your air filter for an air purifier to make sure you can breathe easy at home.

9. Frayed toothbrush

Old, frayed toothbrushes gather bacteria and they are less effective at fighting off decay – swap your toothbrush every three months to help maintain a healthy mouth.

10. Food leftovers

Have your leftovers have been in the fridge for three days? If so, it is time to eat them, freeze them or throw them away. Listeria grows in food at fridge temperature, and it is linked to meningitis and miscarriages.

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11. Old mascara

Liquid make-up can harbor germs, and every time the mascara wand touches your face you add new bacteria to the mix. Throw away your tube after 3 to 4 months of use to keep your eyes safe from infection.

12. Old lip balm or lip gloss

A moist lip balm tube is filled with bacteria from your mouth, and if your mouth is cracked or cut you may get a mouth infection. Try to replace your lip balms or glosses every 6 months after opening.

13. Unclean contact lens case

It doesn’t matter how clean your lenses are if the case you keep them in is dirty. Over time a biofilm will build up on the surface of the lens, which encourages the growth of bacteria. Most opticians recommend that the lens case is replaced every 3 months.

14. Clothes you will never wear again

Do you actually wear everything in your wardrobe? Many people keep clothes that are either too small or big for them, on the off chance that their weight will change and they will fit into the clothes ago. Realistically you don’t use these items, and seeing them can make you feel upset or under confident. Only keep clothes that you can wear!

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15. Your smartphone, tablet and laptop

You don’t have to get rid of your technology, but recent studies have found that overuse of these devices is linked to anxiety and depression. Look out for your mental well-being by going offline every day for a few hours.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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