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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

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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