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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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