We all have our foibles and habits, but how do you differentiate between a harmless habit and a habit that has developed into a damaging problem? Most things in moderation are not harmful, but anything to excess, even exercise, can be damaging.

A habit is anything that we do regularly. Perhaps it is finishing all the food on your plate whether you are full or not. Perhaps it is heavy smoking, a much more harmful activity. Anything that damages your health is a problem that you need to address.

Sometimes we can be unaware that a harmless habit has developed into a problem. It might take our family or close friends to point it out to us for us to recognise that we need to address some aspect of our lives. You might think that your habit is small, such as biting your nails, but if you do not wash your hands you could expose yourself unnecessarily to illness. 

Even something such as regularly drinking soft drinks could be having a dramatically damaging impact on your health. Drinking excessive amounts of soft drinks means your sugar intake will be very high. This could have serious consequences for your dental health, mental wellbeing and make you more prone to future heart conditions.


Addiction is a very serious mental health issue affecting millions of people worldwide. Psychologists have traced addictions back to a number of issues, including how we were fed and how much attention we received as infants.

Perhaps the first step in overcoming an addiction is to recognise it as an addictive behaviour that is damaging to you. Anything from coffee to alcohol or even sex can become an addiction. Identifying it as such might involve monitoring your moods when you abstain from that habit to see if the habit affects your mental wellbeing.

Some unsociable habits such as cocaine drug abuse or smoking cigarettes are addictive because of the chemicals they contain, which you ingest, such as nicotine in cigarettes. Other addictions such as sex are psychological conditions that might require therapy. There are a number of techniques to confront addictions from support groups to hypnosis, but all methods involve will power.  


Some people, especially those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) suffer compulsive behaviours. Simple acts such as washing your hands after visiting the toilet can develop into compulsions, elevated and distorted to over the top proportions. In some cases people have been known to wash their hands in undiluted bleach both before and after going to the toilet, as well as cleaning the toilet before and after use. This is a good example of a compulsive behaviour that begins as a logical positive behaviour but has become irrational and compulsive.

If you are concerned that any of your habits could be causing you damage why not make an appointment with your local GP? They will be able to offer you appropriate support and guidance and help you to confront any habits that could develop into potential health issues. 

Broadgate GP, best walkin clinic in London providing the best health care advice possible by engaging highly experienced doctors and advanced medical facilities. Contact us today on 020 7638 4330 to get an immediate appointment.