We like to think every problem has a single solution that will work best for the vast majority of people. It’s easier that way, because if the most popular or recommended answer isn’t really the best one, then that means we have to go looking for something else.

The path of least resistance feels comforting and safe by comparison. Venturing out on our own and doing additional research can get exhausting, but a bit of persistence can bring greater rewards in the long-term.

Dealing with bad habits

Are you trying to quit smoking? If so, be careful about who you tell, because those who announced they’re trying to quit are often bombarded with a ton of advice, most of it unhelpful.

You’ll hear things like, “My mother’s boyfriend’s yoga instructor swears that the nicotine patch is the only way to go,” or, “Cold turkey is the best way; I did it and never had any problems.” People get excited when they hear other people are trying to improve their quality of life, and they want to help. That, and sometimes humans are just nosy.

If you have two or three trusted friends who have finally managed to quit smoking for good, ask them what they did. Take notes on their process even as you remind yourself that your journey is going to look different than theirs. Everyone’s journey to becoming smoke-free is unique.

One option that’s become popular in recent years is vaping.

Cigarette smokers get to comfort themselves with a ritual that feels a lot like lighting up a cigarette, but instead they’re using an electronic cigarette, or e-cig. This practice is often called “vaping,” and there are a ton of cheap vape kits available for smokers hoping to kick the habit.

More long-term research on vaping is needed, but what we know now suggests it’s safer than tobacco cigarettes. The e-liquid used to create the vapor is available with or without nicotine.

Dealing with pain

Pain isn’t a bad habit, but the way we respond to it can be. No one chooses to wake up with a sore back or aching neck, and no one chooses to develop a headache right in the middle of an important business meeting, but such things happen anyway.

When they do, we have to be able to deal with the pain without risking additional damage to our bodies. Over-the-counter painkillers have been the standard for a while, as it’s easy enough to pop a bottle of pills into your purse or pocket before you leave for work.

However, long-term use of the over-the-counter pain medicine can cause high blood pressure and stomach ulcers. In a cruel twist, using such drugs too often may even cause headaches rather than eliminate them. It’s only natural that some people are looking for more, well, natural remedies that can ease their pain.

If you decide to go that route, ask a lot of questions and obtain as much credible information as possible. You’ll find some people who swear by Curamin Extra Strength and others who’ll tell you that acupuncture is the only way to go. You can listen to all of them or none of them; the choice is yours entirely.

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