HOW TO BREAK A BAD HABIT
Bad habits are as bad as they come. They interrupt growth, ruin relationships, and become real stumbling blocks in achieving goals. They often put mental and physical health at risk and waste your time and energy on the wrong things and sometimes- people.
What causes bad habits?
You cannot truly solve a problem without knowing how and why it is there. All bad habits boil down to three things… stress, boredom, and wrong models.
Stress and boredom.
If you are often bored, stressed, or both, you are very close to some nasty habits. The reason you spend so much time on the internet and why you often overspend or consume too much alcohol is probably because you are bored. However, it doesn’t have to be like this, there are better ways to cope with stress and boredom, and you can learn them if you are willing and ready to pay attention.
Most of the habits you have – the way you do things on a daily basis – right now are down to what you have seen others do. You need to know where you got that particular habit, and it will be easier to understand how to get rid of it.
You don’t eliminate a bad habit; you replace it through modeling.
It is essential to know that the best way to get rid of a bad habit is by replacing it with a good one. There are no vacuums in life; you need to retrain your mind – and perhaps your body – to see and do things differently.
Once you know what drives you to drink excessively or to get unnecessarily aggressive, you can look for better ways to deal with the triggers and the underlying condition.
How to break a bad habit
Here are further tips on how to see bad habits and work to overcome them:
Choose a substitute for your bad habit. Since you now know that bad habits are usually inappropriate responses to situations, you should plan to replace them with better ones. What are you going to do next time, you are tempted to become violent, and when you have the urge for a smoke? Whatever it is, you need to have a plan on how you will respond, and this plan must be consistent and sustainable.
Know the triggers and work on them. Do you know what sets you on that destructive cycle of bad habits? Try as much as possible to cut out the triggers: if you eat cookies on impulse when they are in the house, throw them out. If you get violent because of arguments, don’t get into one. If you get distracted by social media when working on the computer, remove the internet connection until you are done with your work. You need to make it easier for yourself to break free from habits by cutting out their triggers.
Find support. It is easier to break up a bad habit if you are not doing it alone. Join up with a support group where you meet with people who are passing through similar challenges and work together. Hearing others share their stories make it easier to quit. It also gives some healthy competition and a form of positive comrade spirit. Your family and friends can also form part of your support group to hold you accountable.
Work on your association. While you don’t necessarily need to walk out on the critical people in your life, you may need to make a couple of adjustments to the immediate company you keep. Spend more time with those who influence you positively and will not endorse your bad habits.
Power up through visualization. Never underestimate the power of visualization when it comes to self-improvement. See yourself living free from the shackles of that lousy habit; see yourself conquering the bottle and getting rid of that cigarette and living above the violent outbursts.
Don’t talk yourself down. The vital point is that most people struggling with a bad habit beat themselves up too much to be able to win. You need to understand that it will be a tough road; you will fail a couple of times, and at some point, it will feel like you will never win. However, you need to understand that perseverance will win over any bad habit.
Don’t judge yourself too harshly; look for ways to help yourself and improve your chances of overcoming that habit.
It is alright to fail, don’t give up. You will definitely need it. This will help you not to throw in the towel over setbacks.
If you fail, get up, clean yourself up, tie your ponytails, and go again.
You need to know that as bad as bad habits are, they never define you as long as you will continue to fight to be better and change those habits consciously. You are a champion; don’t allow any bad habit to ruin you!