Bad habits disturb your life and prevent you from reaching your objectives. They jeopardize your mental as well as bodily well-being. They also consume your time and efforts.
So why do we keep doing them? Most importantly, is there anything you can do about it? I’ve already discussed the biology of habit building, so let’s move on to the technique of making real-world changes. How can you get rid of bad habits and replace them with good ones?
I don’t have all the answers, but keep reading and I’ll relate what I’ve discovered on changing bad behaviors.
What factors contribute to harmful habits?
The majority of your poor behaviors are triggered by two factors…
Boredom and stress
Most negative habits are merely a means of coping with stress and boredom. Everything from chewing your nails to going on a shopping spree to binge drinking every weekend to squandering time on the internet may be an easy way to cope with stress and boredom.
Of course, sometimes the seeming stress or ennui is caused by deeper worries. These are challenging issues to contemplate, but if you want to make changes, you would have to be honest about yourself.
Are there any particular beliefs or justifications behind the harmful habits? Is there anything deeper at work — a fear, an experience, or a limiting belief — that is prompting you to cling to something unhealthy?
Recognizing the sources of your harmful habits is essential for breaking them.
Poor conduct is substituted rather than abolished.
All of your habits, whether good and bad, are there for a purpose. These hobbies benefit you in some ways while being detrimental in others. These “benefits” or arguments also apply to minor harmful behaviors. Opening your email inbox as soon as you switch on your computer, for example, may help you feel more connected. Looking at all of those emails at the same time kills your productivity, divides your concentration, and overwhelms you with worry. However, it keeps you from feeling like you’re “missing out,” so you do it again.
Because poor habits bring some kind of value in your life, just eliminating them is quite tough. (This is why simple advice like “simply quit doing it” is rarely effective.) Instead, you must replace a negative behavior with a new one that offers a comparable advantage.
It’s not a smart idea to “just stop smoking” if you smoke when you’re stressed. Instead of smoking, devise a new stress-management approach and adopt it instead. Negative habits, in other words, serve a role in your life. As a consequence, it is advisable to substitute a healthier activity that meets the same requirement for your harmful activities. Some needs may be unmet if you expect yourself to just quit undesired activities without replacing them, and it will be difficult to maintain a habit of “just don’t do it” for very long.
How to Break a Bad Habit
Here are some additional ideas for altering bad behaviors and reconsidering the strategy. Choose an alternative to your troublesome behavior. You must prepare ahead of time how you will react when confronted with the stress or boredom that is the source of your negative habit. What are your plans if you are tempted to smoke? (Alternatively, try breathing exercises.)
What would you do when Facebook beckons you to procrastinate? (For instance, write one phrase for work.) Whatever it is and whatever you are dealing with, you must have a strategy for what you intend to do instead of your bad habit.
Right now, your circumstances facilitate poor conduct while making healthy behavior more challenging. You may influence the outcome by altering your environment. Join forces with someone. Instead, band together and quit as a group. You and your spouse may hold each other accountable and celebrate your victories together. Knowing that others expect you to do better is a great incentive.
Surround yourself with others who live in the same way you do. You don’t have to say goodbye to your old friends, but don’t underestimate the importance of making new ones.
Consider yourself a winner. Consider stopping smoking, eating healthier, or getting up earlier. Imagine yourself eradicating whatever unpleasant behavior you wish to stop, laughing, and enjoying in your victory. Consider giving yourself a new identity. You don’t have to be someone else; simply be yourself again. We typically feel that in order to eliminate bad habits, we must fully change ourselves.
The truth is that you already have the potential to break away from your bad habits. In fact, it’s quite unlikely that you’ve been engaging in these unhealthy activities your whole life. You do not have to stop smoking; simply cease smoking, or shift towards something different, like hyde disposable vape. You don’t have to become a healthy person; you simply have to return to being healthy. Even if it’s been years, you’ve already lived without this heinous habit, implying that you can do it again.
To counteract negative self-talk, use the word “but.” When you’re battling poor behaviors, it’s tempting to condemn yourself for not doing better. It’s easy to remind yourself how bad you are every time you make a mistake or mess up. So, instead of beating yourself up over a mistake, prepare for it. We all stray off track; what distinguishes great achievers from the rest is that they get back on track fast.
What is the next step?
If you want to start breaking negative behaviors, I recommend starting with awareness. It’s easy to become preoccupied with how you feel about your unhealthy behaviors. You may either make yourself feel guilty or spend your time fantasizing about how things should be… However, these ideas distract you from what is truly happening.
Simply keeping track of these difficulties will make you more aware of the problem and provide you with dozens of solutions to stop it.
Here’s an easy method to get started: simply keep count of how many times each day your undesirable behavior occurs. Make a note of it on your notepad every time your negative habit occurs. At the end of the day, add up all of the tally marks to get your total.
The idea at first is not to condemn yourself or feel bad about doing something unhealthy or ineffective. The sole purpose is to be aware of when and how frequently it occurs. Being aware of the situation will help you get your brain around it. Then you may begin to put the concepts in this article into action and break your negative behavior.
Breaking harmful behaviors requires time and effort, but most importantly, persistence. Most people who succeed in overcoming harmful habits attempt and fail several times before they succeed. You may not achieve success right immediately, but it does not imply you will never achieve it.