Bad habits aren’t just something a person does for the fun of it, but they become a habit because they offer some sort of benefit or feeling that makes it difficult to stop. Because bad habits get in the way of living a healthy life or accomplishing certain goals, it is essential to get rid of them.
However, it’s not easy to just stop falling into bad habits due to the positive aspect they add to your life, which in turn makes them addictive.
The question is: How do you break free of bad habits?
1Choose a Healthy Substitute for your Bad Habit
Bad habits usually stem from their positive impact on your life. Let’s take smoking for instance, many people tend to resort to smoking because it makes them feel good, it reduces and monitors their stress level and makes them feel calm. So, in order to quit this bad habit, it is important to find an alternative that provides the same benefit, minus the health issues.
This could be resorting to exercise, chewing gum or using a stress ball. When it comes to bad habits that not only affect your health, but are also embarrassing to discuss, the experts at medicinedirect.co.uk explain that speaking to a professional online can be a much easier way of helping you take the first steps to overcome the habit.
You’ll be able to get treatment and find an alternative solution without having to face the awkwardness of opening up about embarrassing bad habits in person. This makes it a whole lot easier to actually address the issue at hand and start working towards a solution.
2Eliminate the Triggers
In most cases, bad habits are a direct effect of other actions and eliminating the triggers will help you overcome them. For instance, if you tend to eat an entire box of chocolates all at once, then not buying the box of chocolate to start off with will prevent you from doing the bad deed.
Or if you drink when you go to the bar, then not going to the bar will stop you from getting drunk. Trying to get rid of these bad habits will be a lot easier to accomplish when the trigger itself isn’t there in the first place.
In most cases, quitting a bad habit is a lot easier when you don’t walk the path to recovery alone. Knowing that someone else is not only going through the same thing you’re feeling and struggling, but still succeeding, is a great way to give you the motivation you need to keep going.
If you’re trying to follow a healthy diet by cutting out sugars, it will be much easier to accomplish your goal if you and a family member, friend or someone you see on a regular basis share the same goal and support each other through it all.
You’ll have someone to discuss the challenges with as well as a constant support system to cheer you on and help you continue getting through the difficult times, too.
4Place a Consequence for Negative Behavior
Another way to get rid of a bad habit is to add a fine or punishment as a consequence of your actions. This is where the idea of the swear jar comes from: Every time you swear, you must pay a fine into the swear jar which helps wire your brain into understanding that a punishment is in place and you will try to avoid swearing in the first place.
You can even use more positive fines depending on the action. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight and avoid eating unhealthy food, your fine could be to do 30 burpees or run 5 laps in order to not only punish yourself but also to help burn the calories and altering the effect of the bad habit.
5Take Baby Steps
Bad habits are something you’re used to doing and that’s why it’s not easy to break free from them entirely. Instead of trying to go cold turkey and end up failing miserably and getting disappointed, the best way to break free from a bad habit is by taking baby steps.
Being aware of your bad habits and reducing it instead of eliminating it entirely is a way to get your brain and body used to the reduction one step at a time until it is no longer needed. This way can be very effective especially with habits that are psychologically addictive such as smoking.
As your body gets used to the reduction in nicotine as well as the other substances, you will not suffer as much when you eventually go from one cigarette to no cigarette at all.
6Give Yourself Rewards
In order to be able to be consistent, you need to be getting something positive out of it and have a reward waiting for you to use as motivation. This will help you not only keep trying harder to cut your bad habits out but also feel a lot stronger and motivated as there’s a reward waiting for you once you achieve your goal.
However, it is very common that the choice of reward is one that messes up the entire system and makes all your work go in vain. When choosing a reward, pick one that will be beneficial without harming your progress.
This could be rewarding yourself with a trip after you stop smoking for 3 months, or buying a dress once you’ve been eating healthy and lose 5 kg. These types of rewards are a great way to motivate yourself and allow you to be consistent, have something to look forward to and be able to overcome the struggles when they hit strong.
Most people have many bad habits that they do on a regular basis but their badness or how much they affect your life, happiness, health, and well-being vary according to the habit.
In order to overcome the bad habits, you must first look closely at your lifestyle and acknowledge the problems you need to address and then follow a positive plan using the above tips to help you reach your goals.