Breaking Bad Habits Before They Break You

Saturday, March 31, 2018

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If you have any bad habits, then congratulations, it's been confirmed you’re a human.  You will also know first hand that they can take over your life, and prohibit you from doing all the things that you want to get done. Often we see that they are wrong for us, but they are hard to eliminate from our lives.

“Why don’t you stop?” These habits can ring deeper than that. These habits can also range from smoking and drinking to biting your nails and disrupting your sleeping pattern.
These kinds of habit are not right for us; for our physical health or our mental health. They waste our time, money, and energy, that could be better used elsewhere. So how can we make sure that a bad habit gets out of our lives for good?
Start with looking at what may be causing (or leading to) your bad habit in the first place. More often than not this kind of habit will come from one of two things, stress or boredom. It can be a way to cope if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, or act as an escape when you’re feeling bored. Once again, not just talking about the ‘taboo’ habits like smoking or binge drinking every week. But things like overspending or overeating can quite quickly become a bad habit that takes over.

a stressful or boring situation. While some good habits can help your response, you do have to look at yourself and see if there is an underlying issue to the habit. Of course, stress or boredom may have been the trigger that gets you started. But do you have a belief or any particular reason for the bad habit that keeps you doing it? Is there some fear that keeps you doing something that you know is bad for you? If this isn’t dealt with, along with some healthy habits, then it could lead to the habit taking over your life, and even ending up somewhere like rehab. So taking control is one of the first steps to kicking your bad habit for good. Knowing the causes or reasons behind a bad habit can make a big difference in helping you to overcome them.

If you have a habit that you want to see the back of, then here are some of the ways that you can break the habit and replace it with a good one if needed.

Remove Triggers

Several things will be triggers for you and your bad habit. If you eat a whole pack of cookies whenever they are in the house, try not buying them. My only exception is Girl Scout season. Lemme tell ya, those cookies are a habit that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Additionally, if you smoke when you go out for a drink, then avoid going to a bar for a while or or reduce the amount that you drink, so that the associated smoking doesn’t come along with it. You can make it much easier on yourself when you remove whatever the trigger for your bad habit is. The environment that you put yourself in will play a big part in your habits. As things are, it is making the bad habits easier. So you want to turn it on its head and make it a better environment for good practices to be established. I like to think of it as feng shui-ing your life.

Choose a Substitute

If you make a plan for how you will react to things going forward, then it can help you to beat the habit. But for many, having to stop doing something simply can be difficult. Which is where replacing the habit with something better can be a good thing. You are still likely to face stress or boredom in your life at some points. But when those instances occur, you want to make sure that you can deal with them in a better manner, and not revert to your old ways. What will work for you could be different to someone else. But things like going for a run, instead of reaching for a packet of cigarettes could help, or replace the sugary foods that you eat with something with natural sugar, like fruit. Decide now so that when you feel the urge, you can commit to your substitute.

Get an Accountability Buddy

If you have a friend to report back to, then it can be a good way to keep you motivated to keep going and beating your habit. It could be someone in a similar situation to you or someone close to you that wants to help. Much like getting a gym buddy! You can check up on each other, ask how each other are doing, and keep each other motivated. 

Surround Yourself with Positivity

The people that you surround yourself with are the people that will influence your life, for good or for bad. So think about your family or friend circle at the moment, and think about the impact that these people have on your life. Are they a negative impact? If there are toxic people that are causing the stress and chaos in your life, then avoid being around them. It will make your habit much harder to kick otherwise. Instead, surround yourself with people that help you to be better and help you to be the best version of yourself. Some new friends can be a very valuable asset.

Identify the steps that you need to take to beat your habit. It might be avoiding certain places or people, rather than using a substitute habit. You need to figure out what works for you.

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