Friday, September 24, 2021

8 Steps to Breaking a Bad Habit and Forming a New One

Despite knowing something is bad for us, why can’t we stop doing it? More than 50% of smokers express their desire to quit. Substance abusers struggle to give up addictions that harm their bodies and sabotage relationships. So, why do people do it? 

HABIT

Habit

Research shows that bad habits are difficult to break once established. 

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Breaking unwanted habits, especially long-term ones, can be difficult. The first step to changing habits is to understand how they develop. Developing new habits requires breaking bad ones. Here's how to do that. 

#1 Identify The Triggers

Identify The Triggers

Developing a habit begins with identifying triggers. First, identify what triggers your habitual behaviors so that you can let them go. You might find patterns in your habits after tracking them for a few days. Observe where the habitual behavior occurs, when it occurs (time), the environment and people around when it occurs, and how you react to it. Identifying the trigger can help you break the pattern.

#2 Consider The Reasons For Changing 

Consider The Reasons For Changing

If you want to break the habit, consider the benefits you can gain from the change. You might discover a few reasons you hadn't thought of before by listing these. For motivation, write it on paper and stick it somewhere you’ll see it regularly. Seeing the list will help you stay focused on making the change you want to make. The list will serve as a reminder of why you should keep trying in case you fall back. 

#3 Take Baby Steps

Take Baby Steps

Don’t try to kick multiple habits at once. An idea of a transformed self can serve as a powerful motivator, especially when you start changing these bad habits. Make small steps toward establishing new habits. In the long term, even if it appears insignificant at first, taking small, manageable steps toward eliminating bad habits may be beneficial. 

#4 Get In The Habit Of Practicing Mindfulness

Get In The Habit Of Practicing Mindfulness

You can gain awareness around your thoughts, emotions, and actions by practicing mindfulness. In mindfulness, you observe your habit-related impulses. Your habit will become more apparent when you are aware of how it affects your daily life. Your self-awareness will make you more motivated to change the habit as you start to recognize the damaging effects.

#5 Practice self-care

Practice self-care

In situations where you are already stressed out because of work, relationship issues, or health issues, breaking a habit can be distressing. If you want to break a habit, it's crucial to put your well-being first. Sleep for a good 8 hours, eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, keep yourself hydrated, etc. Keeping up with this practice not only increases your odds of succeeding but allows you to remain flexible in the face of difficulties as well.

#6 Make Changes To Your Environment

Make Changes To Your Environment

Often, your surroundings can have a significant impact on your habits. Don't forget that your environment also includes the people who surround you.  You should avoid spending time with people who contribute to or undermine your efforts to break your habit. Detach yourself from people or surroundings that instigate bad habits. 

#7 Be Prepared For Slip-Ups

Be Prepared For Slip-Ups

Though some habits may be easier to break than others, breaking a habit can be difficult. When the new ones haven't been thoroughly embedded, it's easy to revert to old patterns. There will be days when you fall back and it’s completely normal. Keep going. Change is hard. Those habits don't happen overnight; you need time to build them.  

#8 Seek The Assistance Of A Friend

Seek The Assistance Of A Friend

It is much easier to break a bad habit if you do it together with a friend or partner. Having someone else to deal with it might make the process smoother. Be sure to cheer each other when they succeed and to encourage them when they fail. Even if a friend doesn't have any habits they'd like to change, they can still offer support. You may decide to tell a trusted friend about the habit you're seeking to break. Your friends and family members can encourage and gently remind you to stick with your goal in times of doubt and relapse.

You got this. You can do it, okay?


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