There are three main reasons that we form bad habits. It could be a trigger, such as a hard day at work, it can just be a routine or it could be that you see your bad habit as a reward. Every time you repeat the habit it becomes strengthened when in fact what you should be doing is weakening the hold it has on you. However, bad habits can be hard to break, but you should never give up on trying. Replace those bad habits with good habits to get on the road to better health.
Don’t say I can’t
It is a very subtle difference, but research has shown that people who say I don’t rather than I can’t are more likely to break their bad habit. When someone is diagnosed as a diabetic, for instance, they will have much more success in controlling their diet if they say I don’t eat chocolate rather than I can’t eat chocolate.
The ‘can’t’ can make people feel deprived, and that makes the failure of breaking a bad habit more likely.
Replace a bad habit
It can feel like there is a gap in your life if you suddenly stop a bad habit. You are far more likely to succeed if you replace it with something better. Smoking is a typical example of this. Smokers who try to quit with no aids at all are far more likely to fail than those who accept help.
Vaping, for instance, is something I have seen people do when they would have normally had a cigarette. Though it is still nowhere near a healthy habit, it isn’t quite as bad for your health, and it is less expensive. One of the best ejuice alternatives on the market comes in different flavors. Be sure to check with your doctor about the safety of vaping as well as discussing a smoking cessation program. And always talk to your children about the dangers of smoking and the effect it has on their health.
If you are a compulsive shopper, find some other activity to do and perhaps one that involves a friend. Even if you go shopping with a friend, you are less likely to buy compulsively.
If you normally sit on the couch and watch TV after dinner, replace that with a walk. Get your whole family involved. Take the dog! Kids are much more likely to stay active and healthy if they see their parents staying active.
Be aware of your triggers
Sit back and think about out what triggers your bad habit. Being aware of the triggers makes them simpler to avoid, so it is easier to break the habit. The next time you have the urge to have a smoke or overeat, for instance, just ask yourself several questions. Where were you? What time of day is it? Were you stressed? Were you on your own?
If any of these situations are acting as a trigger to a bad habit, you need to try to avoid them in some way. This is not always easy if the situation is part of your lifestyle, but if that is the case try to change the situation in some way. As long as the trigger is not the same as the day before you should be on your way to breaking your bad habit.
Every step you take is one towards breaking the habit permanently, and you should congratulate yourself for that. For instance, if your bad habit is biting your nails and you go a month without biting them, reward yourself with a manicure. Just don’t reward yourself with something that’ll trigger your bad habit! Remember, replacing a bad habit with a good habit makes quitting that habit much easier.