9 Tips to Break a Bad Habit
Bad habits…everyone has them, unless they’re perfect (which, of course, isn’t possible). No matter how big or small… bad habits are bad habits. Getting rid of them can be an ongoing obstacle course until you figure out once and for all how to kick it. So, how do you break a bad habit and get it off your shoulders for good?
First of all, it’s important to remember that it’s not easy to break a bad habit. You will probably slip up more than once. Make it a goal for the habit to become less and less frequent instead of going cold turkey. Although going cold turkey is successful sometimes, it is more common for people to get back into habits eventually.
1. What’s the cause?
Bad habits are often the result of a feeling or emotion. Pay attention to your body and your surroundings when you find yourself biting your nails or reaching for that bag of chips. Once you figure out the reason for the habit, it will be easier for you to let go of it.
2. Pay attention!
Paying attention to yourself is the key when it comes to kicking bad habits to the curb. Habits are something we often do without thinking, so pay attention to when you do it and when you don’t.
3. Find a habit replacer.
It’s usually easy to find a healthy replacement for bad habit. Instead of chewing on your nails, chew on some carrots. Instead of eating an entire bag of chips, eat some pretzels (but watch the serving size!). Replacements don’t have to be drastic, just something that will trick your mind into thinking you are engaging in the action you did before.
4. Will power!
You are the one who wants to stop the habit. Don’t blame your actions on anyone or anything else. If you truly want to change your ways, you have to believe you can do so.
5. Write it down.
Keep track of your bad habits. Write down what you want to change and what’s causing it once you figure it out. That way, you will have something to reference when you feel like slipping.
6. Distract yourself.
If you find yourself wanting to do your habit, do something else! Listen to music, read a book or go for walk. This list of healthy things you can do instead is endless.
7. Relax and breathe.
Several people engage in bad habits simply because they aren’t relaxed, therefore they aren’t breathing correctly! Take deep breaths will provide your brain with oxygen, helping you to make more responsible choices.
8. Set goals.
Whether it’s a short term goal or long term goal, they are great for breaking bad habits. Write them down and keep it somewhere where you can see. You will be more motivated and likely to make changes.
9. Have a support system.
Meeting goals can be hard to do by yourself! That’s why you should find a support system—friends, family and pets to help you reach your goal. They can be there to listen and offer you encouragement through your journey to break a bad habit.
By following all nine of these steps, you should be able to kick your habits to the curb, no problem! The key is to pay attention to your body and believe in yourself.