How To Break A Bad Habit And Improve Your Life
Our everyday life is controlled by our habits. Throughout your life you managed to develop quite a lot of habits and now your everyday actions are based on those habits. Sadly, but not all of those habits are healthy. Everyone has or at least had bad habits before. And some of those habits could have a huge negative impact on your life. It’s no wonder that you might have question like “How to break a bad habit and improve the quality of your life”.
Swearing, spiting, bragging, poor posture, smoking, drinking, eating junk food, using devices at night, spending too much time on the internet, feeling negative about everything, doing drugs and various other bad habits. I’m pretty sure you have or had some experiences with at least one of these bad habits. I had most of them…
After you decide to stop your bad habits you might start thinking that it’s really hard to stop doing something that you’ve been doing for quite a while now. The first thing you should do when trying to break a bad habit, is start replacing it with a good habit.
Bad habits give us some psychological benefits for a short amount of time, for example, smoking a cigarette might relieve stress for you. It makes you feel good but the stress still remains there. To replace a bad habit you should observe what benefit you are getting from it. If it relieves stress, find a healthy way to relieve your stress without smoking a cigarette and it will become much easier to quit smoking.
How To Break A Bad Habit And Never Have It Again
There are quite few strategies and tips for breaking your habits but you must remember that it all starts with you. If you don’t take action, you’ll never be able to do it.
1. Find Out What Triggers Them
It’s really important to realize that all of your habits get triggered by someone or something. Sometimes you get used to your bad habit so much that you won’t even realize you’re doing it. Are you consuming more cigarettes when you’re around people who smoke ? Do you have cravings to drink alcohol when you’re at a party but feel no need to drink when you’re alone ?
The point is, if you start observing yourself and try to find the reason that’s causing your bad habit to trigger, only then will you be able to take action and get rid of the habit for good. But observing is not as easy as it sounds. You have to maintain focused all the time. It’s hard to understand your emotions at first but as your self-observation skills improve, by time you’ll be able to take control of your emotions and resist doing actions that trigger your habit. By observing you can start taking more control of your life.
2. Always Focus On One Bad Habit At A Time
You’d be quite surprised how many people make this mistake. One day after getting all motivational and pumped, Johnny decides to change his lifestyle for the better. He decides that he should ditch all his bad habits at once because he realized that all those habits have massive unwanted outcomes in his life. He starts searching the internet with phrases like “How to break a bad habit and never have one again”, “how to forget all your bad habits forever” and so on.
Johnny then starts to feel even better about himself because now he has a strategy to quit all of his unhealthy habits. But after a few days (or 20 minutes) of trying to forget his habits, Johnny starts to get huge urges to do all the stuff he just quit. After a few more days it started feeling like endless torture, so Johnny chose the easy way out because he couldn’t control him self anymore.
But little did he know that it would’ve been much easier to control his urges if it came only from one source. The more you are trying to accomplish at once, the harder it will be to accomplish your goals. Try to do one thing at a time until you’re satisfied with the results. It’s much easier this way. So don’t make the same mistake as Johnny did!
3. Finding An Alternative
When trying to break a bad habit it’s much easier to do it when you have an alternative to replace it with. For example, if you never smoke but after having a few drinks you start chain-smoking, then stop drinking or reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.
If you eat a lot of junk food when you have it in your fridge, then stop buying junk food and keeping it in your house. I find it really easy to resist junk food when I don’t have any at all. But if there’re some sweets in my house, I’ll keep thinking about it until I decide that I deserve a little snack and then I’ll eat everything the fridge throws at me.
Another great way to overcome junk food addiction is to simply eat low calorie snacks when you’re having cravings. Eat some fruits or veggies. Get used to healthy food and you won’t need as much junk food as before.
There’s always alternatives that will reduce or banish your cravings.
4. Visualization Is An Important Factor
If you can’t see yourself as able to quit your bad habit, then you will fail in the end. You must visualize your success, feel like you’ve already quit. Imagine getting rid of all the junk food in your fridge. Visualize crushing all your cigarettes.
Imagine having all the benefits of breaking the bad habit you’re looking to break. Keep telling yourself that you’ve already done it. It takes time to master your visualizations but as long as you keep repeating to your brain that you successfully replaced your bad habits with good ones, by time it will become a reality.
5. Look For All The Negative Effects Of The Bad Habit
When trying to break a bad habit, it really helped me a lot when started reading or watching a lot of videos about the bad sides of the habit I wanted to get rid of. I started realizing that it’s doing so much bad for my health and for my whole lifestyle. Sometimes you even hear some horrible side effects that you never thought it’s effecting you.
This on it’s own might not be enough to finally quit your unhealthy behaviors but it’s a great start that leads to your first actions. And even when you know all the unhealthy effects, whenever you feel urges just watch a video or read an article to remind yourself about the consequences to get extra motivation to keep going.
Just keep tracking your goals and results. You might not succeed on your first try. In fact, you most likely won’t. Keep track of everything and take it slow. One step at a time and take full control of your cravings. Remember, focus on one habit at a time.
It requires lots of patience and willpower to successfully brake all bad habits but it’s really important to to lose these habits if you want to have a healthier and happier lifestyle!
If you have more tips and strategies on how to break a bad habit and improve the quality of your life, then feel free to share them in the comments.