Building a new habit can transform your life. Unfortunately, when the new habit you start is a bad habit that is worth breaking, it is best not to start at all. However, we cannot go back in time to change the past. All we can do is take the right steps to make changes by moving forward. So before you hit a negative internal critic, remember that this same brain will have to play a crucial role in these next steps. So let’s see how to break a bad habit. We’ll share 10 ways for you to choose between breaking the habit in the way that works best for you. So let’s get down to business.
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How To Break A Bad Habit In 10 Ways That Work For You
1. Determine the cause
Behind every bad habit is an emotional reason. For example, if you drink socially, the fear of talking to someone you like or admire may be the cause. If you smoke cigarettes, peer pressure may have been what got you started in the first place. Alternatively, if you overeat due to trauma, working on the trauma will be key to stopping you.
It would be ideal to say, okay, you are aware of the bad habit, so stop. However, there is a reason you can’t. For example, bad habits can make you feel better, safer, or taste delicious, depending on your mood. So when it comes to a substitute, it’s more about finding a substitute that not only solves the emotional aspect but also replaces the benefit you get from the bad habit.
Therefore, if you find that you are overeating because you want to be unattractive due to a traumatic experience, you may need to find a trauma therapist while eating sugar-free snacks so that you do not become prediabetic. You can also buy smaller snack-sized portions so you can still snack, but on a smaller scale. Conscious eating meditation can also be helpful in helping you manage your bad eating habits. Nutrition tracking apps can also be helpful for eating carefully.
2. Replace it with a more positive habit
You can find a good habit to replace all bad habits. For example, instead of eating junk food, you can create a healthy exercise routine. But they don’t always have to be 1-1 for each other. You can break a bad habit by finding a better habit that you like.
For example, instead of smoking cigarettes, you can create a social activity such as climbing, hiking, or dance classes. That way, you’ll still be able to interact with other people without having to smoke. If there are aspects of your bad habit that you enjoy, try to find an equivalent activity that matches that result without having to continue with the bad habit.
The reason exercise works so well is because it provides you with dopamine and endorphins, which make you feel good as do many bad habits.
3. Work with a therapist
If you find a therapist who specializes in addictions or overcoming bad habits, you can get the support you need. You could even work with an advisor in your specific area. For example, if you are struggling to overcome alcohol addiction, you can work with an addiction specialist. However, if you are struggling with an eating disorder, working with a nutritionist while advising you can be helpful. There is an expert for each type of bad habit you would like to break that will help you create new habits. Therapy treats the emotional side of the problem so you don’t fall for it.
You can also work with a therapist to learn multiple techniques to break a bad habit, so you can choose. Often, if we are only given one option to break a bad habit, it is not a guarantee that we will do so because this choice may not work for us. However, when you are presented with several paths, you are more likely to find something that works for you. Some people leave the turkey cold while others try a reduction method. It all depends on the bad habit and how seriously addicted you are. Also, when you get involved with the emotional elements of the bad habit, things get a little complicated.
4. Minimize your triggers
It’s pretty hard to break a bad habit if you don’t know what your triggers are. Most of the time, though, we know what they are. Someone might say something painful and we drink to numb the pain. Sexual assault can cause someone to overeat as it tries to be less unattractive to people to prevent another assault from occurring. We may experience work stress, which causes us to smoke cigarettes in a chain after a particularly hard talk.
You may not be able to remove all of your triggers, because sometimes people inadvertently and unknowingly provoke you. However, learning how to handle triggers is helpful. By working with a therapist, you can discuss how to live while you have triggers. In areas under your control, you can change your environment, your romantic partner, or cut out something specific about your life.
5. Reduce stress
It’s impossible to break a bad habit when we feel overwhelmed. After all, most bad habits are in place for you to fall asleep in difficult situations. We have these bad habits because in difficult situations they make us feel better. But you can’t hold on to them because they’re bad for you. So instead of trying to get rid of bad habits without a plan, consider finding ways to reduce stress.
If your job is stressful, you can choose to find a new job so you can start all over again. Once you get the new job, you can choose kindness in all interactions, so that you emit more positive energy to avoid a downward spiral. In cases where you can’t remove people from your life because they’re family, neighbors, or in your world, focus on changing. When you decide to respond differently to someone’s provocation, they have no choice but to change their behavior around you. Consider doing acts of kindness or good deeds for difficult people. Tell them what you appreciate about them. This has been shown to help relieve tension. Don’t fight the ego with the ego, you will never win. Fight the ego with love and kindness and it will go out.
6. Let the turkey cool
There are two key ways to break a bad habit: leave the turkey cold or reduce it. In the end, one will work better for you. When people stop cold turkey, it is usually because they have reached a breaking point. In fact, most people leave the turkey cold before anyone realizes that they are struggling with a bad habit in the first place.
Having some kind of general statement, such as leaving the bad habit to (fill in the blanks) is usually helpful. The day before skydiving I was scared to death, so the day before I decided to quit alcohol for a year if I survived. For me, doing it was a bit bs because dying in a parachute was a kind of mask I told people, the reality is that a deep trauma increased my alcohol addiction. However, doing so worked. Curious fact: If you set a deadline, such as a year to quit a bad habit, you really won’t like it after this period is over.
7. Make a pact with yourself
Similar to widespread statements, pacts with the universe are also helpful in breaking a bad habit. It’s almost like an ultimatum we make to ourselves. It doesn’t matter if you make a pact with yourself, with a higher power or with the universe, choose the one that motivates you the best.
When you make a pact with yourself, think about a timeline for when you want to do it. For example, if you’re involved in too much drama because of your gossip, you can choose to do a good deed every day to counteract it. However, how long will it take you to do a good deed a day? Having a timeline, such as “for the rest of my life” or “for a year” is crucial.
Depending on how disturbing your bad habit is and how good it is to replace your bad habit, you can choose to extend it to your whole life. Do this only for one or two things at most. It can be overwhelming to commit to too many changes in habits. Make it simple. However, a pact with oneself or with the universe, without anyone knowing it, usually involves a fairly strong level of commitment.
8. Create a new goal
Sometimes breaking a bad habit is as simple as setting new goals. For example, if you set a goal of saving $ 10,000 by the end of the year, your bad habit of spending your money frivolously will be set aside.
Having a goal that not only motivates you but is also personal is what will make the difference. You can create goals to help you get to version 2.0 yourself. You can divide them into different categories, such as health, finance, relationships, wish list, career, mental health and wellness, community, and more. Choose to set goals in areas where you really care about personal growth.
Set deadlines or timelines for achieving goals. And be sure to write down your goals in writing. Place your goals in a place where you can see them regularly so that you have them in front of you. You can even create a list of peaks for each goal to reach milestones and celebrate along the way to stay motivated and move in a positive direction.
9. Change your environment
If you’ve tried several times to break a bad habit but can’t make a serious change, it may be time to change your environment. Toxic environments can have a negative effect on our well-being and mental health. Removing toxic people, places, and thoughts from our lives will help you break a bad habit.
If your family causes emotional pain, then leaving or divorcing you may be the one that will help you heal. If a certain group of friends encourages your bad habits, finding a new group of friends can improve your life. If most of your problems start as thoughts, then it will be important to take drastic steps to change your thoughts. For example, doing acts of kindness can help you look different after doing so for a few months to avoid self-hatred.
10. Partner with a friend
To break a bad habit or start a good one, you may want to partner with a friend to be accountable. For example, if you want to increase your fitness routine, a friend might come to the gym with you regularly to keep you motivated. If you want to stop arguing with your partner or spouse, working together to communicate well and help each other at home can help make the transition easier. Those of you who have a bad habit of not studying or practicing a specific skill could partner with a tutor, mentor, or friend to practice the skill alongside them. Bad habits such as overreacting to difficult situations could be solved by working with a therapist, counselor, or mental health professional to work on your emotions.
Breaking a bad habit will require you to make some serious changes in your life. What has gotten you into this bad habit will need to be treated to allow you to move forward. Dealing with large amounts of stress without any moral support will not allow you to free yourself emotionally from your bad habits. So finding some emotional support will play a critical role in your recovery. You can leave the turkey cold or leave the bad habit slowly, whichever works best for you. Changing your environment, finding a friend to help you form a new good habit, and working with a therapist can be beneficial for the next chapter so that you can finally master how to break a bad habit.
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