All of us know how bad habits affect our lives. It’s well known that they prevent us from making our goals a reality, simply by interrupting our lives. They waste all of our energy and time. In addition to this, a bad habit jeopardizes both your mental and physical health. Have you ever wondered then, why we still do them?
Have you ever tried to do something about the bad habits that you have?
There have been quite a few studies about how a bad habit starts, but not nearly as many on how to get rid of a habit that might be curbing your potential. We aren’t saying we have all the answers to make your life free of every single bad habit and leave you with nothing but the good ones. It has been brought to our notice that breaking a bad habit isn’t even close to as difficult as we think it is.
Before we begin our journey to getting rid of the worst of our habits, and to imbibe the habits that will help us progress in life, we need to understand why you caught on to the bad habit in the first place.
Why you fall for bad habits so easily?
More often than not, we take up a habit that we regret just as a way of dealing with the stress or boredom we might be facing in our general lives.
All of it, from biting your nails to drinking every time you feel bored and wasting an entire day at a stretch on the internet, stems from the basic need to escape from the stress and boredom we find ourselves dealing with. One needs to understand the fact that escapism can never serve as a long-term solution.
The singular most effective method to deal with stress and boredom is to keep yourself occupied by doing productive stuff and focusing on making yourself healthier.
Elimination VS Replacing
Every habit that you have right now – or have had once – whether good or bad, serves a purpose in your life. They exist because they provide you with some sort of a benefit, even if they might be devastating to your life as a whole.
At times, this benefit is biological, as with drugs and/or smoking. It may be emotional as when you stick around in a relationship that you know is bad for you.
For this very reason, it is way better to replace the void that your habits are going to leave with something that is going to benefit you, going forward. This is so because if you go on trying to get rid of a bad habit without trying to replace it, you’re going to face massive withdrawal symptoms, and that’s going to make it really hard to stick to a routine whilst trying to avoid them.
Here are the steps you should follow in order to get rid of the bad habits that are holding you back:
- Choose a substitute for your habit
Plan ahead in time about what you’re going to do when you face stress or boredom and rather go for another activity to avoid falling victim to your bad habit again. More often than not, our mind simply gets programmed to fall back on a cushion (in this case, the bad habit you want to get rid of) whenever faced with any sort of an obstacle. We need to learn to get rid of this pattern and replace it with some productive activity instead.
- Get rid of all that might act as a trigger
Stop going to the bar if you tend to smoke when you drink. Whenever you feel like smoking, you can make use of an electronic cigarette to quit smoking as it is considered a way less harmful alternative to smoking, as per the various studies carried out worldwide. Electronic cigarettes are preferred by various smokers to quit smoking, and it might work for you too. Getting rid of the trigger that leads to you going back to your habit is really important. This is another part wherein support from your family and peers is really important. They need to keep you away from whatever might trigger the need to smoke for you.
- Make another person quit their habit with you
This is arguably the best way to get rid of any sort of habit. If you pair up with some close person to quit smoking, you’re going to have a much higher percentage chance of succeeding. This way you can have someone to celebrate your victories with and also someone to keep a check on you if you slip. Whenever you face withdrawal symptoms and feel the urge to smoke, you can actually talk to them to help you out.
- Choose the people you keep around you
Stay around people who live their life the way you intend to live yours. The quality of your peers defines a lot of the kind of person you are going to end up becoming. Having people with the best of habits and a successful lifestyle, around you serves as the best sort of motivation that there is in your quest to quit your bad habits. Be very careful of the people that you choose to stay keep around you.
- Have clear goals related to getting rid of the habit
Always form a mental picture of life after you’ve successfully gotten rid of the habit. Remember that you’re not becoming somebody else; you’re just returning to the old you. Have a perfectly sorted goal in your mind about what you want to become. You cannot afford to slack in this. There cannot be any exceptions. Once you’ve decided that you’re not going to drink again, you cannot allow yourself to slack and drink at social gatherings.
- Stay away from negative words
Don’t stop the negative self-talk, but start using the word “but” to overcome the negativity. It might look difficult, BUT you need to keep going forward. Believe in yourself. Your habit does not define you. You control all of what is happening. Change whatever it is about yourself that you don’t like. Don’t knock yourself down by using self-derogatory terms the very first time you fail.
Understand the fact that before you try to get rid of your bad habit, it’s always a good idea to be completely aware of the reasons for why you have that habit in the first place, it will make it much easier to get rid of it, and will also act as a lesson for the future.