Everybody has a vice, but some are more harmful than others. There are lots of bad habits you can pick up, and if you’re not careful, they can start to harm your health and relationships. If you’re currently struggling with a bad habit and want to break it, look at the list below and see if any of these tips can help you quit for good.
Why is it a habit?
If you’re trying to break away for your bad habit, the first step is identifying why you do it. Is it a source of comfort? Or a way to relieve yourself from stress? These are the most common reasons why people have formed habits in the past; some might not even remember when this all started, but it’s important to try. It could even be due to a change in lifestyle or because people around you were doing the same thing. Whatever the reason you indulge your habit, figure that out, and then you can move on to finding a solution.
Going cold turkey, whether you smoke, eat too much junk food, drink, or any kind of habit is very hard. Sometimes this method can work, but it is challenging, and more often than not, people tend to fall back into their old routines after a period. Cutting back on your habit and gradually working it out of your system and routine might be a more sustainable way of breaking free of it. However, this will all depend on the individual, and you will have to determine which route is better for you.
Replacing habits with new ones tends to be what happens, but there’s no point swapping out one bad habit for another — instead, research into healthier alternatives that you can focus on. For example, vaping has been adopted by many ex-smokers as a replacement for tobacco. Thanks to more and more studies that are demonstrating the good effects that come from it, this is certainly better for you than smoking a cigarette. If you’re struggling with poor dietary habits, swapping out certain foods for healthier snacks and meals is another good way to make a transition to a healthier lifestyle. Do the relevant research to find out what healthier alternatives there are for the habit you’re trying to break.
Take it One Day at a Time
Make sure you’re taking a ‘one day at a time’ approach to kicking your habit, as otherwise, you might end up putting too much pressure on yourself or feeling disappointed if you slip up. There is a theory that it takes 21 days to break a habit, and while this might be true for some people, the reality is that it can take much longer for others. Eventually, you will stop craving whatever it is your trying to quit, and you might not even think about it much anymore. However, to get to this stage could take a long time, which is why focusing on one day at a time will make things more manageable.
Whether it’s through family and friends, your doctor, or a focused support group, knowing that people are cheering you on will help. Focused support groups are a great place to share your struggles with others who are going through the same thing and will make you realise you’re not alone. Trying to break a bad habit without support will always be a lot harder, and it will be much easier to give in to temptation without people encouraging you not to.
Keep a Diary
Keeping a diary of your progress is not only a physical representation of how well you’re doing, but it can also help you to identify triggers. For example, if someone was rude to you earlier that day, did it make you want to indulge in the habit? Or do more positive experiences drive you to it? It will be interesting to discover what makes you tick and why you feel the need to do certain things as a result.
You’re working hard to break your bad habit, and it’s a lot more challenging than people realise to achieve this. To make the experience a little easier on you, create a rewards system to celebrate when you have passed certain milestones. You can make these rewards bigger as more time passes, and they might help to encourage you to keep going. If you don’t want to do this yourself, ask a friend to do it for you and keep the rewards as a surprise.
It will be a struggle, but use these tips to help keep you on the right track and break that bad habit once and for all.