We all have bad habits, whether we like to admit it or not.
However, sometimes these can affect our health, happiness and even relationships. If you want to learn how to break bad habits, we’ve got some helpful tips and resources for you. Here’s to a happier and healthier tomorrow.
How to Break Bad Habits
Habits form in many ways, and we don’t even realize they’re developing until it’s too late. Many times, a habit begins from a psychological state of mind. There’s usually something which triggers you to begin, then it becomes a routine, and then you feel rewarded by the action/behavior. Before you know it, your brain switches into a mode you can no longer control. Many times, we don’t even make a decision for it, but just do it without a second thought.
A bad habit can be anything from chain-smoking to biting your nails. It’s something what you excessively do which doesn’t aid your health or your mood. For various reasons, you may wish to change or stop this. Here are some ways you can achieve this.
1. Reinforce Positive Behaviour
It can be so tempting to put yourself down and only focus on the negative aspects of your behavior. However, scrutinizing yourself isn’t the most effective process to learn how to break bad habits. By doing this, you’ll focus on what you’re doing wrong, rather than celebrating when you do something right. It’s important to reward yourself so that you reinforce this good behavior. Also, by regularly rewarding yourself, you’ll feel inspired to keep at it.
How you choose to reward yourself is generally down to personal preference. Some people choose to enjoy retail therapy, whilst others might relax with friends. No matter the choice, the most important thing is that it makes you feel good about yourself and positive about your actions.
2. Journal and Analyze the Habit
It’s difficult to completely stop a bad habit without really understanding why, where and when you do it. Get to the root of the problem by analyzing the habit. To combat your behavior, it’s crucial that you monitor your patterns. Do you find that you do it around certain people or when you’re on your own? Perhaps there are certain times of the day or situations which trigger you. Rather than erasing the habit with no real understanding of why you do it, look for the patterns first. By becoming aware of your consequences and actions, this provides a solid foundation for change.
3. Focus on The Solution
Similar to point one, we don’t want you focusing on the negative sides of your habit. Instead, focus on a brighter future where you’re happier and healthier. Focus on the solution and everything you’re achieving. Start small and create goals. Celebrate when you achieve them. Also, no matter what your solution is, set goals and deadlines to help you stick to them. By setting yourself milestones, you can track your progress as you go.
Focusing on how to break bad habits can become a success if you replace it with a positive activity. For example, if you’re trying to quit cigarettes, don’t just go cold turkey. Instead, head outside for a walk when you crave one. As a result, you’ll become healthier and more at peace if you solely focus on the solution.
4. Replace the Habit with Something Healthy
If you seriously want to know how to break bad habits, then we recommend replacing the bad habit with a positive one. If you choose to cut out the bad habit all of a sudden, you may not feel as though you’re benefiting from something. Let’s say you want to stop drinking alcohol, and never touch a drop at parties. Although this is a healthy and positive outcome, it might feel as though you’re missing out on the fun. Instead, you’re left feeling bored and miserable. However, you need to replace the alcohol with something else to feel the benefit. Let’s say, you drink delicious mocktails instead. Or, rent your favourite car to the party. As a result, you’re not missing out, but benefiting from a new habit.
A Few Bad Habits and How to Break Them
What makes a bad habit? Sometimes they’re small, annoying behavior problems we might have. On the other hand, sometimes they take up huge fragments of our lives and leave us helpless and out of control. Let’s take a look at some specific examples and how to break bad habits.
Many people around the world smoke, despite knowing the negative side effects it can have on their health. However, it’s not an easy habit to bust when you’ve been addicted for years. Studies found that going cold turkey is one of the most effective approaches to quit smoking. Compared to people who wean themselves off the chemical substance, instant quitters stick to their new ways. Research has found that a cigarette craving only lasts around five minutes. Stick to your gut and don’t give in.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of other methods and approaches to help you permanently stop smoking. Patches, gum and inhalers are all excellent examples of highly-effective forms to curb your smoking. If this strategy doesn’t work for you, or you’re eager to look at other approaches, then hypnotherapy is becoming more popular than ever. Studies have found that hypnotism is one of the most successful ways to banish your bad habits. This is especially effective during your down moments when you experience a craving.
Finally, diet and lifestyle plays a huge part in cigarette cravings. Take a close look into what food and drink you consume. Cut back on the coffee as this can trigger an internal craving. Also, there are plenty of healthy foods out there which can put you off smoking. For example, eating at a pub is more likely to make you crave a cigarette because the taste of greasy food will set you off. Also, your surrounding is equally as important in learning how to break bad habits. Don’t surround yourself with people who smoke, and don’t put yourself in a situation which could tempt you.
2. Obsessively Checking Your Phone
We live in a phone-dominated world. As a result, we’re constantly obsessing over our phone and what’s happening in the online world whilst we’re living our lives. If we don’t check what others are doing, then how will we be in the loop? However, obsessively checking your phone isn’t healthy for your eyes or mind. You quickly become transformed into this make-believe world. Firstly, if your phone is out of sight, then it’s out of mind. If you don’t need your device right next to you, then put it in another room. By keeping your distance, you’re enabling yourself to not become distracted.
Become more conscious of how you spend your time in other areas of your life. There are so many occasions in which we check our phone and then panic once we realize it’s been hours of repeating the same habit. However, if you begin to appreciate how you spend your free time, it becomes valid and you make intentional, healthy choices. Keep yourself busy and focused on things in your life which bring health, joy and happiness.
Instead of telling yourself, “I will not check my phone”, make it easier for yourself. For example, delete the apps which you constantly check. This means you don’t even have the option to spend hours online. Also, try to replace your bad habit of checking your phone with something healthy for you. Head to the gym as you’re less likely to scroll through your phone if you’re hitting the weights. Spend more time with family, reading, cleaning the house and generally looking after yourself.
3. Eating When You’re Not Hungry
If you want to successfully know how to break bad habits, you have to be honest with yourself. For example, are you aware that you eat/snack even when you’re not hungry? Sometimes we eat out of boredom, because food tastes great and satisfies. Other times, we eat out of habit. Finally, we may eat to fill an emotional whole. Ever had a bad day and ordered a takeaway? You’re not the only one. However, emotional eating isn’t a healthy habit to continue with.
Firstly, be honest with yourself. Are you actually hungry? Or, do you eat when you’re feeling lonely? This is the first step to focus on how to break bad habits. It’s then important that you don’t rush into eating without trying other strategies first. For example, head outside and get some fresh air. Listen to your favourite music playlist. Call a friend. Embark in things which make you feel happy and free.
A great way to break this bad habit is to regularly eat healthy snacks throughout the day. Every two-three hours, snack on some fruit, nuts, peanut butter, vegetables and other nutritious food. This is a great way to prevent you craving food because you feel as though you’re not treating yourself to it. Also, regularly eating keeps your blood sugar at a healthy level so you don’t drop and crave sugar. Finally, remind yourself of what happens after you eat. Will the food solve your unbalance emotions, or will it make you feel better? Will you inevitably feel bloated and regretful? Weigh up the pros and cons of eating before you put it in your mouth.
Books on How to Break Bad Habits
Sometimes it’s helpful to have some additional assistance when making a lifestyle change. Reading is a great way to learn more about bad habits and utilize evidence and research to make a healthy decision. We’ve searched the Internet for the best books on how to break bad habits. Each of these are helpful and provide strategies which will completely change your life.
1. Habits: How to Make Good Ones and Break the Bad Ones
This book focuses on strategies to learn how to break bad habits without feeling that you’re forcing yourself. The author understands that we all have different needs and reasons behind a bad habit forming. As a result, he gets to the core of what a bad habit is and why we form them in the first place. Specifically, this book looks into other areas of your life. Rather than feeling as though you’re helpless and make the wrong mistakes, it advises you on ways to create a new you. Look into other areas of your life where you don’t feel fulfilled in order to make a positive change.
This book is by your side throughout the good and hard times. Through psychological reasons, the author appreciates that setting goals which aren’t related to your bad habit is a good process to take. It also goes into detail about how some people succeed and others fail in making change. Also, we love that this book encourages you to reflect on your past and your future.
2. Habit: The Top 100 Best Habits: How to Make a Positive Habit Permanent and How to Break Bad Habits
This book is a great option for you if you’re constantly battling with your bad habits. The author wants you to feel energized, committed and educated after reading this book. With so many helpful strategies, it’s an ideal read to help you get back on track and make permanent changes. Rather than focusing on the negative and lecturing you on what you’re doing this, this book emphasizes that you’re strong and powerful enough to achieve anything you put your mind to. As a result, its mission is to make you feel as though you can live any life you want.
In order to banish bad habits forever, this book provides achievable steps, which you can monitor and apply to your life. No matter your experience, education or lifestyle, anyone can utilize these to lead a healthier life. Emotions are another reason why we develop bad habits. Therefore, this book isn’t afraid to talk about touchy subjects.
3. A Fast Method for Eliminating Bad Habits
If you’re serious about learning how to break bad habits, then you’ll require a book which can help you through times when you feel weak or out of control. This book is aimed at people who suffer to live their life to the maximum because of their bad habits. As a result, the content in this will inspire you to hit refresh and stop making the same mistakes over again. Aside from learning to how break bad habits, this book also focuses on the positive outcome of eliminating your destructive nature. Consequently, you’ll reduce the chances of depression and feel more in control of your life. Also, it’ll help you prevent procrastination and isolating yourself from others because you feel like you’re not worthy of new company.
Open your mind and your soul and develop new strategies to help you feel in control and happy with your life.
Do You Have any Tips on How to Break Bad Habits?
Commit to breaking your bad habit long-term. There will be moments and days when you’re not as strong as other times. However, let these moments slip and carry on striving. Forgive yourself and praise yourself for every goal you achieve – no matter how small.
Do you have any tips on how to break bad habits? If so, share your thoughts and advice in the comments to motivate others.