We’ve all got them, and while there are habits that can be good for you, there are even more that are bad. Your good habits promote your well-being and success, while your bad ones can cause depression, fatigue and create a barrier that stops you being successful and feeling happy. However, you don’t need to despair as your bad habits can be changed – as long as you want to break the cycle. Whether your bad habit is biting your nails, smoking, watching too much TV, drinking too much, overspending or way too much screen time or Facebook, below are some things you can do to change them.
Analyze Your Habit
It’s not the most comfortable thing to do, but if you don’t analyze and understand your habits, you’ll be unable to change them. There are three elements to each habit. First, there’s the cue, as in the feeling, time, or location that triggers it. Secondly, there’s the habit itself, and finally, there’s the craving the habit has satisfied. Pay close attention to the next few times your bad habit occurs and pinpoint these factors.
Take Yourself Out of Your Normal Environment
This is the best way to remove the cue from your life. A good time to break a bad habit is when you take a vacation for a few weeks, or you try something different for some time. If you consider your bad habit to be watching too much TV, then take a couple of weeks off from your regular routine and travel somewhere you can’t watch it. When you return home, you’ll find it much easier to continue without it.
Focus on the Positive Rather Than the Negative
The only way to help your brain break free from your bad habits is to work towards positive goals. Imagine, for example, you want to stop gaining weight. You’re more likely to achieve this kind of goal if you focus on exercising more and eating a healthy diet. It is thought our brains work this way because negative goals are associated with feelings of uselessness and decreased self-esteem. Both of which stop you from taking action. A positive goal, on the other hand, is going to make you more excited and the target easier to achieve.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
You have to be realistic when you’re trying to break a bad habit and understand that there might be times when you cave in. If you want to stay out of trouble with the law, for example, make sure you’re prepared should the worst happen. Always keep the number of criminal lawyers Anchorage in your pocket. If you find yourself caving in to your bad habit, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the wagon. Think of your mistake as a productive step in your goal to break the habit. It’s taught you a valuable lesson, and you’ll be better prepared next time you’re tempted.
Something becomes a habit because the brain has stopped taking part in the decision-making process. This can be changed if you’re prepared to take the necessary steps.
Photo by Toa Heftiba