What is meant by bad habits? Bad habits are defined as a patterned behavior that is considered to be detrimental to one’s physical and or mental health. This is typically linked to a high level of discipline and self-control. No matter who you are unfortunately we all have bad habits that we want to be free from.
Many people will end up dealing with stress and boredom with bad habits. If you can think back to a time you were faced with a stressful situation, how did you deal with those negative feelings? While many things are viewed as bad habits, I normally end up biting my nails or pick at the skin around my fingers. What would you say your bad habits are?
We all know it is not easy to break bad habits, but it is important to at least try and not give up. I do have several bad habits I would like to be free from to proceed with a healthier and fulfilling life. I have discovered several ways to eliminate bad habits and would love to get your feedback on them.
- The first step is determining the core of your bad habit. Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer-prize winning American journalist and non-fiction author, has determined three basic parts to our habits. Our habits primarily work in a cycle of these parts.
- The Cue– This is the feeling, time, or location which triggers your habits, good or bad.
- The Routine- This is whatever the habit itself is.
- The Reward- This is the craving that the habit satisfies.
Taking the time to understand each of the components is the first step to seizing our habits. It may be beneficial to write down the cue, routine, and reward for whichever habit you decide you want to break, ask yourself:
What triggered the routine?
What is the craving the body is trying to satisfy?
- Change your surroundings-
At this point we have already determined the cue or cues that are responsible for triggering our bad habits. Logically, we can understand once we manage to eliminate what cues our habits initiate, there will no longer be anything prompting the habit cycle to begin. Changing our surroundings can remove the cues causing our bad habits. One study that was done in a university, researchers found that students who transferred to a new university were far more likely to change their bad habits, than the students that did not change universities. This occurred because the students that changed universities did not have certain cues that were the cause of their bad habits.
- Focus on one bad habit at a time-
Many of us have more than one bad habit we would like to eliminate. Trying to tackle too many habits at a time will on decrease our abilities for successful outcomes. To successfully eliminate our bad habits, it is crucial to focus all of our attention on just one habit before we try handling another one.
- View your goal as a positive-
Another key element of habits is the routine, which is the behavior that is triggered by the cue. In other words, it is the habit you want to eliminate. Typically, when we set goals for ourselves we are not putting them in a positive frame of mind, but instead they are in a negative mindset. Our brain’s habit system responds better to positive goals. For instance, instead of your goal being “I will stop eating junk food” try “I am going to eat healthier”.
Psychologists have suggested that pursuing negative goals is linked with feelings of inadequacy and decreased self-esteem, which can discourage us from taking action. People tend to find it easier to become motivated by positive goals, which increase the opportunity for successfully achieving our goals.
- Replace the bad with the good you love-
Quitting a habit altogether seldom work out the way we intended. Once a habit is formed, it becomes an instinct for us to follow through with the routine because our brains are wired to see the cue and desired reward. Instead of completely eliminating habits, keep the old cue and reward, but start a new routine.
***In a future post I will go through a few bad habits and how to eliminate them***
- Forgive yourself if you relapse-
It is not easy to break bad habits and there is always a possibility you will go back to your old ways several times before achieving your ultimate goal. You have probably heard old habit die hard, well that couldn’t be any truer! It is important to allow yourself the chance to try again and not be angry about any setbacks. You will have a far better chance at achieving your goals if you do not deter yourself with negative and disappointing thoughts.
- Keep your goals to yourself-
We might think that sharing our goals with others would be encouraging, but this actually lowers our chances of success. Once we tell people about the goals we have set for ourselves, they will view us a little different and this could falsely assure the mind that the identity goal is partially complete and you might not put the effort in that is needed reach your goal.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope your weekend has started off great and you are feeling the best you can. I am excited to read your feedback on this post and anything you have tried to free yourself of bad habits, I promise to respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love , comfort, and many positive vibes!