Despite the best of intentions, most people have at least one bad habit they would like to break, whether it’s nail biting, eating too many sweets, or smoking cigarettes. These habits are often derived from stress, anxiety, or fear and can threaten your well-being and happiness, but it is possible to break them and stick to good behaviors instead.
Eliminate a bad habit with a good one
Trying to kick a bad habit without replacing it with a good behavior can be difficult if not impossible. Instead, choose something positive that will help you create a new routine in your life.
For example, if you turn to smoking cigarettes during times of stress, consider practicing deep breathing exercises or meditation instead. This helps to release those “feel good” endorphins and relieve stress while relaxing your muscles and removing tension.
If there are certain situations that seem to encourage your bad habit, try to avoid those to reduce temptation. For example, drinking alcohol may induce a craving for a cigarette so you might want to at least temporarily stop imbibing in alcoholic beverages as well.
If you’re trying to stop eating unhealthy foods, you may need to avoid going out to eat with friends who prefer fast food joints or encourage your friends to go with you to an establishment that offers more nutritious fare.
Imagine how you’ll feel when you completely give up your bad habit. For example, if you smoke cigarettes, quitting may eliminate bouts of coughing in the morning and allow you to walk a flight of stairs without losing your breath. Eating healthier foods will likely give you more energy to get through your day as well as allow you to reach an ideal weight, enhancing the quality of your life.
At every opportunity, visualize a new you that has been able to conquer your bad habit and smile at your amazing accomplishment!
Eliminate negative messages
If your thoughts frequently include negative messages about yourself such as, “I can never do this,” or “I’m a loser,” etc. learn to stop judging yourself and replace those messages with something more positive. You may even need to write notes to yourself as I reminder, like, “I can do anything I put my mind to,” or “I am strong and capable.”
Remember that you may make a mistake and give in to your bad habit, we are all human – don’t beat yourself up over it! Just make a plan to get back on track as quickly as you can and before you know it, that habit will become a part of your past, creating a much better future.
-The Alternative Daily