A habit is a behavior pattern that you get by frequent repetition and it becomes involuntary. A bad habit is a destructive pattern that you have over the years picked up or developed.
Destructive patterned behavior leads you to harm yourself physically, socially, economically or emotionally.
For you to break a bad habit, it takes much will power to want to change for the better. You need to turn over a new page to the chapter of your life and head to a better place you desire to be at.
Here are 9 ways to help you break a bad habit.
1. Find a Replacement for the Bad Habit
Substitute the bad habit with a new good routine. For example, when stressed you are triggered to stress eat and thus gain weight. As a replacement for this bad habit, you can start exercising to deal with the stress.
Exercising is completely a healthy habit that helps keep you fit. With time the bad habit routine breaks by means of replacement.
2. Identify Your Triggers and Eliminate them
This is the first step to breaking a bad habit. Your brain releases a stimulus or signal that makes you crave the reward you get from your bad habit. Identifying your trigger makes it easy for you in the journey of breaking a bad habit.
When you have known what makes you crave the bad habit, you do your best to avoid or ignore or eliminate the trigger. This, in turn, helps you overcome the urge to engage in the bad habitual routine.
3. Get an Accounting Partner
This is a person of your choice that helps you break the bad habit routines. You can have someone who inspires you or someone who is on the same journey as yours.
When you are aware of someone else holding you accountable, you are motivated. Moreover, when your accountability partner is on the same journey as yours, you have someone to share your wins and losses with.
4. Have a Vision Board
You can have a vision board of where you would like to see yourself in a few years. This helps you internalize what you need to do. You can write down objectives that will help you get to your desired destination. Have a broken down plan, having stages that accelerate you to your desired destination.
5. You should Overcome Self- Negative Talk
When you have a bad habit, you are equal to a sick person. To some extent, you are mentally and emotionally sick. To break away from the bad habit, go easy on yourself.
When you are struggling with a bad habit, it is easy for you to look down on yourself or ‘self-loath’ to fill the emotional void.
Instead, encourage yourself towards being better. For instance, identify that you’re out of shape, ‘but’ with time and hard work, you will get in shape.
6. Create Positive Triggers
With technology and the internet, you can create goals and link them to your calendar and alarm clock. This helps you not have excuses when it comes to performing a new habit adopted to end your bad one.
You can also use sticky notes, as positive triggers pinned to your bedroom wall or door that act as a reminder of what you need to do.
7. Be Patient and Trust the Process
Before you become chained to a bad habit, you existed without the bad habit. So be patient with the process and cut yourself some slack.
8. Reward yourself
Every time you overcome a trigger to a bad habit, reward yourself to encourage yourself into the new routine. This makes your mind start craving for the new behavior, thus breaking bad habits.
9. Try to get Professional Help
In some cases, bad habits are deeply connected within yourself. Either you had a past that haunts you and makes you engage in a routine that over the years turned out bad. Or you have tried all the above and you are still struggling.
Then professional help is what you need to break the bad habit. This does not mean you are a lost cause. Asking for help when you know you need is not a sign of weakness but a sign of maturity and strength.
Some bad habits might be hard to break.
It could take longer than you anticipated. Patience is key while trying to break a bad habit. No matter how bad you want to quit, don’t! You owe it to yourself to become a better person. It might take a while but it will take a while.
Check out our GBS TV blog post on more lifestyle and self-care tips.