Combating Bad Habits? Here is How
Most of us have at least a few bad habits that we would like to do away with… We are only human, right? The question is, how do you get rid of those bad habits?
Today, we will look at a few habits and ways to get rid of them so that you will be happier and healthier in your life. Breaking these habits won’t be easy all the time, but it will be worth it.
Addictions or Habits?
We will be talking a bit about addiction here and specifically, how to beat addiction. Bad habits are essentially an addiction to doing something or acting in a certain way. You can be addicted to illicit drugs, alcohol, caffeine, smoking, exercising, eating, and so many more things. Some of these addictions will require detox and maybe even rehab. Not all addictions are bad though. It might be a good thing if you get addicted to exercising and eating right because these things are healthy. So, how do you know when an addiction is bad for you and needs to be dealt with?
An article in Huffington Post defines an addiction as “a compulsive reliance on any substance or activity that harms or deters your ability to function in a major area of your life.” Remember, you can be addicted to anything – even playing games like Candy Crush on your phone.
Habits are described as a routine of specific behavior that someone regularly repeats and these actions tend to occur without you even thinking about it. Routines that we regularly repeat can be hard to either observe or break. It can be done though.
Breaking the Habit/Addiction
The first step in breaking a habit or an addiction is to recognize the issue. Believe it or not, this might be one of the hardest steps in the solution. Try to take note of what you are doing and when you do it. For example, if you bite your nails while you are stuck in traffic, pay attention.
Once you have identified the issue, think about writing it down. Make a journal of what you are dealing with and how these experiences affect you. This might just give you a bit of insight as to why you are doing whatever it is you are doing. Making a log of the experience can be helpful when it comes to figuring out those subconscious factors that have an effect on your behavior.
Once you have identified the bad habit or addiction, try to replace it with something else that can be good for you – like meditation. Some people even use meditation as a way to break those habits. If your habit or addiction is smoking cigarettes, you might try chewing a piece of gum every time you feel the urge to light up a cigarette. Replacing bad habits can be quite a bit easier than just trying to quit something cold turkey. However, it is important that what you try to replace the habit with has a similar result or sensation as your original habit.
Have you heard of cognitive behavioral therapy? This type of therapy can actually be another quite useful tool to both building the self-awareness that you will need to identify your bad habits, but also to address those underlying issues that are causing the behavior, like depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. These things and others can perpetuate the negative behavior. This type of therapy also works as a preventative because it assists people with the development of coping mechanisms that are healthy and can reduce those bad habits. This can ensure that they don’t spiral and turn into something worse – like an addiction.
Bad habits are actually something that each of us has in one form or another. It is critical to address these negative habits before they grow and become even more difficult to break. Habits can easily turn into addictions if you are not careful, they might also become psychological disorders if you lack the willpower it will take to break them. That being said, surely you have heard the saying: “Where there is a will, there is a way”. With dedication and willpower, you can get rid of those habits and/or addictions.