4 Ways to Kick Bad Habits
Bam! Here are 4 Sure-Fire Ways to Kick Bad Habits.
Are compulsive behaviours like smoking, drinking too much diet coke, overeating or nail biting stopping you from flourishing?
Perhaps you’ve got the discipline to ditch a bad habit with simple extreme will power.
But most of us aren’t that fortunate.
So, you know how this goes: you swear you’ll eat like a competition bodybuilder for the next three months and within two hours you’re at the pantry eating the left over cooking chocolate because your boyfriend’s made you angry or you’re stressed at work.
Why is it so hard to avoid things that are bad for us?
Understanding the psychology of bad habit formation gives us amazing insight into how to turn over a glistening green new leaf.
Try some of these tips next time you’re in the transformation-zone.
1.Introspect: Know thyself, grasshopper.
Take some time to reflect on why you’re behaving in a certain way. More importantly, figure out when the behaviours occur.
Usually, bad habits pop up at times when you’re stressed or bored. Or perhaps they’re tied to certain routines and situations. Often, the habit will serve as a reward or relief from negative emotions.
For instance, you may always feel like sweets after dinner or alcohol around certain family members. Once you recognise the trigger, you can avoid it.
2. Replace the bad habit baby.
Once you’ve ditched a bad habit, don’t leave a void. Replace it with an awesome activity like exercise or macramé or learning to salsa. Whatever floats your boat.
Research continually shows you’ll beat old habits more effectively by creating neural pathways for new replacement behaviours.
Once you know how your vices reward you, you can seek the same reward in behaviours that make you blossom.
3. Don’t Fight Your Thoughts.
People will often try to suppress thoughts about their bad habit in order to avoid the temptation it represents.
Research from cognitive psychologists shows that thought suppression only causes a focus on the thought being suppressed – reinforcing its potency.
Rather than fighting a thought, try reframing it. Say you’re thinking about the pleasures of eating chocolate? Reframe the thought by acknowledging the reward you once received from indulging, but assert in your own mind that you’re now the kind of person who now seeks delight elsewhere.
4. Shake It Up: Make changes to your routine or environment.
New situations and environments automatically make you more aware of your behaviours and their consequences.
Shake up your life by placing yourself in unfamiliar spaces and experiences so that you can see your old habits with a revived perspective.
More importantly, small changes will instigate new routines that you can consciously shape and create. Get rid of the TV, change the furniture in your bedroom, go see a movie you’d never usually choose.
You’ll be surprised at how little alterations turn your mind’s eye to examining who you are and what you need.
What’s been your worst habit in the past and what did you do to overcome it? Let us know!