Thursday, September 29, 2022

Breaking Bad Habits Successfully


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Bad habits; we all have them and most of us would love to give them up so we can be the healthiest, happiest people we can possibly be, of course, breaking those bad habits can be pretty tricky at the best of times, which is why I’ve put together some helpful tips that can help you overcome your bad habits, whether they be smoking, biting your nails or something else entirely, a bit more effectively.

Understand why you have the habit

If you want to successfully break a bad habit, you first need to be able to understand why you do what you do. For example, you might bite your nails when you are bored or anxious or you might drink too much because you are feeling stressed out about work or personal problems. Once you know what your triggers are, you can work on overcoming them and using healthier habits as coping mechanisms instead.

Think about why you want to change

As well as thinking about the things that trigger you to have bad habits in the first place, you should also think about why you want to give them up. For example, you might want to give up smoking to save money and improve your health or you might want to stop biting your nails so you can get them done at the salon and look a bit better - it doesn’t matter what your reasons are as long as you identify them and they give you a solid incentive for making changes in your life.

Get some support

It is really hard to give up habits that you might have had for many years, so getting some support as you try to overcome them is essential. This could come in the form of professional support from an organization like Delphi Behavorial Health Group or a regular therapist, or it could come from friends and family members who are willing to help you through your issues. It doesn’t matter who you seek support from as long s they understand why you want to give up your bad habits and they are willing to give you a listening ear and any practical support you may need at this time.

Replace the bad with something good

One strategy that can work really well is replacing the bad habit you have with a good habit. For example, if you tend to overeat junk food in the evenings when you are slumped on the couch switch your chips for carrot sticks, or if you tend to have a drink when life gets stressful, try going for an endorphin-boosting run instead. You need to try and find a way to stop relying on your old crutches, so be sure to choose something you will enjoy as a replacement if you can. 

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is one of the best tools available for your health and it is completely free. When you practice mindfulness, you learn to focus on the present moment and what you are seeing, touching, tasting, and hearing right now. This can be very helpful because it enables you to stop stressing about things that might not happen, which is one of the biggest triggers for falling back on bad habits there is. More importantly, it allows you to look more closely at your thoughts, and when you do that, you are far less likely to act on them., It gives you some breathing space where you can acknowledge your thoughts without having to do anything about them. There are loads of great apps that can teach you mindfulness meditation, many of which are free, so do check them out.

Use post-it notes

This might sound a little old school. Put placing post-it notes around your home and office space can really help to keep you on track with breaking bad habits and starting new ones. For example, you could post a note on the fridge reminding you that eating fruit is a better option than binging on cookie dough or you could place a post-it note by the liquor cabinet asking you to think about whether you really need a drink and it will just act as a little warning system to make you think again before you act. You can also post motivational notes around the place to make you feel more positive about the chances you are making too.

Don’t beat yourself up 

No one can break a bad habit without having a setback along the way, especially if it is a habit you have been clinging to for a long time or if you have a habit that is addictive. The worst thing you can do when you have a setback is to beat yourself up about it. That will only make you feel bad and when you feel like a failure, it’s easy to give in completely. So, if you have a cigarette when you really shouldn't or you end up eating that cake when you were trying not to, take note of it, forgive yourself, and resolve to do better next time. There's no point in getting upset about what has been done, all you can do is look to the future with positivity.

Take baby steps

If you decide you’re going to stop eating sugar, take up running, ditch the booze and learn how to meditate all at the same time, you are doomed to failure. You will have too much on your plate and it will all seem too hard, so pick one habit to work on at a time and slowly start removing it from your life. There is no rush and you will get to be where you want to be more effective if you take your time over it. It’s a process.

As you can see, although breaking bad habits is never easy, there are lots of things you can do to make the process a bit simpler, and hopefully, see more success for your efforts, so what are you waiting for?

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