With a new year shortly upon us, New Year’s Resolutions are at the center of many folks minds. They can range from quitting smoking to taking up a new hobby. Or to finally working on shedding some weight. It goes without saying that bad habits are incredibly difficult to quit. Deciding to quit bad habits are only half of the battle. Actually working through the addiction and the withdrawal process is the hardest part.
Bad habits affect a person in many ways. They interrupt you from being able to accomplish your goals. They can also cause extremely negative effects on your physical and mental health. So, how does one make changes and focus on taking the right steps toward freedom away from these unhealthy habits?
From drinking and smoking to approval addiction. Here are several of the steps needed to break a habit-before it breaks you.
Where did Your Habits Start?
Most bad habits are born of one of two things. Stress and boredom. Most things, such as shopping addiction to biting your nails can be a response to stress and being bored.
Sometimes, they can come from deeper issues. These can be difficult to deal with. But it’s easy to use these reasons as an excuse to continuing with these unhealthy habits. This can affect you physically, emotionally and even financially if not dealt with in a healthy and timely manner.
Finding the root cause of a habit is a good start to knowing how to stop. Many people turn to talking and behavioral therapists. These experts can assist with identifying and handling a traumatic event that may have caused an unhealthy, destructive behavior to begin with.
Being able to work through these things is a crucial way of being able to start overcoming the things that bind you to unhealthy habits.
Set a Deadline to Quit
Whatever the bad habit, have in mind a date to quit the habit. Having this date in mind helps to prepare your mind and body for knowing when the habit will no longer be in your life. It will also, subconsciously, make you start to wonder what it is that draws you towards the habit. You don’t like the way your body feels after eating salty fast food. Or you’re done with hangovers. Perhaps the taste of stale tobacco is starting to make you feel nauseous.
This is part of the psychology of setting an end date for a habit. It certainly helps when trying to go cold turkey on a habit!
Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones
Every habit in your life right now is there for a reason- that is both the good and the bad ones. Human beings are governed by routine, and sometimes that can be a good thing to keep us healthy- for example, you wake up at a specific time every morning and eat a healthy breakfast to start the day- that is a good habit.
A bad way to start the day would be to wake up and immediately light a cigarette. It’s a habit, and a way to start that day that many swear by, but there is much evidence that proves that these habits are bad for your health and your wallet.
A habit such as smoking can be incredibly tough to break cold turkey- replace smoking cigarettes with a slightly healthier habit- vaping. With various vape flavors easily available, it’s easy enough to use this method as an interim in the quitting process. However, make no mistake, with the rise in vaping related illnesses, vaping is an interim solution, not a final one.
Though, if smoking is something you do when stressed, then it is a bad plan to quit cold turkey- instead find a way to deal with stress and develop a new behaviors association with stress- like singing, going for a run, or cooking- all of which have proven health benefits without costing extra.
Bad habits are linked to specific needs in your life, so it is better to be able to replace those habits with healthier behaviors. For this reason, it is much better to replace those habits with healthy habits that address the same needs. You cannot simply expect to cut a habit clean without having the means to replace them- this will just leave you with needs that are unmet, making it incredibly tough to replace these habits.
Avoid as Many Triggers as Possible
If having a drink leads you to smoke, avoid going to bars while you’re trying to get out of the habit of smoking. Make life easier for yourself by avoiding the things that cause you to slip into your bad habits.
This article is a partnered post that contains affiliate links.