I feel like everyone has at least one or more bad habits. If you say you don’t you are probably a liar! From binging on three gallons of ice cream in bed to smoking a pack a day, we all do things that we are not necessarily proud of. But, if you are at a point in your life that you would like to quit some of these behaviors, here are some tips for you:
“Why Can’t I Quit You?” – Mistakes You’re Making When You Try To Break Bad Habits:
It’s somewhat comforting to know that we all have bad habits. None of us are perfect people, floating through life unencumbered by the things that might sway us from our perfect course. They are those little things we do that our friends might have once brought up, polite as can be, before telling us to knock it off! We know about them, yet we do them anyway.
It’s unlikely that you don’t know that some of these habits can be an issue. Most of us are acutely aware of our failings, even if we try to ignore them. We even go as far as to seek to justify them and explain that it’s okay that we do X because we don’t do Y. If we try to stop them, we come up against a roadblock.
With the time for New Year’s Resolutions creeping up on us at a frightening pace, try and do something differently this time. Rather than just stopping something because you know you need to, find out the obstacles in your way. That way, you can be prepared when the Facebook New Year’s posts clog up your newsfeed!
You’re Not Just Giving Up A Habit – You’re Gaining A New One: This sounds a little bit worrying, but it’s actually helpful so long as the substitute is a healthier one. Take the biggest, baddest habit of them all: smoking. When you stop smoking, you lose the time and energy you would have previously spent smoking. You now have a vacuum of time, and succeeding at quitting is going to be about finding a new habit to fill the gap. It’s the same for a simple thing like biting your nails. You do that when you’re stressed, right? So what are you going to do when you’re stressed now?
You have to find a habit to replace the one that you’re losing. For example, smokers may turn to vaping and nail biters buy stress balls. Places like Shoreditch Vape will give you a fresh start away from tobacco and can make it easier to ease into quitting.
You Don’t Understand Physical Addiction: Few of us do something because we don’t like it; we have our habits as they meet our emotional needs. They make us feel better and when they do that, we get a rush of a chemical called dopamine into our brains. This chemical is linked with feelings of joy and happiness. So when we break our habits, the dopamine goes away. We don’t like that.
You may associate physical addiction with the likes of heroin and nicotine, but it applies to pretty much anything. Deny your brain its daily rush of dopamine and its not going to be happy about it. So when you’re struggling in the early phases, give yourself a break. You’ve got to retrain your brain chemistry.
You Don’t Give It Time: Most of us want to shed our bad habits and be done with them ASAP, but it doesn’t work like that. Research at University College London concluded it takes us 66 days to adopt a new habit – which is what you’re doing – as routine. So give yourself time and don’t try and rush it. Anything else and there’s a risk of expecting too much and suffering the subsequent disappointment when you fail.
I am the first to admit that I have bad habits. But the right knowledge, tools, and willingness to change can make breaking your bad habit a little more easy. What is one of your worst habits? Have you ever broken a bad habit before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
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