Stopping Bad Habits

Don't be ashamed! All people have bad habits at some point in their life.  

Some habits or customs can be very helpful, such as preparing clothes for work or college the night before.

However, some can be very annoying, such as sleeping too long or biting your nails.  

Breaking unwanted habits, considered "bad" on many occasions, can be very difficult. However, it's completely possible! And you can learn how to do it here.  

Follow the steps outlined below to get rid of them!  

Identify triggers  

Habits are developed by triggers. Therefore, identifying what causes your usual behaviors is the first step in changing them.  

Spend a few hours a day tracking that habit you want to change to know if you follow a pattern. Answer these questions: Where and when does that usual behavior occur? How do you feel when it happens? Does it happen right after you do something else?  

Some people, for example, stay up until after midnight if they start watching TV or use their smartphones.  

In this sense, removing the trigger makes it easier to change the routine to stop bad habits.  

Define why you want to change that habit  

Experts say it can be easier to change a behavior when the variation is valuable or beneficial.  

That means that knowing why you want to change or break that habit can help you speed up and ease the process.  

Take a few minutes before starting changing process to define why you want to break that habit and the benefits you could get from the result.  

List as many reasons as you can! A list of the positive aspects of changing habits can motivate you and help you stay committed. 

Practice mindfulness  

When you practice mindfulness, you develop awareness around your thoughts, feelings, and actions.  

If you want to change unwanted habits, you should consider this practice in order to become more aware of the routine behaviors and triggers that drive them.  

Moreover, mindfulness can help you consider other options to avoid acting on impulses or responding to reminder signs.  

It can also help you realize how that bad habit affects your daily life.  

Choose a new habit 

It sounds a little strange, but it works! In some cases, it's easier to break a habit if it's replaced with a new behavior rather than just trying to stop it.  

If you want to stop looking for sweets repeatedly after lunch, avoiding them can when you can't resist hunger can make you fall back into the unwanted habit.  

However, having another alternative such as a cup of fruits or nuts can help you stay in control to avoid resuming the previous habit.  

As you repeat the new behavior, you develop the urge to follow a new routine. Eventually, the rewards of following a new habit will motivate you to keep doing it and forget about the old behavior.  

Leave reminders everywhere  

Changing a habit you've kept for years is no easy task. But here's a tip that can help ease the process: leave reminders.  

You can paste stickers or sticky notes as visible reminders where the usual behavior you want to change occurs.  

This way, you can rethink the action when something triggers it to avoid doing it.  

If you usually drink a lot of soda, for example, you can leave some stickers on your refrigerator that remind you of your goal every time you go for a can.  

You can also use your smartphone to set some reminders. Just set your alarm and add a motivating note.  

Prepare for slipups

You should prepare for some slip-ups if you want to break a habit. Remember that stopping common behavior can be a challenge. Besides, some habits are easier to eliminate than others.  

Therefore, it is very easy to go back to old patterns, especially if you are trying to follow a new routine that has not solidified.  

Any change is difficult and takes time. That means you won't lose all your progress in one day.  

If you have a slip, try to learn from it. But be honest with yourself about what caused the setback and consider changing the focus of your technique to stay committed to change.  

Start with small steps 

We are all attracted to the image of a new and renewed self. It can work as a powerful motivator, but it can also become an obstacle.  

If trying to leave several habits at the same time becomes very difficult, start with one and do not move on to the second until you reach your first goal.  

Experts recommend starting with something small and trying to change one habit at a time. You can also try to address habits in steps, even if they seem too small.  

Modify your environment in your favor  

The environment can have a huge impact on our lives and behavior. Maybe you've tried to break a habit but it's become very difficult.  

In those cases, we recommend you analyze your environment and identify possible triggersor factors that may influence the bad habit.  

Keep in mind that the people around you are also part of your environment. So, if you think some people contribute to the bad habit or don't support your process to break one, take a break from spending time with them.

Visualize yourself breaking the habit  

You can also get your mind to work to break that habit that bothers you! The changing processes do not have to be totally physical.  

It has been proven that practicing a different response in the mind can help people become more familiar with the answer they seek when faced with that situation in reality.  

Imagine yourself at a moment when a trigger drives a bad habit and visualize yourself breaking it. Think about yourself practicing deep breathing and controlling your emotions.  

Other tips for stop bad habits 

  • Let go of the all-or-nothing mentality. 
  • Get motivated by rewards for success. 
  • Practice self-care.
  • Take as long as it takes. 
  • Ask close people for help. 

Final Thoughts  

Do you want to break bad habits to live a better life? It can be a bit tricky but it's not impossible! Follow the tips we explained in this post and transform your routine according to your preferences, wants and needs.  

And always keep in mind that you can achieve all your goals and objectives if you trust yourself. Good luck!