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Identify the Problem Behavior
The Best Way To Break A Bad Habit is the first step toward breaking a harmful habit is to identify the behavior you wish to modify. It is critical to admit and acknowledge that there is something you wish to alter to eventually figure out how to break the habit.
Get a notepad to keep track of your progress and write down what you want to change and how you want to behave instead. Having a visual representation of your objective, as well as writing it down, can help you achieve it.
Recognize Your Triggers
You'll need to identify your triggers once you've decided what bad behavior you wish to break. That is, who, what, or what causes you to practice the harmful habit. Opening the refrigerator door, for example, can make you want to crack open a beer while being at a party with a large number of friends might make you want to fire up a cigarette. Because these kinds of activities are so natural, interrupting your body's autopilot can be beneficial.
Try working backward from the behavior if you're having trouble finding your triggers, especially emotional ones. If you find yourself biting your nails, take a moment to reflect on what you're experiencing at the time.
Take Away Your Triggers
Remove as many triggers from your life as you can if at all possible. This could entail throwing out all of the junk food in your cupboards, taking a break in a different location, or even painting your fingernails with a bitter-tasting varnish. When your vice is no longer easy to obtain, the temptation becomes more difficult to resist, giving you more time and space to become conscious of your behavior and eventually change it.
Helpful Tip: If you can't get rid of your triggers, have a friend or family member store them somewhere you won't be able to find them.
Plan Some Distractions
The next stage in breaking a harmful habit is to prepare yourself with some distractions in case you become triggered. Playing music you like, having a glass of water, going on a stroll, or taking 10 calm, deep breaths are all good options. These forms of distractions can keep your desires at bay for long enough for them to subside.
Visualize a triggering situation in your thoughts and how you would handle it. You can also play with a friend in a roleplaying game. This way, you've planned ahead of time and may feel confident putting it into action if the need arises.
Change Your Patterns
If you want to modify your behaviors, you need to do more than just remove something; you also need to replace it with a positive activity. It will be quite tough for you to change if you continue to follow the same patterns in your life. Consider working out first thing in the morning or going for a stroll during your lunch break if you want to integrate fitness into your day. Join a book club or begin a regular meditation practice if you wish to stop looking at a screen in the evening.
Invest in a habit-tracking diary to replace old, negative behaviors with new, beneficial ones.
Use Prompts to Make a Positive Difference
It can be beneficial to have cues that activate better behavior to help new, healthy habits stick. Having a bottle of water on your bedside table or laying out your training clothing the night before can help you commit to a fitness or hydration goal.
Reach Out for Support
This stage is critical for achieving long-term change. Having a friend or two who is aware of your goals and assists you in sticking to them can mean the difference between permanently breaking a bad habit and reverting to your old ways.
Friends, family, groups and experts can all be sources of assistance. If you're feeling triggered, reach out to them for encouragement and support.
You Should Reward Yourself
Finally, when your undesirable behavior fades into obscurity, congratulate yourself for your efforts. Having tiny and huge rewards integrated into your habit-changing strategy can be quite motivating. You could spend the money you would have spent on your bad habit on a day at the spa, or you could organize a unique activity to keep you from engaging in your bad habit for a set time.
Helpful Tip: Reward yourself with something that fits with your new, healthy habits, such as a running bag to keep you motivated to keep up with your daily jogging routine or a comfortable meditation cushion to get you thrilled for your daily meditation session.
If you feel that breaking that terrible habit on your own is too difficult, seek the support of a professional who can assist you in doing so. This could be a behavior professional, such as a doctor or therapist.
Some habits are particularly tough to quit, so don't be discouraged if it takes a few tries to finally get rid of them. Take each day as it comes and make whatever changes you can to live your best life. Celebrate your victories along the way, and you'll quickly see that you've established new, healthier routines.