You can break bad habits with the help of these doable strategies. Your understanding of what a pattern of behavior is, how it functions, and how to break it can all be improved by organizing your behaviors into four basic categories. The habit loop is the term for this. The main goal is to produce a cue that, when triggered, causes a need.
After then, the craving prompts an action that gives your brain a reward, sates the craving, and eventually links the cue to the response. All four of these factors work together to create a neural cycle of feedback that eventually enables the development of automatic habits.
Thankfully, there are lots of strategies available to help you kick harmful habits in the trash and forget about them forever. Which one suits you best will depend totally on your unique situation and personal preferences.
Modify Your Routine
According to recent research, habits are maintained in the brain differently than more conventional memories. When it has to do with your habits, usually, your emotion starts a behavior that stops when the emotional demand is satiated.
These results have two important implications. Firstly, if your behaviors are ingrained in your mental code, they are unbreakable. This implies that once established, such habits will persist throughout your life, which explains why drug and alcohol abusers relapse back into their problems with addiction, sometimes even after decades of abstinence.
Secondly, it is impossible to completely break previous behaviors. Rather, you need to replace the negative behavior with a new pattern. The most effective way to accomplish this is to rewire the behavior. If you want the new habit to endure, it must be more powerful than the previous one.
Luckily, you may more quickly consolidate the new behavior by altering your habit loop, making it more harder for you to revert to the old practice.
Give Up Being cold Turkey
By abstaining from undesirable habits, even for a single day, from this moment on, you can break them. But alas, it is far easier said than done. Because a poor habit is embedded in your brain, breaking it can be extremely difficult.
The trigger for the undesirable habit might easily rekindle the previous behavior when it occurs again. The biggest flaw in this specific approach is this. When a previous pattern or behavior reappears, or if you only once give in to an old, harmful habit, you usually make a big deal out of it and feel like you squandered all of your time abstinence.
SEE ALSO: How To Develop A New Habit
You eventually experience such overwhelming self-disappointment that, even if you only make a small mistake and go back to your old behavior, you ultimately revert to your previous behaviors. But there is strength in that strategy. You can show yourselves that you are fully capable of changing if you can give up completely and maintain your determination.
Take Baby Steps
As mentioned above, breaking a harmful habit cold turkey and altering your habit loop are two strategies for using tiny measures to overcome it. You willingly acknowledge that you cannot break your harmful behavior by force, even when you disagree with it.
Because of this, it’s important to examine your actions and pinpoint your triggers. You can progressively cut back on your harmful habit once you’ve completed these two tasks. If you’re trying to kick a bad eating habit, for instance, you may begin small by consuming fewer sweets. You need to achieve a new milestone every week in order to completely kick your unhealthy habit.
You will eventually reach a point where you can automatically cease engaging in your negative behavior once enough time has come and you’ve consistently worked toward making modest improvements in your habit. In theory, using this technique ought to make it less likely for you to lose hope after making a mistake.
With this approach, you have to expect occasional failure but are better able to maintain your motivation. For individuals that are able to measure their negative behaviors, this approach is far more advantageous.
Monitor Your Development to Strengthen Your Willpower
Although this isn’t a technique for actually breaking a bad habit, it is helpful in all situations where a bad behavior needs to be broken. The technique is rather clear in the manner described above, which involves taking baby steps to break a negative habit. You should keep note of how many cigarettes you smoke if you’re going to cut back.
It’s also a good idea to start keeping track of the things that aren’t functioning as you modify your habit loop. Tracking your progress essentially means determining whether or not you participated in your negative behavior on that particular day. If you choose to break bad behaviors cold turkey, you can also apply the tracking approach.
Counting the days that you have not engaged in the conduct or habit will help you stay motivated to continue once you have broken the negative habit. It can be immensely pleasant to find yourself cleaned for a single day when you hadn’t been in years. It seems appropriate to celebrate the addition of a second day to the chain.
The excitement of traveling for a week, a month, and finally a year follows. The whole idea of this specific strategy is to prevent you from participating in a habit, but even so, reaching these types of milestones can give you a good feeling of success.
Additionally, keeping track of your development and forming positive behaviors complement each other. It gives you the drive to keep going on and concentrates the focus on the important things. It can also give you useful information that will enable you to recognize your weaknesses and important areas.
Put Your Good Habits First
Your bad habits will eventually die from starvation if you use this strategy. Eliminating unhealthy habits draws your attention to the things that are not positive in your life. Rather than feeling liberating, it may wind up feeling extremely restricted. Focusing on breaking negative habits causes you to become self-conscious and ultimately deprive yourself of the pleasures you have come to enjoy in life.
Whether you enjoy it or not, your negative habits are an aspect of who you are, even though you are aware that it is preferable to abstain from them over time. They served as your coping strategies for stress relief, anxiety relief, and low self-esteem. Your life may seem less bearable without them.
Consequently, you ought to direct your attention away from your negative habits and limitations and toward novel pursuits that enhance your quality of life. Instead of avoiding what’s wrong with your experience, focus all of your efforts on developing new habits that will enhance it in order to eradicate your bad ones. Your negative behaviors will still be there, hidden deep within your mind, waiting to come to the surface if you let your guard down.
It’s important to keep in mind that you will soon set off on a lengthy and difficult path to get rid of undesirable habits from your life. You’ll always feel the want to go back to your previous behaviors and run the risk of giving in.
Although these techniques may assist you in kicking undesirable habits, you have to keep in mind that you will always feel the need to revert to your previous behaviors. Don’t let your negative behaviors control you any longer. Now is the perfect time to start making the positive changes in your life that will lead to a more enjoyable and healthier lifestyle.