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The best way to get rid of a bad habit

How to get rid of a bad habit




We all have bad habits that we'd like to break, and each night we tell ourselves the same thing: I'm going to bed early. I'm not going to eat the cookie. I'm going to quit biting my nails. And when tomorrow arrives, we cave, and we feel even worse. We feel discouraged and guilty because we are aware of the dangers but powerless to resist them.

The cycle is comprehensible, given that the brain is notoriously resistant to change. However, it is possible to break a harmful habit. It requires determination, some white-knuckling, and some effective behaviour change strategies. However, even before that, it's beneficial to comprehend what's going on in our minds, our motivations, and our self-talk.

  

Certain behaviours make us feel rewarded.

Whether they are good or harmful habits, they are routines, and routines, such as showering or driving to work, are automatic and simplify our lives. The brain does not have to think as much.

While harmful habits differ, when we attempt to break one, we produce dissonance, which the brain does not enjoy. A part of the brain called the limbic system makes us feel like we're in danger, so we try to flee or freeze and go back to our old ways, even though we know it's bad for us.

Often, even bad habits make us feel good, as the brain releases dopamine. This is true of anything that aids our species' survival, such as food or sex. Avoiding change is a way to stay alive, and we keep retreating because we get rewarded (even if it's only for a short time). That is why it is so difficult.

Identifying the reason for your desire to change


However, before attempting to modify a habit, it is critical to ascertain why you wish to change it. When the incentive is more personal—you want to be there for your children; you want to travel more—you have a stronger desire and a reference point through times of difficulty.

Following that, you'll want to determine your internal and external triggers, which will require some detective work. When the impulse to engage in a negative habit strikes, consider when, when, and with whom it occurs, as well as how you are feeling, whether unhappy, lonely, depressed, or nervous. It's a process of mixing and matching that is unique to each individual, but if you detect a clue in advance, you may be able to catch yourself.

The next — and most difficult — step is to change your habit. If your weakness is a morning muffin on your way to work, you may want to consider altering your route. However, because the environment cannot always be changed, you must find a substitute, such as almonds in place of sweets or frozen yoghurt in place of ice cream. You don't have to be flawless; just a little bit healthier is sufficient.

  

Additionally, you should avoid an all-or-nothing approach, which may quickly lead to burnout, and instead take micro-steps toward your objective. If you stay up until midnight but want to be in bed by 10, a sensible progression is as follows: The next night, at 11:45; the next night, at 11:30; the next night, at 11:15...It makes it more likely that you will succeed and less likely that you will try to stop the new habit.

Additionally, it is vital to keep in mind that the urges cycle. They are at first intense, then gradually fade away, usually within approximately 20 minutes. Set a timer and concentrate on "just getting through that."

While waiting, finding new sensations might be a good diversion. You can take a walk outside and feel the breeze and smell the fresh air. You can engage in physical activity. Enjoying contrasting hot and cold temperatures, At its most extreme, the technique involves dunking your face in a bowl of water, which can cause your heart rate to decrease. However, it could also be something as simple as holding an ice cube or taking a hot shower. "You're concentrating on the sensation rather than the impulse."

  

Recognize that success does not follow a straight line.


There will be bumps and failures along the way as you attempt to change; this is a natural part of the process of sustainable change. The issue is that we are our own harshest critics, and some people regard anything less than complete achievement as a failure.

Using a third-person perspective and considering how you would react if a buddy claimed that one bag of chips had destroyed their entire diet, You'd be nice and reassuring, not critical, so be kind and reassuring to yourself. Much of the issue with self-criticism stems from the inability to view thoughts as facts, but rather as simple thoughts. It takes practice, but the concept is identical to that of meditation. You treat the thoughts that enter your consciousness as clouds, noticing them and allowing them to pass. Everyone always has incorrect thoughts. What matters is what you do with them. "

It also helps to alleviate tension and decrease feelings of failure to understand that the goal is not to eradicate the old habit because it will not. You're simply attempting to strengthen the new pattern so that it eventually takes control and the old habit becomes irrelevant. However, it is a continuous process that is aided by self-compassion as there is no way to prepare for every event or forecast when and where a trigger will occur.

"There is no way to prepare for life." Life will throw things at you.

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No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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