Bad habits are formed for a variety of reasons.
Maybe you picked up the habit from a friend or family member, or perhaps it’s a coping mechanism for stress or anxiety. Whatever the reason, bad habits can be difficult to break. But there is hope! Here are three steps that can help you break any bad habit:
1. Understand the root of the habit.
It’s not enough to simply want to break a bad habit. To be successful, you need to understand why and how the habit came about in the first place. Were you trying to cope with stress? Did it form out of boredom? Or were you looking for a way to fill an emotional void? Once you identify the root cause of your bad habit, you can begin to work on finding a healthy way to eliminate it. If stress is the trigger, for example, try exercise or relaxation techniques instead of turning to your vice. If boredom is the issue, find a new hobby or activity to occupy your time. By taking the time to understand your bad habit, you’ll be one step closer to breaking it for good.
2. Make a plan to break the habit.
Everyone has bad habits that they would like to break, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Making a plan is a good first step. Begin by identifying the behavior that you want to change. Then, think about what might trigger the urge to engage in that behavior. For example, if you want to break the habit of snacking late at night, make sure to have healthy snacks readily available earlier in the evening. Next, come up with a plan for how to respond when you do have the urge to snack. For instance, you could distract yourself with a book or a puzzle. Finally, be patient and give yourself time to adjust to the new behavior. Breaking a habit takes effort and perseverance, but it is possible to make lasting changes with little planning.
3. Be patient and persistent in your efforts to break the habit.
Breaking any habit can be a challenge, but it is important to be patient and persistent in your efforts. It is often said that it takes 21 days to break a habit, but this is not necessarily true. The length of time it takes to break a habit depends on the individual and the specific habit. In fact, research has shown that it typically takes between 18 and 254 days to form a new habit. This means that breaking an old habit can take even longer. But it is important to remember that habits are formed by repeating an action repeatedly. So, if you can stick with your effort to break the habit, eventually it will become second nature. And once you’ve broken the habit, you’ll be free to live a happier and healthier life.