“All bad habits start slowly and gradually and before you know you have the habit, the habit has you.”-Zig Ziglar
We all have some bad habits that we wish to get rid of . Whether it is mindless surfing on the internet at night, smoking or even eating excessive junk food. Our life would be so much better without them.
It just takes a minute of weakness to put yourself into a bad decision. The “just one cookie won’t kill me” attitude is a slippery slope. And while there are many effective psychological tricks, these are three I like to use when I’m giving up a bad habit.
Develop a mantra. When you’re filled with self-doubt or you are craving for something. But you cannot resist. Thinking “But it will taste good” or “I deserve to have this” makes it hard to stay strong. One of the best ways to eliminate those thoughts is to develop a mantra that you can repeat over and over again. Think of a quick word or phrase that you can repeat to yourself when you’re tempted to indulge.
Write a list of reasons why. Being logical, you know smoking is bad for your health, and eating too much junk food is bad for your waistline. But when you give in to cravings, you aren’t using logic. You’re basing your decision on emotion.
When you feel sad, bored, anxious, or some other uncomfortable emotion, and reaching for those unhealthy habits offers you temporary relief.
The funny thing about cravings is they usually go away if you wait a few minutes. So tolerating a little discomfort—will help you get over the wave .
Create obstacles. Sometimes, bad habits are just too convenient. They are right there waiting for us to relish.
I worked with a woman who wanted to stop eating sugar. So his husband would hide the cookies so she wouldn’t know where they were. This is how she could get over the habit.
A simple and accomplish-able way to give them up is to make them harder to access. If you want to quit smoking, don’t keep cigarettes in the house.
Practice being aware of your triggers. According to addiction expert, Judson Brewer, regular mindfulness practice could help you break a bad habit. Better awareness of the triggers that cause bad habits has been shown to interrupt the existing feedback loop that keeps a bad habit in place. For example, a four-week study reported by Brewer and his research team in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal, showed the positive impact of mindfulness training on breaking the bad habit of smoking.