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Break Bad Habits by Creating Better Ones

Lifestyle

We live by our habits, but not necessarily in a good way. Of course, you may develop healthy habits like flossing before bed and drinking water throughout the day. However, we develop unhealthy habits, such as checking social media as soon as we wake up or opening our inbox every five minutes. It takes time and effort to develop habits. It's in our best interests to do everything we can to change our bad habits and fill our days with good ones since they control half of our days.

1. The Habit Loop

You could still be unable to break a negative habit for good even after putting all of these tactics in place. Another approach is to become aware of your habit loop and learn to break it that way.

A habit loop is broken into three parts:

  • The cue, or trigger: signals the brain to start the habit.

  • The routine: actual action that’s inspired by the cue.

  • The reward: the outcome you get from the action.

You can learn how to break undesirable behaviors in three different ways by:

  • Recognizing your cues: The habit may be initiated by stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, celebrations, or other similar emotions. Every practice starts with a trigger or some sort of emotion.

  • Challenging the routine: Make the process more difficult to complete or try to find a replacement. Have a nasty habit of watching too much TV? Hide the remote. Spend too much time on your phone? Remove it from your desk or the area you are currently in. If you decide to replace it, consider choosing a different activity to break up the sequence and provide you with the same level of emotional relief as the previously mentioned cues.

  • Mixing up the reward: Making the award unsatisfactory is one strategy for dealing with problematic habits. For instance, rely on your strong feelings about junk food and how it makes you feel unhappy or unwell if you consume a lot of it while trying to eat healthily. Another approach is to consider what additional rewards can cause you to experience the same emotions that you did previously. For instance, if you frequently drink soda, switch to water and concentrate on how much more refreshing it is than soda.

The more you try to ignore something, the more you think about it. So, the next time you feel triggered to make a bad habit, try switching the action, not ignore it.

2. Schedule your New habits

You must give poor habits room in your life if you wish to break them and start forming better new ones. You must be deliberate in repeating your new, positive practice until they come naturally.

There are various approaches you can take.

You can first arrange your new routines in your calendar.

The second strategy is to link your new habit to an existing one.

This suggests that a new good habit can be started by using an existing good habit as a catalyst. You might do this by flossing your new routine after cleaning your teeth (current habit). Alternatively, you may wait until you've had your afternoon coffee before checking your email (a new habit) (current habit). Admitting yourself that you desire to develop better behaviors is a great feeling. However, they will stick with you if you are clear about when and how.

3. Use a commitment device/ be with a partner to track progress

The hardest part of quitting harmful habits is that we frequently try to do them alone.

Perhaps we don't want to bother others or are embarrassed. But this is an error. How frequently do you diet on your own? Or give up smoking covertly without informing anyone? The truth is we do better at altering our behaviors and maintaining them when external factors make us responsible.

To hold each other accountable while trying to break a harmful habit, join up with someone. Join in the celebration of your successes and offer encouragement when you falter.

A program like the RescueTime App can help you take responsibility for your online activities. RescueTime can detect when you're straying from your new routines by properly tracking how you spend your time. For instance, you can set a RescueTime Alert to notify you when you've spent 30 minutes or more every day on social media if you want to develop the habit of spending less time on Facebook.

Using the Habit360 - Habit Tracker App, keeping an eye on your life's a breeze. Create and monitor practice using a simple, lovely UI. Obtain your objectives and organize your life. To maintain each habit, set reminders. Visualize the progression of your routine in figures and charts, and put a password (PIN code) to protect your habits.

4 . Use the word “but” to overcome negative self–talk.

It is easy to blame yourself for not acting better while trying to break a harmful routine. Simple to remind yourself how terrible you are every time you make a mistake or mess up.

When it occurs, put "but" in your statement.

“I’m fat and out of shape, but I could be in shape a few months from now.”

“I’m stupid and nobody respects me, but I'm working to develop a valuable skill.”

“I'm a failure, but everybody fails sometimes.”

Be prepared to fail. We all make mistakes occasionally. So, instead of punishing yourself for a lapse, prepare for it. We all veer off, what sets great achievers apart from everyone else is how we return to it.

Two Extra Self-Reminders :

5. You don't need to be someone else, you just need to return to the old you.

We frequently believe that we have to change completely to break harmful behaviors. We already possess the capacity to be someone free of negative habits. It's improbable that you have been a lifetime slave to these poor behaviors. Simply go back to not smoking; there's no need to completely stop. You just need to get back to being healthy, not change into a healthier version of yourself. Even if it was years ago, you have already lived without this harmful habit, so you can likely do it again.

6. Visualize yourself succeeding.

Visualize yourself quitting smoking, purchasing wholesome foods, or waking up early. Whatever the bad habit you want to stop, picture yourself succeeding at it, grinning, and having a good time. Imagine creating a new persona for yourself.

Fairouz Elbarakawy
5,000+ pageviews

Fairouz Elbarakawy, 21 years old Junior Business Management Student based in Egypt, Cairo. Works full-time as a video content creator out of passion and creativity , creative and business writer, and a curious learner.