Tips On Ending Unhealthy Habits
We all have a couple of bad habits that we desire to get rid of. Whether you are fond of procrastinating, swearing, binge-watching or biting your nails, habits are very easy to form but extremely hard to break free from. Actually, it is usually not your fault but your brain’s. Normally, your brain secretly keeps counteracting your efforts towards trying to change those addictions. This is because your brain develops a love for the routines and lays down some sort of wiring that will make it easier for you to accomplish the act the next time. This is what makes your brain seem almost resistant to the change you are trying to make.
Regardless of what your addiction is, the process of breaking free from any unhealthy habit is just the same. There are some few things that you will need to do in order to make the change you want to stick in your mind. If there is an unhealthy habit or addiction that you have been trying to stop, here are the 4 top tips on ending unhealthy habits.
1. Understand Whatever Triggers Your Unhealthy Habit
The key to conquering any of your unhealthy habits is by first understanding how you make decisions. In most cases, we tend to redo unhealthy habits without even realizing that we are doing them. In order to understand your triggers, you should first know that every habit has three basic parts. These include the cue which is the time, location, or feeling that triggers the habit, the routine which is the habit itself, and the reward which is the craving your bad habit satisfies. In order to figure out these steps, you should be very careful the next time your unhealthy habit happens. Try to notice the cue part, the routine, and finally the reward and write them down.
2. Change Your Environment
After you have figured out what triggers your unhealthy habit in the first place, now you have to eliminate the trigger or cue. The best way to do away with any trigger is by changing to a totally new environment. In most cases, if you do the same habits in the same environment, that specific environment can itself become a trigger. For example, if you always go to smoke in your parking lot, then that parking lot can become a cue to your smoking. For this reason, it is crucial to at least switch up your environment, even if it is in the smallest way possible. Since the cue is what sets off your unhealthy habit, without it you won’t get prompted to go through that unhealthy habit in the first place.
3. Create a simple If-Then Plan
As we have seen, a cue triggers your habit routine, you then get the reward, and then you repeat. Therefore, you need to create a plan that will help you break or disrupt that system and replace it with a good one. The best way to do this is by the use of an If-Then-plan. To illustrate this, imagine you are someone who likes surfing the net for very many hours. To create an If-Then-Plan, you will need to know when you always start surfing the net endlessly. If for example you realize that it starts whenever you get to sit on your couch, you can develop a plan like “If I sit on my couch, then I will reach out for a book” It is this plan that you create that will now disrupt that system and replace your unhealthy habit with a good one.
4. Fine Yourself for Every Single Offense
One of the most effective ways to end an unhealthy habit is by making it a little more painful to do it. Since money is a great motivator, you can resolve to give your friends $1 any single time that they catch you engaging in that unhealthy habit. This can be very effective, especially when you are fighting things that are highly addictive like alcohol. If you’ve joined one of the addiction treatment services in your area, you can use your new found friends there since they will even be more watchful of you. Since this tip also works the other way round, you should also remember to reward yourself whenever you beat your alcohol addiction.
Forming bad or unhealthy habits may be very easy, but breaking them requires persistence and great effort. The key to breaking any addiction is simply having the right mindset and knowing the right way to communicate with your brain. Now that you have these tips in mind, we are hopeful that you will be able to overcome any unhealthy habit that you have always wanted to remove. Just remember to be patient with yourself and soon you will start seeing great improvements in your life.