Bad habits are one of the things that people often note they want to change about themselves. Whether it’s something small like spending too much time watching TV or something larger like a smoking addiction, bad habits can be negative forces because of the control they have over time and behaviors. Freeing yourself of a bad habit can be liberating as you regain time to do other, more constructive things and also experience a sense of empowerment for regaining control over your life and your actions.
It is possible for people to change any number of bad habits, ranging from small to large. While small habits may be able to be changed using a few tips and tricks, larger habits may take more time and effort to change. In the case of severe habits, such as OCD compulsions, it may be necessary to seek professional medical help in changing habits. The two main ways that people change bad habits are to quit a bad habit cold turkey or replace the bad habit with a new, more constructive habit. Both of these methods have their pros and cons, so it’s important to decide which method you want to use before beginning a change to habits. The first thing you’ll want to do is make a clear decision that you want to quit a bad habit and then formulate a plan for quitting the habit. If it’s something minor, like fingernail biting, you can decide to quit this habit cold turkey and simply redirect your attention to something else each time the urge to bite a fingernail occurs.
For bad habits that dominate more time and attention, many people find it necessary to replace the bad habit with a new habit in order to fill the time that they would normally spend on the bad habit. Over time, this retrains the mind and body to feel as though the bad habit is unnecessary. These new habits to replace bad habits could be something like exercise, learning a new hobby, cooking, calling a friend and more. These new habits will not only give you more constructive things to do, but also become your go-to actions when the temptation to participate in a bad habit creeps around. You should begin to replace your bad habit slowly so the change is not overwhelming and causes you to rethink breaking the bad habit. Start by replacing the bad habit with a new habit once or twice a week and work up to replacing the bad habit with the new habit altogether.
Another tip for breaking bad habits is to tell your friends and family about your interest in quitting a bad habit. Putting the bad habit out in the open and telling people that you want to quit the habit will give you a sense of accountability. Knowing that others are supporting you and also wanting you to quit the bad habit will give you extra motivation to break the habit. For more serious bad habits, you may also want to also see a therapist who can talk with you candidly about the bad habit and develop a more intensive plan for quitting the habit. Another option would be to join a support group for people that are dealing with the same bad habit or bad habits that you are dealing with. Examples of support groups would be Alcoholics Anonymous or self-help groups for people addicted to things like porn or sex.
Whatever the bad habit is, it is possible to break the habit with the right about of determination and effort. Quitting a bad habit can be time consuming initially as the bad habit is replaced with a new habit and new behaviors are formed. To quit a bad habit, it is imperative that the person really wants to quit the bad habit. If not, they will not put the effort and time into quitting and the results will not be as satisfactory.