Breaking Bad Habits With A Few Minor Changes

Habits are a powerful way for our brain to increase its efficiency. Making regular actions and behaviours into habits allows us to focus on more essential tasks. They are our life management system on autopilot.

Even bad habits can be beneficial to our health. An improved mood and less tension are the short-term effects. However, they frequently have a detrimental long-term effect on our health and well-being. We create habits even without our knowing, and these can be success habits or bad habits, but us humans tend to accumulate more bad habits than good!

But why is it so difficult to put an end to something we know is harmful for us?

Dopamine is the answer and the problem! All bad habits bring some sort of pleasure or positive feeling, such as easing tension when we smoke or drink. Our brain releases dopamine in response to this feeling.

We are receiving a benefit, such as a good mood or reduced stress levels, when we partake in the bad habit, e.g., smoking. As a result, anytime we are in a particular scenario (for example, when we are worried), our brain builds a desire to engage in this behaviour in order to reap the benefits.

Our mind keeps us desiring the things that we are trying to avoid, creating a vicious cycle. This understanding helps us to devise ways for breaking and eliminating bad habits.

Bad habits harm us in a variety of ways. They have the potential to adversely affect our health, our emotional well-being, and even our intimate relationships. It will not work to try breaking a bad habit simply by telling yourself you’re not going to do it. The habit, such as the desire to drink or smoke or being incredibly disorganised, is hardwired into your brain.

How To Break Your Bad Habits

Getting rid of bad habits is similar to creating a goal. If you have a precise goal in mind, you have a better chance of succeeding. It’s also crucial that you are the one who wants to break the habit (intrinsic motivation).

Identifying the bad habit and why you think you persist in it is the first little step to take. Make a note of it on a sheet of paper.

Once you’ve figured out what’s causing the bad habit, make a plan to change it immediately. If you smoke every day, for example, you will figure out what makes you want to smoke. Is it anxiety or stress? Do you smoke when you have a cup of coffee purely out of habit?

When you smoke when you’re stressed, you will need a plan of action to minimise stress throughout the day. What minor things in your life can you get rid of that are causing you stress? Make a note of it in your action plan. If you’re tempted to smoke because you’re drinking coffee, consider switching to a different beverage.

You can then write it down and commit to smoking one fewer cigarette per day until you reach your goal of no cigarettes.

Many bad habits can be replaced by alternatives. If you always have something sugary for dessert, for example, your blood sugar levels are likely to suffer. It’s also possible that you will gain weight. Because we know that refined sugar causes a myriad of health problems, you should swap out your desserts for healthier options.

If you need something sweet after supper, cherries are a good choice. They provide the sweetness you crave, plus lots of health advantages.

Our peers are responsible for many of our bad habits. Examine your poor habits to see if this is the case. Do you spend lots of time drinking beer or judging others harshly? You may be a part of a group that likes to engage in this detrimental activity, and you feel compelled to participate.

You must make the choice to take a step back and not succumb to peer pressure. Refuse and walk away when pals insist on spending their Friday nights drinking from 5 p.m. till the wee hours of the morning. Replace it with a healthy habit, such as going to the gym or spending time with your family.

Some habits are inextricably linked. If that is the case, you can work on all of them at the same time. You already know that watching too much tv and overeating is bad for your mind and body. By turning off the tv and going on a bike ride, you can get rid of both habits at once. Bring some healthy snacks and plenty of water.

Another little step toward easing bad habits is to remove or replace them. We all realize that drinking soda is bad for you, and some individuals drink a litre or more every day. Replace soda with water or freshly squeezed fruit juice in your fridge and on your grocery list.

If you like a burger and fries every now and then, bring a water bottle with you when you order. Order individual burgers and fries instead of the combo, which includes a drink.

Another bad habit such as continually using your cellphone can be controlled by putting your phone out of reach at different times of the day. Put y our cellphone in another room when you’re eating meals with your family.

Another bad habit is bringing your phone to bed, and you should keep it in another room nearby in case of an emergency. If it is next to you, you will be more inclined to watch news or scroll through social media before going to bed. Both are full of bad news, which will make you lose your optimistic outlook on life. In bed, replace your cellphone with a good book about positivity or some other form of self-improvement. If you are spiritual, read some Bible devotions and spend time in gratitude before going to sleep.

How Much Time Will It Take To Break A Bad Habit?

The quick answer is that it varies.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes between 18 and 254 days for a person to develop a new habit. These numbers are similar regarding breaking a bad habit.

A new (replacement) habit takes an average of 66 days to become automatic, according to the study.

There are so many factors in the question “How long does it take to break a habit?” that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. For example, it takes a lot longer for someone who has been smoking for 20 years to quit than it does for someone who is attempting to break the bad habit of forgetting to brush their teeth in the evening.

To have the long-term drive to stop or replace your habit, make sure you have a strong “Why” (purpose or goal) because this will keep you going if/when things get tough.

Creating habits requires self-discipline and many people do lack in this area. If you want to gain more self-discipline, check out the featured resource below where you can get a free detailed report about the Power Of Self-Discipline; download, read it and take action 😊

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