As a human, you are likely to have a few bad habits that are having a negative effect on either your mental or physical health — sometimes both. If this is true, then you might be wondering how to break these habits so that you can start leading a healthier, more productive lifestyle. Here is a helpful guide to doing just that.
Accept That Change is Necessary
Acceptance and acknowledgement are the first stages when it comes to turning bad habits around. You will need to accept and acknowledge the fact that change is necessary and endeavour to take action.
Investigate Why the Habit Exists
Habits rarely become habits just for the sake of it. Usually, there will be an underlying cause that led you to adopt the behavior in the first place. For example, perhaps you drink excessively when you feel the need to ‘blow off steam’? Or maybe you smoke because it helps you to relieve stress or feel more confident in social situations? Identifying your triggers and the underlying cause of your behaviour will make it much easier to break the habit and to find other alternatives to replace it.
Consider the Approach You Want to Take
Most people will either opt to stop their habit immediately, otherwise known as ‘going cold turkey’, while others will decide to take a more gradual approach. There is no right or wrong approach to putting an end to a bad habit. It is all about trial and error and seeing which works best for you.
If you decide to take the gradual approach, it can be helpful to either slowly reduce how much you engage in the habit, or to replace it slowly with something else that is healthier. For example, those attempting to stop smoking may gradually switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping. They might opt to sign up for a vape juice subscription to further inspire them to make the change and steer clear of cigarettes for good.
Be Kind to Yourself
The reality is that breaking a bad habit is no easy feat. It gets more difficult the longer you have been doing it, so be kind to yourself. Relapses are often inevitable, and they are not the end of the world. If you stumble, pick yourself up and keep going.
It can help to continuously remind yourself why you are making the change in the first place. If you are battling to stay on track, it can also prove worthwhile to speak to a psychologist or seek help from a professional specialising in recovery relating your problem.
Along with professional support, it is recommended that you seek out support from others who are going through a similar experience. This is why recovering alcoholics attend AA meetings and why there are support groups for those who are trying to quit smoking. It can help tremendously to discover that you are not alone.
Stay positive and motivated throughout your journey to better health. You can do this!