We all have some habits we wish if we didn’t. Or a habit we really want to change, but feel helpless about it. Maybe you recognize that you need to spend less time on social media or playing online games. Or maybe you have tried a dozen times to quit smoking. Or you want to get more exercise, but feel lazy to start.
Whatever habit you’re trying to change, somehow you couldn’t succeed in finding the key to getting it done. It’s not just you. It’s the same for most people.
Identify the underlying reason for the habit
All habits have a certain function. For example, The habit of brushing teeth in morning and night prevents a visit to the dentist. The habit of checking your email first at work helps you organize your day. So called unhealthy habits are not any different. They too have a function.
Some people often comfort themselves by mindless eating when feeling low. Cruising the internet for hours could be another habit to avoid interacting with a partner or kids. Smoking (in addition to being just plain addictive) could also be a way to take an outing to pause and think. Drinking an excessive amount of liquor could also be the sole way you recognize how to be social. If you would like to interrupt the habit, you’ve got to hold the grip on whatever function the habit is serving.
How to start?
The first step for breaking a certain habit, you need to start with self-awareness.
It’s easy to fall trap to a habit. Later, you’ll feel guilty or spend some time dreaming about how you would like things were . But these thoughts take you far away from what’s actually happening.
An awareness which will show you ways to truly make the change.
- When does a certain habit happen?
- How many times do you do it each day?
- Where are you more tempted to do it?
- Who are you with?
- What triggers the behavior?
Simply tracking answer to these questions will make you more conscious of the behavior and provides you with dozens of ideas for stopping it.
Choose something to switch the unhealthy habit.
Just willing yourself to alter isn’t enough because it doesn’t address the underlying benefit of the behaviour you would like to replace. Some ideas for a replacement behaviour can be: breathe the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 8, focusing only on your breathing. Do this 4 times and see how you are feeling. If you need more support, stand there until you come up with one reason why you shouldn’t continue with this habit. this is often a key step. once you do something different to exchange an unhealthy habit, acknowledge to yourself that you simply did it differently so that you can emphasize your ability to change by saying,” I made a better choice”
Note that it will take time to change and stick to a new habit. It can take several weeks to change according to your commitment to making it happen. You have to strengthen that bundle of nerves in the brain to alter your default settings.