Beat Bad Habits
Of course, we all have habits and the majority of us want to beat bad habits for good!
And there are many bad habits we may be less than proud of. These can range from runaway eating habits of overeating and binging to smoking or drinking too much. Or simply procrastinating ~ yes, this can also develop into an habit!
It’s so easy to feel as though we have no power over these habits. And we feel that there is no way we can ever break these habits and be rid of them, ever! It seems so difficult, even impossible.
When the ultimatum comes to breaking a bad habit, many of us view this as a catastrophy.
Yes, overcoming unhealthy addictions may seem like doomsday come early.
We convince ourselves we will have to completely change our lifestyle.
Or that we need to fork out on expensive equipment. Or even worse still, we need to deprive ourselves of everyday pleasures in our ‘must-do’ pursuit of ditching the bad habits.
The reality is that changing your habits is not an overhaul of your life. It’s more a case of introducing a few subtle changes that will pay increasing dividends over time.
In order to beat bad habits, we first have to understand them.
The causes of bad habits
Most bad habits are precipitated by a trigger. While there are many individual triggers, they tend to be based around one of these components below:
- Boredom ..
A trigger sequence could be:
- After a stressful day at work, we feel anxious.
- When we get home, we convince ourselves that we’re too stressed to cook and reach for the pizza menu.
- We have a fight with our partner.
- We feel upset. We feel we lack self esteem.
- We go to the freezer for some chocolate ice cream for an instant pick-me-up endorphin.
- Our afternoon plans get cancelled.
- We feel let-down and directionless.
- We go out for a cigarette to pass the time.
The above is just an example of a string of triggers of bad habits. And it’s obvious in the cold light of day, how self-defeating they can be.
Many triggers tend to be motivated by stress. However, the triggers due to unhappiness and boredom are as individual as you are. Therefore, it’s important to be honest with yourself about what your own triggers are. Observe yourself. How you respond to them?
Eliminate Bad Habits by Replacing, Replacing, Replacing…
Our triggers occur on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, the best changes to effect are small changes on a day-to-day basis.
Triggers are often caused by external factors we can’t exert any control over. However, we can control our reaction to the stimulus.
Let’s say stress at work may cause you to dash outside for a cigarette. The act of going outside isn’t what’s unhealthy; it’s the cigarette itself. Try replacing your cigarette with something equally satisfying. Then phase that out over time.
For example, replace your cigarette by eating sweets or your favourite little snack . After a while, try replacing that with a coffee. Give this a little more time. Then substitute the coffee with a walk round the block. Listen to some of your favourite music on your headphones during your walk.
Over time, you’ll combine the positive association caused by addressing the trigger with a healthier activity. You’ll mitigate the damage you do to yourself by acting on the trigger.
If your cravings drive you to sweet foods, try substituting refined sugars with natural sugars. Fructose found in fruits will offset the sugar with healthy fibre.
You don’t need to change your life to kick your bad habits. You just need to recognise what triggers them and then remove the harmful component. By doing this, you’ll kick them over time without even realising you’re doing it!
One final thing needs to be said about beating bad habits. Certain habits, if not booted out or replaced, can lead your life into a downward spiral.
Take, for example, smoking. A long-term chronic habit which persists can lead to lung cancer.
Let’s say you also have this bad habit of eating excessive sugary and high-carbohydrate foods. You must be aware that this habit can lead (almost without fail) to diabetes, heart disease and cancer in the long-term as sugar feeds cancer cells.
So using baby steps to wean your sugary habit into a healthy habit of eating real food is not an option; It is A MUST.
Of course, it is easier said than done. You love your sweet food but you really don’t want to succumb to cancer. It’s a devastating disease. And you’re willing to kick the habit, so to say. So is there are way out of this?
Yes! You can use effective, cutting-edge technology like The Release Technique which helps eliminate old programs and hang-ups which keep your bad habit alive.