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Can you reverse bad habits?

Photo Credit: Kalawin /iStock Photo

Bad habits can jeopardize your health, waste your energy and time, prevent you from accomplishing your goals, and interrupt your life. While most people would agree that these habits are bad, they still do them. But the situation is not hopeless.

You Can’t Simply Eliminate a Bad Habit

To overcome a bad habit, it is crucial for you to recognize the cause of the bad habit. Maybe boredom and stress cause you to bite your nails, waste time on the Internet, or overspend on a shopping spree. A bad habit could also indicate a deeper problem, like a fear or limiting belief that causes you to hold on to something that is not good for you.

The key to eliminating a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. All of your habits are in your life for a reason. The benefits that come from a bad habit may be a way to cope with stress, they may be biological, or they may make you feel connected to the outside world. You need to find healthier behavior that will replace the bad habit. Sticking to a routine of just not doing the bad habit will not work for very long.

How to Break a Bad Habit and Replace It with a Good One

After recognizing why you have the bad habit and setting the goal of making a change, you may need to change your thinking process. Here are a few ideas that can help.

Choose an Appropriate Substitute

When boredom and stress prompt a bad habit, you need to know how you will respond. If social media is causing you to procrastinate, set a small work goal to accomplish instead. If you have the urge to smoke, practice some breathing exercises. Planning for how to respond to an urge can help you break your bad habit.

Cutout Triggers

Are cookies and sweet treats always calling your name? If so, give away or throw away all the food that is tempting you and stopping you from losing weight. If it is hard to not smoke when you go to the bar, don’t go to the bar. Make breaking a bad habit easier by cutting out triggers.

Visualize What Success Looks like

Visualize how tall and confident you will look when you break the habit of bad posture. Or think about someone you love or respect seeing you sitting at your desk hunched over. While working on improving your ability to disregard your habit, take extra care of your body and mind. Practice healthy daily routines that calm the mind and body like massage using CBD topicals. Doing stretches and exercises throughout the day can also be helpful. No matter which bad habit you are trying to break, visualizing what success looks like, crushing the habit and smiling from ear to ear, will help you get closer to your goal.

Practice Positive Self-Talk

It is easy to give into negative self-talk each time you slip up. When that happens, acknowledge the slip-up and then focus on the positive. If you ate that box of cookies, instead of telling yourself that you are fat, tell yourself that while you are out of shape, you could be in shape in just a couple of months. Don’t just tell yourself you are a failure. Tell yourself that you failed this once, but everybody fails and then they pick themselves up.

Breaking a bad habit is possible. It involves recognizing why you have the habit and replacing it with a good habit. It takes time, about 21 days, to establish better habits. Be patient and kind to yourself and believe that if you stick to your goal, you can be successful.

augusta free press
augusta free press