How to Break a Bad Habit
Research says that 40 percent of our actions are habits not conscious decisions. A Habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up”. Generally habits are good things; but what about the bad habits- biting your nails, smoking, procrastination, etc.? Habits are learned, therefore they can’t just be deleted, but they can be replaced by more desired behaviors. Many people have habits that they want to break, but they feel like they can’t do it, the idea of it seems impossible or too difficult to challenge. Breaking a habit is easier than it seems. In order to break a bad habit we must first define the habit. What is the behavior you want to stop and why do you want to stop it? Many people are on board the idea of breaking a habit without being sure they really want to make the change and why they want to make the change. Once you recognize the habit you want to stop and the reason as to why you want/ need to stop it you then need to identify what triggers this habit. Many habits are habitual behaviors that have evolved because they have been rewarded in some way. Most bad habits come out as a way of dealing with situations that may cause stress, anger, boredom, etc. For example, many people who smoke look at it as a stress reliever. In order to break a habit it is important to identify what triggers the habit. What is the cue that sets you off? Is it a time a day, a memory, an emotion? Ask yourself “do I do this habit whenever blank occurs?” Once you are able to define whether it is a situational or emotional context that triggers the habit you are better able to find ways to break the habit and develop another healthier way of achieving the same reward. Next we need to identify the reinforcement and replace it with something that gives you the same satisfaction. What are you really getting out of this action/habit? This can be a really difficult step. By smoking you...
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