A negative life-controlling habit is one of those things you find yourself doing even when you don't want to.
These are habits that tend to break us in every imaginable way; be it mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, or relationally. We become slaves to these habits, forever at their beck and call.
The good thing, however, is that there are tried and tested methods of getting rid of bad habits, so not all hope is lost.
My aim for this article today is to try and help you identify efficient ways and methods that can aid you past your toxic habits.
Firstly, it is crucial to understand that you cannot get rid of all your bad habits in one go.
That would be an irrational expectation to place upon yourself. In fact, psychology speaks of an idea called “Ego depletion”.
The concept behind this is that self-control is a limited resource that you can deplete. We use the same stock of willpower for all manner of tasks.
Having understood that, let us find out what causes bad habits.
1. Most of your bad habits are caused by two things; stress and boredom
Most of your bad habits are a direct response to these two variables. They address a certain need in your life.
Even the most mundane of bad habits such as biting your nails or wasting time on the internet can be a straightforward response to stress and boredom.
Of course, sometimes the stress and boredom that is on the surface are caused by deeper problems that can be tough to think about.
But if you are serious about moving past these habits, then you have to be honest with yourself and self-evaluate.
Is there something deeper that is causing you to hold on to something that is bad for you? Maybe it is a fear or a particular incident? It is crucial that you recognize the cause/s.
2. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, the next important thing to understand is that you do not eliminate a bad habit, you replace them.
In some ways, these behaviors provide a benefit to you, even if they are bad for you in other ways.
For this reason alone, it is very hard to just go cold turkey and eliminate a habit altogether-It is why advice like “just stop doing it” is simplistic and impractical.
3. Solutions for breaking your bad habits
Start out by cutting out as many triggers as possible. Make it simpler for yourself to break bad habits by avoiding the things that cause them.
If you smoke when you drink, then avoid going to the bar altogether. If your phone is a source of distraction while working, put it in another room far from where you are working.
Whatever your bad habit may be, find a creative way to rid yourself of the trigger.
Choose a suitable substitute for bad habits. You need to have a plan ahead of time for how you will respond when you face the stresses or boredom that trigger your bad habit.
What are you going to do when your intrusive thoughts try convincing you to drop everything and mindlessly scroll through Instagram?
Whatever it may be, you need to come up with a plan in place for when you feel the urge to repeat the bad habit.
Find yourself an accountability partner. Stop trying to do it by yourself and in private. If possible, pair up with someone and quit together.
Hold each other accountable all through and of course, celebrate the small wins while you are at it.
You do not need to turn into someone else, you just need to go back to the person you were before.
So often we think that to break bad habits, we need to become an entirely new person.
The truth is that you already have it in you to be someone without your bad habits.
Even if it was years ago, you have already lived without this bad habit, which means you can most certainly do it again.
4, Finally, plan for failure.
You are only human after all. So rather than beating yourself up over a mistake, plan for it.
We all get off track, what separates top performers from everyone else is that they get back on track very quickly and they don't let the defeat become the final BOSS.