What exactly are bad habits? Almost all human beings have some behavioral patterns others will characterize as unhealthy. These ‘bad habits’ include swearing, fidgeting, biting fingernails, picking one’s nose, double-checking everything, and using your smartphone right before going to sleep, among several others. But you must eliminate certain habits when they start interfering with your productivity. Here you will see some techniques to overcome bad habits.
Practices such as smoking, drinking, and overeating aren’t just annoying; they’re outright unhealthy. These habits may ruin a person’s lifestyle and damage their relationships with others. So, we’ll discuss ways to identify the roots of your unhealthy habits and eventually conquer them for good.
Ten Tips for Overcoming Your Bad Habits
First, we must define what these habits are. They’re behavioral patterns a person subconsciously tends to repeat frequently. When performed regularly, it becomes ultimately challenging to eliminate them or even notice them unless someone points them out. As repetition creates these habits, it isn’t easy to overcome them quickly.
From overspending to procrastination, you need the willpower to stop yourself from indulging again in these unhealthy habits. Without self-compulsion, these habits may turn into addictions. So, how can a person overcome their bad habits? We have compiled some suggestions to help you get rid of your unhealthy routines. Hopefully, these techniques will work:
1. Get Medical Help
Before suggesting any methods, we’ll mention the most important of them all, i.e., getting immediate medical assistance. Suppose your habits turn into addictions or become challenging to overcome, such as substance abuse or excessive alcohol consumption. In that case, you should contact a detox and rehab center for intervention.
A well-known health center has top-rated facilities at multiple locations across the country. People suffering from habits involving drugs/alcohol should contact them if they need external intervention to beat unhealthy practices.
2. Identify Your Triggers
Overcoming deteriorating habits begins with identifying what triggers these habitual behaviors. Track habits to understand which events/people encourage you to engage in these customs. When exactly does it happen? How do you feel when unhealthy habits cloud your mind?
For example, you may find out that staying up after midnight triggers a particular habit. So, you can remove it by sleeping early. Eliminate the trigger, and it’ll automatically empower you to overcome it.
3. The 20-Second Rule
Your environment can contribute positively/negatively to the evolution of your bad habits. So, alter the environment to overcome these unhealthy practices. Experts have suggested the 20-second rule to help you beat your habits.
Whenever you feel like engaging in harmful customs, give it 20 seconds before acting upon instincts. For instance, if you feel like smoking again, control that urge for a few moments. Sometimes, it makes you lazy enough to consider things other than smoking.
4. Don’t Quit Cold Turkey
People often imagine quitting their unhealthy practices right away. Sadly, it’s mostly impossible for a person to overcome their bad habits in an instant. We recommend quitting your unhealthy habits cold turkey only if you’re psychologically prepared for that. If you are not, don’t quit them at once.
Instead, take baby steps and convince yourself to stay away from unhealthy routines in stages. Thus, quitting cold turkey requires strong willpower and a person with an iron constitution.
5. Tolerate the Discomfort
Quitting isn’t painless at all, we warn you. You can’t “break” unhealthy habits without suffering from pain and tolerating the feeling of uneasiness that persists during recovery. Whether you’re willing to lose some weight or bolster physical fitness, the process of overcoming unhealthy practices makes you uncomfortable.
Since these damaging habits gradually become involuntary and reprogramming your mind not to commit these actions isn’t simple, your willpower can help you bear the discomfort.
6. Practice Self-Care
Adopting a healthier lifestyle encourages you to overcome bad habits. So, try some self-care techniques to reduce your stress and make room for risk-free practices instead of harmful ones.
Get enough undisturbed sleep, and drink plenty of liquids to keep yourself hydrated. Consume nutritious meals with more fruits and vegetables. You can also try polarity therapy to enhance your mental and physical health. This technique ensures a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
7. Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself will help you acknowledge your progress. It’ll also reinforce healthy behaviors as you “treat yourself” constantly for achieving your health objectives. When you’ve successfully kept yourself from indulging in unhealthy habits for a week, buy yourself a present to celebrate this small victory.
After being sober for one month, you deserve to dine in a fancy restaurant. So, the correct combination of rewards and restrictions enables a person to overcome bad habits.
8. Get a Friend’s Support
Don’t consider yourself alone on the battlefield. Besides therapy/medication, you can also enlist the support of a friend. Your buddies can help you eradicate a particular habit effectively. Dealing with cravings and triggers all by yourself isn’t helpful enough. But collaborating with someone can help you control these yearnings successfully.
So, you can partner with a friend who also suffers from the same unhealthy habits as you do for mutual encouragement.
9. Focus on Good Habits
This method involves not just killing your unhealthy habits but also replacing them with better ones. Since overcoming harmful practices may highlight the negative aspects of your lifestyle, thus making you feel restrictive. Instead, focus on healthy habits to feel liberated again.
So, work on adopting/developing some harmless activities that contribute positively to your lifestyle. They will make your life more bearable during recovery via remitting your stress levels.
10. Keep Temptations Away
For people planning to lose weight, experts recommend keeping a healthy fridge. Since keeping fast food in your house will only strengthen your triggers and compel you to start eating unhealthy stuff again. So, keep away things that entice you to indulge in bad habits.
If you don’t wish to drink again, don’t attend parties where everyone consumes alcohol. Don’t buy cigarettes when you’re trying to quit. Hang out with friends who don’t force you to engage in smoking/drinking.
The Bottom Line
People acquire unhealthy habits unintentionally. A study shows that over 60% of Americans developed some dreadful customs while staying home during the pandemic. Using their smartphones excessively tops the list – quite naturally. Then come poor eating/sleeping habits, alcohol consumption, and neglecting work-life balance.
These behavioral patterns are harmful to your productivity, and some can even lead to chronic illnesses. Therefore, determine the unhealthy practices in your lifestyle and work toward eliminating them.