20 Nov Breaking Bad Habits
Drug addiction is a habit that affects people physically, mentally, and emotionally. Though it generally requires professional help to overcome, developing methods for breaking other bad habits can help people in their recovery or help them to avoid addiction in the first place. Breaking bad habits – small and large – will also help them to live a more healthy life in every aspect.
The idea that all habits are bad is false. Our entire lives are basically made up of a series of habits that we repeat on a continual basis. Brushing your teeth, driving a car, and eating meals are all skills we acquired and perform on a habitual basis. But some habits are unhealthy and can hurt us physically, socially, emotionally, or in other ways.
Breaking bad habits is a process, and different approaches work for different people. Below is an overview of some approaches to breaking bad habits. Often these approaches work best when used in combination with each other or with other methods and support systems.
Quitting Cold Turkey.Quitting cold turkey is when you chose an end point for your bad habit and cease the activity from that point on. Usually, you’ve spent quite a bit of time incorporating the bad habit into your life and it can be hard to flush it out all at once, but a fresh start can also be invigorating and may give you the motivation you need to see it through.
Replacing the Bad With the Good.Some methods of breaking bad habits, like cold turkey, work best if you replace the bad habit with a good one. It is helpful to have another activity to do when you feel tempted to re-engage in the unhealthy behavior. For example, chewing gum is popular among those quitting smoking because it gives them something else to do with their mouth instead of smoking.
Tapering Off.If cold turkey is too abrupt a solution for you, consider the tapering off method instead. This is when you still allow yourself to indulge in your bad habit but with less and less frequency or in a lower quantity over time. For instance, you may decide to cut one cigarette from your routine each day as you attempt to quit smoking.
Aversion.If you associate a negative consequence with indulging in your bad habit, it can help motivate you to quit. If you’re trying to quit cursing, you may decide to wear a rubber band around your wrist and flick yourself every time you slip. This will make you more aware of the words you’re saying and leave out the words you don’t want in your vocabulary anymore.
Avoidance.Bad habits are fueled by triggers, events in your daily life that act as cues for you to engage in the behavior. The avoidance method involves removing these cues from your routine to circumvent the behavior. Getting rid of the coffee maker or taking a different route home that doesn’t go by your favorite bar are both forms of avoidance.