No one wakes up and decides today is the day they are going to develop a bad habit, but it happens to millions of men, women, and children.
While not all bad habits are as bad as they could be, many of them prevent families from accomplishing their goals. Unhealthy habits put a stop to a thriving household and lifestyle, especially once they begin to spiral outside of our control.
When bad habits start to rule the roost and dictate your lifestyle, it’s time to quit. However, as in all things, stopping is much harder than starting.
Some people struggle to stop on their own. Some stop overnight.
Not everyone can quit “cold turkey” although there are many cases in which the idea works. Still, some believe it’s not the best approach to remove negative behaviours.
According to Dr Jeffrey Wilkins, psychiatrist and Director of Addiction Medicine [Cedars-Sinai Medical Center], stopping all of a sudden can lead to other bad habits. Dr Wilkins goes on to say new bad practices or habits often “take the place of the old ones.”
An individual’s bodily and psychological health comes at risk when they discover they can’t go a day without a smoke, drugs, or alcohol. Maybe they use food as a means of avoiding reality. What provokes a behaviour to develop into an unhealthy habit? It happens for a couple of reasons.
What Causes a Bad Habit?
We all endure challenges in life. We all become vulnerable at some point. It’s during those periods of crisis, pressure, or perhaps even boredom, that we are likely to adopt new patterns of behaviour – not all of which are beneficial.
Unfortunately, some individuals choose to deal with a death or job loss poorly while others make the decision when they are suffering from sheer boredom.
A bad habit could be as simple as nail biting or as damaging as excessive spending. Some consider complacency a bad behaviour, but thankfully, anyone can change his behaviour. You can adopt different responses to take the place of harmful ones. Here’s a list of 7 tips and tricks to help kick a bad habit.
Define and Commit to Goals
Once people accept their patterns, they are more prone to work toward changing. In addition, they are indeed more likely to reach their objectives when they realise there is a problem. Experts in the field suggest joining a support group to help quit a bad habit like smoking or drinking.
Again, professionals don’t think going “cold turkey” is the best answer, it just sets people up for disappointment or failure. The body is not set up to accept sudden changes, and neither is the mind.
Kick a Bad Habit with Meditation
Some people believe in the power of meditation or visualising success. With this said, picture yourself eating and enjoying healthy foods or sipping on an iced tea instead of the usual course and beverage. Whatever your burden is, visualising a positive outcome will undoubtedly help you to become the person you should be!
Break Bad Habits with Hypnotherapy
Some people are not against using hypnotherapy as a means of stopping a bad habit. They maintain hypnosis can influence their behaviour positively. But there is good evidence to suggest that hypnotherapy can be safe and effective.
Don’t give up if it doesn’t work the first time. You may need more than one or two sessions to complete the therapy. Oh, and by the way, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to indulge in other tricks to help kick a bad habit while attempting hypnotherapy.
Kick a Bad Habit with Niacin
More people are choosing a holistic approach to quitting bad habits. Treatments are based on specific nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin C and a multivitamin B complex tablet.
Doctors target certain supplements because they remove fats from the liver and balance the chemistry in the brain. Dr Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., trusts “niacin is the most important single treatment for alcoholism, and it is one of the most reliable treatments.”
Be Selective of the People You’re Around
Your circle of friends is now more critical than ever. Hanging around others who enjoy the things you’re trying to avoid, won’t work in your favour.
You will need to find positive influences and commit to doing constructive things with your time. Don’t isolate yourself. Isolating yourself rarely works. Get out and be social!
Substitute Bad Habits with a Good Ones
Not only should you find new friends and associates, but you should also find a new hobby to take the place of a withering one. This is especially true if you found yourself in trouble because of boredom. Perhaps a hobby where you have to use your hands like woodworking or painting.
The new hobby should soothe as well as be productive. If you’re trying to quit smoking, try deep breathing exercises or yoga. Plan a course of action to take when you have the urge to binge eat.
Kick a Bad Habit with Exercise
Fortunately, exercise releases the same endorphins or neurochemicals as do bad habits stimulate the pleasure buttons in the brain. Because of this, it won’t take long before your new hobby becomes your new habit. Exercising lessens withdrawal symptoms in smokers and relieves stress.
Besides, working out can decrease feelings of depression, negative thoughts, irritability, and hunger. You won’t have much of an appetite, researchers say, because exercise dulls the hunger hormone, ghrelin.