A bad habit is any recurring habit that causes harm/offence to you or the people around you. It could be something as mild as swearing or something as severe as drug abuse. Breaking a bad habit isn’t easy – such habits are often a source of comfort and may even be things we do subconsciously. To help break a bad habit, here are some of the steps that you can take.
Having temptations around you will make it harder to give up your bad habit. Find ways of creating physical barriers or removing temptations from your home. This could include wearing gloves in the evening to stop you biting your nails or clearing your cupboards of snacks so that you can’t binge eat. It could also be wise to avoid going to certain places where you may be tempted – if you’ve been drinking too much alcohol, you may want to steer clear of bars and liquor stores.
Get friends and family to help
Friends and family may be able to help you break your bad habit. This could involve not partaking in certain bad habits like smoking or eating unhealthy foods whilst around you if you’re trying to give up. They may also be able to help you remove temptations – this could keeping onto your credit card on a shopping trip to stop your impulse buying or keeping onto your mobile in the evening to stop you playing on your cell phone. In other cases, they may simply be able to warn you when you’re subconsciously breaking habits such as swearing or picking your nose.
Take up a healthy habit in its place
Getting rid of some habits like snacking or smoking could leave an emptiness. Taking up a healthy habit could help to fill this void. This could include vaping instead of smoking or eating healthy snacks instead of unhealthy snacks. This could even apply to minor bad habits, such as using words like ‘fiddlesticks’ and ‘sugar’ instead of swearing or using nail clippers instead of biting your nails.
Know when to get professional help
Certain serious bad habits may have become addictions and may require more serious treatment. In the case of smoking or drinking, you may be able to join a local support group or see a counsellor. In the case of hard drugs, you may be better off seeking out a heroin detox center. Your friends and family may be able to help you find professional help or even support you by going with you to counselling sessions.
Record your progress
As soon as you begin abstaining from your habit, it’s worth recording your progress. This allows you to set abstinence milestones to aim for such as a month without alcohol or a week without smoking. There are apps that you may be able to use to break your habit such as dieting apps or quit smoking apps – or you could simply tick off days on a calendar.