We all have bad habits; it makes our journeys unique because we each have different demons to conquer. Truth is, the type of habits we have dictate the kind of lifestyle we have, the amount of money we have, and the extent of happiness we experience. This is why it’s rather essential to adopt healthier habits and to be mindful of bad habits that could possibly consume us.
It’s impossible to have no bad habits at all; it’s not even human. We’re always going to have bad habits; the only difference is the level or the extent of this bad habit. Is this habit harmless?
Or is this habit turning into an addiction that could possibly ruin our lives? For instance, it’s harmless to engage in casual gossip on a Sunday brunch. However, it’s harmful to constantly engage in gossip that it’s starting to spread rumors and hurt others.
Moreover, a little procrastination is fine and can never harm anyone. In fact, it’s good to give your body a rest every now and then; it can rejuvenate your energy and enthusiasm.
But, constant procrastination will hinder you from achieving your goals and fulfilling your dreams. Not only that, but you will be missing out on opportunities and keep you from experiencing life to the fullest.
It’s good to note that you can never be able to quit all bad habits at once. You have to start slowly and gradually. And you have to choose your battles; consider conquering the major bad habits that consume the best of you.
Below are techniques on how to quit bad habits.
1- Know Your Toxic Traits
What are your bad habits? Are you well aware of your toxic traits?
Sometimes, we can be blind to our own downfalls. And sometimes, we can engage in bad habits without knowing that they’re bad for us.
I used to believe that excessive cleaning meant that I’m taking care of my energy and maintaining a healthy environment for myself to exist in. I was blind to the fact that it was consuming all my physical and mental energy.
It was keeping me from enjoying the moment and it was keeping me stressed out. Don’t get me started on the amount of stress I felt if someone put something in a place where it wasn’t meant to be.
This toxic habit made me push my body at times that I shouldn’t; it made me neglect rest on the account of having a sparkling clean house.
Bottom line: Sometimes our bad habits can be disguised in positivity, which can blind us to the reality that they are toxic for us. Not all bad habits can be as obvious as smoking or drinking for instance.
2- Calculate The Price Of Your Habits
Who doesn’t look at price tags before purchasing a piece of clothing? Well, let’s say most of us do. We would want to know if we can afford this or not; we would want to know if our budget allows us to get that fine piece!
We should be calculating the price of our own bad habits the exact same way. What is the price of this bad habit? What are the consequences that come along with indulging in this bad habit?
The price doesn’t have to be only materialistic; it’s not only about money. Sometimes the price we pay can be our health; it can be our wealth; it can be our time. And sometimes, the price we pay can be our relationships.
For me, my cleaning habits made me pay my price in health, time, and relationships. I put a heavy load on my body and never gave it a break. I wasted countless hours cleaning. I barely had any guests over because I was afraid that they would mess up the house.
What’s the price that YOU are paying?
3- Know Your Triggers
The one thing our “habits” have in common is that they are driven by emotions. Emotions trigger our negative and bad habits as well. We do the things we do to conceal a feeling that we experience.
For instance, someone could indulge in watching Netflix for hours and hours because they are feeling “bored”. The same way someone can indulge in excessive eating because they are feeling “lonely”. Someone can turn to alcohol because they feel like they need to escape their reality.
Emotion is always behind every action we take. That’s why it’s important to know your triggers. What triggers you to do something that you dislike doing? What is the facade behind this bad habit?
Whenever you catch yourself indulging in bad behavior, ask yourself: “How am I feeling right now?”
Once you figure out your triggers, it would be much easier to break the bad habit because you now know how to address the feeling that comes along with it.
4- Develop A Plan “B”
In order to break a bad habit, you need to replace it with another habit; to break it, you need to make it.
For instance, I wanted to break up with cleaning; I wanted to be free of this obsessive habit and adopt a healthier one. So, every time I felt like I wanted to clean, I put on my running shoes and went for a walk.
There were times when I went for a walk four to five times a day, and that’s okay! But, it’s important to note that it didn’t work out every single time at first, and there were times when I caved in…that’s okay too!
If your bad habit is binge eating, have a plan “B” of calling a friend whenever you start feeling the urge to eat. Go out and change your scene.