People can get very focused on building good habits to live with. They try to eat healthily, exercise regularly and maintain their overall wellbeing. While it is a good idea to form good habits, you first need to get rid of the bad habits you already have. Toxic habits can’t always be identified easily. They don’t necessarily surface as an addiction or a condition that needs to be treated. In order to break the habit, you’re going to have to find ways to unlearn them. Read on to learn what steps you can take in order to start implementing good habits in your life.
1. Make peace with your bad habits
In order to defeat toxic habits, you’ll have to recognize what they are and come to peace with them. Recognizing those means you are already trying to find ways to overcome them so your battle is half won. Coming to peace with your bad habits means understanding them for what they are and telling yourself they are only a part of you, not your whole identity. You’re not stuck with them forever and things can change as long as you are making attempts to break the habit. Once you’re confident that you have the power to defeat them, they will stop controlling the situation.
2. Recognize the Triggers
Breaking the habit will require you to recognize what triggers your toxic habit in the first place. Give yourself time to think and analyze the moments leading up to you indulging in your bad habit. Then prepare a response for those triggers. Assertive thinking is known to defeat bad habits. Say ‘no’ repeatedly, in your mind or out aloud, when you feel like indulging in a bad habit and your mind is bound to listen to what you say.
3. Make Small Changes
Bad habits can be stopped if you make small changes and replace your toxic habits with new good ones. Exercising for instance can help you combat smoking as the act of exercise decreases stress levels and gives you a natural rush of endorphins. A few crunches, sit-ups or a short jog around your neighborhood will help distract your mind and help you overcome your bad habit.
4. Write Down your Thoughts
Write down your thoughts, failures, and successes in a journal. If you feel discouraged at any point in time, you can always go back to your journal and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Even if this is your first time journaling, it’s a great way to process the steps you’ve taken and get the necessary encouragement when you need it the most.
5. Prioritize your Plan
If you’re thinking of breaking the habit, don’t get too caught up in the end goal. Focus on the plan. In the past, your toxic habits may have controlled your emotions, your thoughts and your life. Remember that defeating them will be a major accomplishment. Commitment has shown to help people quit bad habits so while it’s good to have the end goal in mind, focus on how you’ll get there. Coming up with short-term goals, celebrating when you meet those goals, reminding yourself of the bad habits you’re leaving behind – these are all simple ways in which you can quit your toxic habits and build new good ones.
6. Remember the Rewards
You aim to live your life without your bad habit but what will be the actual reward of doing that? Visualizing helps. Visualizing rewards will ease your plan to reach the final destination. You might imagine making better grades, excelling at your job or spending more time with your family. Whatever the rewards are, think of them whenever you find yourself going back to your bad habit. They are sure to make you stick to the plan because every step forward is a step in the right direction. Slowly but surely, change will happen.
7. Ask for help
Breaking the habit can be tough. One of the most important things you can do to defeat a bad habit is to understand that you’re not alone. Of course, it is your bad habit and solely your lookout to defeat it, but you have family and friends who love you and would do anything to help you in any way they can, so allow them. Whenever you feel the urge to go back to your bad habit, call someone and ask them to spend time with you, explaining to you why you wanted to kick the habit in the first place. When you know you’re not alone in your journey to breaking the habit, the journey will feel a lot less intimidating. And once you’ve successfully managed to stop the habit, your dear ones will be happy to share your joy and celebrate with you.