5 tips for kicking bad habits
We all have them. Whether they are harmless yet irritating niggles like nail biting or swearing, or more something more serious like smoking and over eating, bad habits affect everyone. And, if you've been doing it for a while, your unwanted habit is not going to be easy to shift.
But don't worry, there's hope. By taking control of your mind, and understanding the thought processes that lead you into your bad habit, you can teach yourself to overcome it and carry on your life happier and healthier.
Here are five tips to help you tackle that habit and take control:
1) Get to know your habit. To begin with, it's important to get a grip of your habit and understand why you do it. Your habit will most likely have started because it rewarded you in some way, made you more comfortable, or made doing something easier. Once you've started using a certain action or substance to deal with a situation or emotion, your brain will create a habit-loop. When the same set of emotional circumstances occur, your brain will trigger the response that worked before. This is how bad habits are born.
2) Make a plan. Like many things in life, creating a simple, detailed, do-able plan is an excellent route to success, and kicking bad habits is no different. Start with an achievable goal, don't go overboard. Ambition is admirable, but make sure you stick to one goal at a time, and that the goal is something you can feasibly do within a set amount of time. Your plan needs to include some way to measure your success. This could include setting targets or asking friends and family members for their support and feedback. If you're doing well, this will boost your determination and knowing you're struggling could be just the motivation you need to redouble your efforts.
3) Relapsed? Make sure you review. You're not perfect, you're going to make mistakes. Plan for failures and, most importantly, make sure you learn from them. If you find yourself in the midst of a relapse, try to figure out what triggered it and adapt your plan to make sure it doesn't happen again.
4) Think positive. Your brain is your greatest tool for beating your bad habit. It's important to visualise success throughout your attempt to beat it as this is your greatest motivation. Picture how much better you'll feel, how much happier you'll be once you've kicked your habit and don't let go of that picture. If you find yourself tempted, just remember why you're doing what you're doing.
5) Don't go-it alone. Naturally, some habits are easier to quit than others, some you'll be able to deal with in a matter of weeks, others will take more, and take longer. Due to the nature of a lot of bad habits, and the fact that they're often deeply ingrained in your psyche as a coping mechanism, choosing to get help from a professional can be the most effective way to accomplish your goals. This is by no means something you should be ashamed of. Hypnotherapy uses techniques that help you relax and makes your subconscious mind more open to new ideas and suggestions. When combined with the tips above, and your own willpower, you could soon find yourself free from the grip of your bad habit.
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