Habits are automated behaviour patterns. Most of the time, we are not conscious of it. Addiction is also considered a habit. There are good and bad habits, but we all know good and bad is a matter of perception. However, as a society, there are some habits that we deem positive and some negative. For example, brushing your teeth twice a day is considered a good habit just as smoking is considered bad. Good habits are difficult to cultivate while bad habits are difficult to get rid of.
Habits are created subconsciously by means of repeated actions. Feeling is what drives us to repeat an action. If something makes us feel good, we want to do it again. The closer you are to the resources that compel the behaviour, the higher the chances for you to form the habit. For example, if you love to eat ice-cream, the chances for you to develop a habit of frequently eating ice-cream is higher if you have ice-cream parlour next to your home. If you start eating ice-cream too frequently, you now have an addiction.
The development of a habit follows the cycle of ‘Reminder’ (the trigger), followed by ‘Routine’ (repeated action), and finally the ‘Reward’ (what you get out of it). Getting rid of a bad habit is tough but it is not impossible. As behaviours are rooted deep within our subconsciousness, bad habits can only be removed by tricking the mind. Below are some tips on how you can accomplish this:
Tip 1. Identify your trigger.
Carefully study and analyse your actions, behaviour and feeling related to the habit.
Tip 2. Identify the reason for change
What’s wrong with the habit? How does it affect you and others? What is the potential benefit of eliminating the habit?
Tip 3. Get help
Fighting with your brain is tough business. Seek assistance and support from family or friends, potentially someone who also wants to remove a similar habit.
Tip 4. Substitute
A simple example is when you feel like smoking, chew gum instead (Chain smokers are probably cursing me right now).
Tip 5. Reminders
Put visual notifications around you. Use sticky notes. It acts as something to question your action.
Tip 6. Baby steps
Set a goal that is realistic and attainable. You can’t go from 3 packs of cigarettes per week to zero the next.
Tip 7. Change the environment.
For example, if you love drinking coffee and have a habit of picking up a cup on your way to the office, change your route to the office.
Some of you may have noticed that it took 3 steps to create a habit and 7 to get rid of it.
The truth is it can take more than 7 steps to remove a bad habit.
I’ve only listed what I consider the most practical steps to take. If you are successful in your attempt, remember to reward yourself at the end. Good luck!
Bad habits are normally caused by a toxic environment. Find out how to Detox your Mind at the workplace, you may be surprised at what you might find. Click the banner below to find out more!
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