Any bad habit can be broken, psychologists say. And it looks very promising and inspiring, but you may be wondering how to initiate that initial change. Or rather, how not to give up while learning to practice a healthier habit?
We suggest following these 6 steps to help you break any bad habits, as recommended by the experts. There’s also a curious bonus at the end of the article about the nasty nose-picking habit.
Step 1: Be Honest With Yourself
The more honest you are with yourself about your bad habit, the more likely you are to change it, psychologists say.
The people close to you who really care about your well-being can serve as a mirror and give their opinion on whether or not you have a problem.
If someone constantly says that you poke your head all the time, it may be a sign that you have a bad habit.
If you have noticed that your habit is bad, it is a great victory. You took the first step. The psychological “wall” has been broken and you can move on to the second stage.
Step 2: Collect Data And Write It Down
A clinical psychologist suggests analyzing your habit on your own. As a good option, you can start your own journal. For example, you may have a habit of snapping your fingers or biting your nails.
Start taking some notes as you do it, identifying things like the feelings it caused you when you started doing it and the pros and cons. That way, you can become even more aware of your bad habit.
Collect this data for at least a week. Slowly, you will be able to understand what triggers your bad habit, whether you are feeling anxious or bored.
Step 3: Manipulate Your Old Bad Habit
For example, you may have noticed that you have a bad habit of being late. You have analyzed that you like the attention when you are the last to enter a meeting or maybe you like the emotion.
Simply put, this bad habit can give you a little adrenaline rush and make your life more adventurous.
Now try to get the same satisfaction from something healthy. It can be in the form of physical exercises, for example. Just find something cool that can bring the same emotions into your life, instead of the old bad habit. Switch it up!
Step 4: Be Realistic And Don’t Rush Yourself
There is a good chance that you have been living with your old habit for years. It is better not to push yourself too hard as it will change completely in just one week. Don’t stress, but enjoy the process. Set a reasonable goal.
If you are late all the time and tend to be 30 minutes late, first set a goal of delaying 10 minutes. Then do it less and less each week.
Step 5: Use An App
There are some useful applications that can help you record your results. For example, it can be online weight control or online sleep monitoring.
These apps will help you measure your success so you can enjoy seeing it in real numbers, almost as proof that you are doing well.
There is also the possibility that your support system will not work or you will feel more “pain” from breaking a habit and less pleasure from adopting a healthier one. This is good.
Just record it in your journal. You will probably need to rethink your reward system so that the pleasure can increase.
Once you stop feeling a lot of “pain” from losing your bad habit, you are ready to move on to the next step.
Step 6: Look For Additional Support
Reach out to your family, friends, or even special clubs for additional support. For example, it is always easier to lose weight with a friend.
Just make an agreement that you will support each other and stay in control of each other. For example, ask your mom or colleague to wake you up in the morning if you are always late for work.
You can also get a personal trainer if you go to the gym or even if you find a new friend there. They can force you to skip classes and give you an extra boost.
Poke Your Nose As A Habit
According to a survey, 8.7% of people said they had never touched their nose. 91% said they were still actively practicing it. Although our society tries to prevent this habit, there are scientists who argue that it has positive effects and that it can even serve as “a natural stimulus for the immune system”.
What is a bad habit that you would like to break? What was your biggest personal victory on the road to adopting a healthier habit?