We all have at least one habit that we want to get rid of. Whether this habit is procrastinating or waking up late, smoking or excessive drinking, negative thinking or worrying our lives can become badly impacted by it.
Research has shown that any attempt to not think about something always yields the opposite result. This means that trying not to think about your bad habit will always force you to think about it.
Research has also shown that will power on its own can never change a habit because even if the person managed to kick the habit it eventually returns back few weeks, months or even years later.
So how can a person get rid of a bad habit forever?
Here are 5 effective ways to end bad habits completely:
- Understand the intentions behind the bad habit: usually there is a strong psychological cause behind the bad habit that is unknown to us. For example lots of people who smoke do it when they feel stressed because smoking allows them to feel in control as they keep doing the same gestures they are used to do. Lots of people become shopping addicts because they want to escape from a bad mood and not because they want to buy something. Many people procrastinate because they fear to test their self worth as a result of believing that they are not worthy.
- Eliminate the root cause and not the bad habit itself: Because most people work on the bad habit itself the psychological need pushes it back in their lives. The right way to end a bad habit is to deal with that psychological need and fix it. Once you are done with it you have to quit the bad habit once and it won’t return back.
- Replace the bad habit with a good one: Sometimes the psychological need behind the habit is so important to the extent that a new good habit must be developed in order for the person to get rid of the bad one. Bad habits are usually developed to fill certain gaps in the person’s psyche and unless the person fills that gap the bad habit won’t leave him. if for example you always like to eat in front of the television then you can replace the unhealthy food with fruits.
- Use negative motivation: Sometimes a habit can be easily broken as soon as a person finds a strong reason to do it. As soon as you start educating yourself about the consequences of a bad habit you will become more motivated to quit it. Notice that the consequences should go directly against your goals in order to motivate you. For example if you don’t care about health that much then health warnings on cigarette packs wont motivate you at all but if you were obsessed about your looks then read somewhere that smoking causes acne you will become motivated to stop
- Choose a bad day and start: People usually make the mistake of choosing a great day to quit the habit on. The problem with this approach is that as soon as the bad day arrives they return back to their bad habit to feel good. Start on the bad day so that you make sure that even under extreme conditions you won’t get back to your bad habit
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