how to break bad habits
How to break bad habits
Have you got some bad habits you need to break? Do you find yourself doing something you shouldn't be? Are you realizing something is bad for you but don't know how to stop? Well here at brain boosted we've got some tips to help you destroy your bad habits for good!
So what are habits? I would describe them a behaviour or routine that we repeatedly do, often subconsciously. Why would we want to get rid of them? Well most of the serious and common bad habits like smoking and drinking can cause severe health implications, even negative things that we say to ourselves can result in psychological issues. But why do these bad habits happen, well one theory suggests it could be partially due to an evolutionary factor, take food for example, in caveman days we would see animals etc and think FOOD! Which means calories further more survival , we catch it then eat it and it tastes good, especially sugary things or linking back to smoking the nicotine inside cigarettes. Then our bodies tell us to remember what we had ate and where to find it , then we repeat this process everytime we're hungry. see food, eat food, feel good / trigger, behaviour, reward. After our creative juices start flowing we'll use it for other things and this is where it can go wrong, I'm feeling bad today *lightbulb* I'll eat some food to make me feel better, this is what's called positive reinforcement, we do something and then reward ourselves which makes us more likely to do it again, becoming a habit! And in cases like this and smoking a bad one. So how do we solve this, well there's a few ways.
Write down a list of habits that you want to change or get rid of. So for the examples before one way you can help get rid of your bad habits is getting rid of the trigger, let’s say you want to stop drinking, having a beer in the fridge does not help, it’s not motivation, it’s an incentive. One study was done to see if mindfulness helped people stop smoking and the results wasn’t the best but when the patients were told to be curious about what they’re doing, they even told them to smoke! But just be really curious about what it’s like when your doing it. They found that the smokers became aware of what they was doing and became more mindful of what they was putting in their body. also concentrating on the reward and why your actually doing the habit. Often we find that we’re not actually doing it for the reward that we think, for example you might think you smoke for the nicotine but you might find it’s because you enjoy the social side of smoking. You can even visualise your long term reward, let’s say we want to get of the sofa more if we edit a picture of us with a six pack and look at that every time we want to lounge around to motivate ourselves to get back to work. I think when we want to change a bad habit we should change it for life. An easy way to get rid of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one or just a better one. You already have the cue/trigger and the reward so let’s say your cue is lunch break at work, everyone goes outside to smoke instead you can do something productive like get the work done that’s been bugging you for a week then you’ll get the dopamine rush of being able to tick it off your list. You can also avoid the trigger by having your break hours changed. I learnt about something called progressive extremism and the idea is that the problem with diets and other “life changes” is that we train our brain to anticipate scarcity, in doing so we say we’ll suffer through this diet and as soon as we fit into this dress or get a girlfriend we can eat as much as we want and overindulge so how you solve this is by totally taking something out of your life forever. Let’s use Muslims or vegetarians for example they don’t ever question weather they should eat meat or pork it’s just not something they have to consider they identify as a Muslim or as a vegetarian so If they did do these things (which they wouldn’t) it would not be them!
Here’s some bad habits you can change now:
negative self talk
not drinking enough
not getting enough sleep