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Bad Habits and How to Break Them

17th March 2023

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Everyone has bad habits. Some are pretty benign, like picking your nose, but others are a lot more serious. This post takes a look at some of the worst habits around and how to break them. 

Common Bad Habits

Here are some of the most common bad habits:

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Procrastination is one of the worst bad habits out there. And, as scientists like to remind us, it’s not about being lazy. Instead, people do it because they are scared of taking action. 

Not Getting Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep is another bad habit. People “burn the midnight oil” hoping it will make them more productive or improve their work life. Newsflash: it doesn’t. 

Drinking And Smoking Too Much

People also drink and smoke way too much. Many have to go through challenging alcohol detoxification to get the chemical out of their body, particularly if they are dependent on it.

How To Break Bad Habits

While your list of bad habits might seem excessive, there are ways you can break them. 

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Identify Your Triggers

The first step in breaking a bad habit is to identify the triggers that cause it. Triggers can be external, such as stress or boredom, or internal, such as negative thoughts or emotions. Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can work to avoid or manage them. For example, if going out with friends in the evening makes you want to drink, don’t do it. 

Get Support

The next step is to get support. Breaking a bad habit can be a challenging process, and it’s important to have support along the way. Consider enlisting the help of a friend, family member, or a professional coach or therapist. You can also join a support group or online community focused on breaking bad habits.

When you talk to people, it lightens the load a little. You can find out which strategies work and how to make your journeys towards forming good habits easier. 

Practice Self-Compassion

This point is really important. Instead of beating yourself up for slip-ups or setbacks, acknowledge them and use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. Breaking a bad habit can be a difficult process, and it’s important to be kind and compassionate with yourself along the way. If you are unkind and make the process about you, then it will be far harder to actually break the habit and move forward with your life. 

Replace Bad Habits With Good Ones

Another common strategy is to replace your bad habits with good ones. For example, if you tend to snack on junk food when you’re stressed, try taking a walk or doing a few minutes of yoga instead. If you procrastinate on important tasks, try breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps and tackling them one at a time.

The trick here is to associate your old habits with pain and your new ones with pleasure. Get into the mindset of never allowing yourself to backslide. If you do, make sure it hurts. Don’t let it feel good. Otherwise, you’ll find it much more challenging to make progress.