We are 3 weeks away towards completion of the self growth series. Over these few weeks we have discussed several strategies like NVC, the art of minimalism, boosting memory I am sure you are pumped to see what’s coming next.
Previously we had discussed on how to build a habit following strategies by James Clear. This week we shall do the opposite. Mind you, just like creating a good habit is stressing so is breaking off. Often bad habits grow and become addictions, which makes your work even harder.
Remember you cannot give away a bad habit in one day, it takes time, effort and determination. And most importantly it needs to be substituted with wholesome and healthy choices. Try giving up coffee completely, or stop biting your nails from NOW, and you will know what I am talking about.
Reducing and replacing your cups of coffee with green tea or black tea or just warm water may help, because here you are taking your usual coffee breaks but with a difference. The stimulants are still infused in your system , only the choice of stimulant is healthier. Replacing cigarettes with nicotine free gums, or biting into hard pieces of apple may help reduce the urge to bite into your nails.
All you need to be is GENTLE with yourself.
Bad habits interrupt your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. They jeopardize your health — both mentally and physically. And they waste your time and energy.
What causes bad habits?
Most of the time, bad habits are simply a way of dealing with stress and boredom. Everything from biting your nails to overspending on a shopping spree to drinking every weekend to wasting time on the internet can be a simple response to stress and boredom.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can teach yourself new and healthy ways to deal with stress and boredom, which you can then substitute in place of your bad habits.
How to break bad habits?
- Choose a substitute for your bad habit example , chose to have plain soda over a drink.
- Cut out as many triggers as possible example, don’t go to a bar to avoid drinking.
- Join forces with somebody example, pair up with a buddy and motivate each other.
- Surround yourself with people who live the way you want to live.
- Visualize yourself succeeding.
- You don’t need to be someone else, you just need to return to the old you.
- Use the word “but” to overcome negative self–talk example, I am fat but I am working on it.
- Plan for failure, we all slip now and then the key is not to be harsh on self.
Mindful practice :
It’s awareness that will show you how to actually make change. Think about the habit you want to change this week and answer the following questions mindfully. By the time you reach the last questions you should be able to find a solution yourself.
When does your bad habit actually happen?
How many times do you do it each day?
Where are you?
Who are you with?
What triggers the behavior and causes it to start?
Simply tracking these issues will make you more aware of the behavior and give you dozens of ideas for stopping it.
Every habit good or bad starts with a thought or vritti which later becomes sanskar or choice anf finally causes action or karma which has its own positive or negative effects. It is a vicious cycle and in order to break through this all you need to do is intend and change your thought.
For example how does one start smoking ?
- sees someone smoke repeatedly and gets curious (generates thought)
- Tries it out one day
- Feels its experience
- enjoys it
- smokes often
- gets addicted
Similarly how does one get off smoking ?
- Creates a thought of no smoking
- reduces its intake
- replaces with nicotine free gums
- stops enjoying it
- stops going to pubs or meeting friends who smoke
- weans off completely
All is takes is to create the right THOUGHT, hence I earnestly urge you to THINK.
All the best, do let me know in the comments below how this post helped you overcome a bad habit or break an addiction.
Happiness and sunshine