Breaking Bad Habits or Replacing Them? 3 Steps to This Alternative Approach

Breaking Bad Habits or Replacing Them? 3 Steps to This Alternative Approach 1

Do you have a bad habit that you would really like to try quitting? Breaking bad habits can be difficult but they can seriously pay off by improving your overall quality of life, wellbeing, or health. 

To learn more about how to break bad habits, keep reading. In this guide, we will break down how you can let go of your bad habit so that you can leave it in 2021 and thrive in the new year. 

1. Start By Making Sense of the Habit 

Often, doing some thinking about the bad habit and understanding it can help you figure out what is triggering the habit which can help you start thinking about possible solutions. Often, a bad habit is the result of a routine that you will have to disrupt. A bad habit is an action you take as a result of something and figuring out what that something is can be a great place to start. 

Bad habits typically are acted upon due to a trigger and an award, or whatever sensation that your bad habit gives you. Consider why certain things may trigger you to reach for the reward that the bad habit may seemingly offer you. For example, if your bad habit is that you are binge eating too many sweets, what makes you reach for them or buy them at the store, even though you know they are bad for your health? 

The sweet release is likely a result of a trigger or a routine that triggers the action of the bad habit. What reward do you seek and how could you get this sensation from a better habit? 

2. Replace the Reward 

Once you have identified the trigger of your bad habit, start thinking about what reward or sensation your bad habit offers you and how you could replace it with something healthier. At this stage, it can be best to experiment with different quitting methods to find one that works for you. A great practice to start with is by finding a better habit and turning to it whenever your cravings for the reward sensation begin to arise. 

For example, if stress at work triggers your binge eating, rather than reaching for a snack, give yourself a different award instead, such as a few minutes to meditate during your workday. 

3. Eliminating Triggers 

In some cases, eliminating or narrowing down on one’s triggers can help to nip the bad habit in the bud. Also, eliminating certain triggers can improve your overall mental health and wellness in some instances. For example, if you hang out with a group of people that make poor decisions that trigger your bad habits, distancing yourself may help you find more healthy individuals to surround yourself with. 

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Breaking Bad Habits: Where to Start 

Often, breaking bad habits comes down to understanding the habit, the trigger, and the reward you seek. Use this guide to stop your bad habit this year. 

Head to the “Health” section of our site for more. 

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