We all have our routines. No matter if you think that you don’t live in a stereotype, you probably have some rituals or habits that you do on daily basis without even knowing it.
You probably also have habits that bothers you, right?
I want to show you how to get rid of them. However, before that I would like to explain how these habits are created in order to understand.
How do we create habits?
A habit starts with doing something on regular basis. It makes us feel certain way or it satisfies our needs. It can make our life easier as well. If it is a good habit then it helps us for example to keep fit, staying healthy etc.
However, when we start creating dangerous habit, then it can destroy all our previous effort and we might to get also addicted to it. It starts with just a habit that can turn into an addiction.
Firstly, we trigger it mentally. For example, we start drinking coffee and connect it with a good mood, energy etc.
Secondly, it become a physical addiction. It is caused by releasing dopamine which is an organic chemical by neurons that stimulates our brain and makes us feel high.
When we keep releasing it on regular basis, we trigger this emotion and also start to be physically addicted. Once our body needs it for this reason, then it is harder to get rid of it.
Another example is overeating. If we start overeating when we are stressed, anxious and so on, then we create a trigger to escape from problems, suppress the stress or fight with a boredom. It creates a pleasure and then we can’t stop it.
If we just generally love food it is ok, but once we start eating for this reason to escape and solve problems through eating, then I would say it is not ok.
So, once you understand how this theory works, let’s put it into practice.
Replace your bad habit with a healthy habit
Are you eating something that you know it is not good for your health but you just like it? Why not to try to replace this unhealthy snack with a healthy snack instead?
For example, if you regularly eat chips or salty snacks with lot of calories then replace it with healthy alternatives such as nuts or anything that is healthy but taste good as well. So that you can still eat snacks if you feel like but you will replace them for a healthy option so that you don’t get fat or be unhealthy.
Another example is to replace for example watching TV with some inspirational Youtube videos and learn something new. You might also feel bored and start just doing your old bad habit again. Why not to go for a run instead?
Test your patience
Do you feel like eating that chocolate again? Try this.
Put the chocolate in a distance when you can’t reach it and just observe it, think of how you feel and if you really want to eat it or if it is just a trigger or habit. You might even talk to the chocolate.
No matter what you feel, don’t eat it, just watch the chocolate and leave it where it is and build your resilience.
With a practise you will start noticing that your impulse to eat right now will slowly disappear. It takes time to develop this patience as you might have lack of self-control in the beginning. It is normal. You will see how resilient you can become with a time.
Once you get stronger you might even try to have only one piece of chocolate and then put it back so that you still have it but you will be able to control yourself to not have it all at once.
Stop it right now
Have you noticed yourself to do your old bad habit again? Stop it right now. Yes, it is hard, but really there is no other time then just stop right now.
If you say to yourself “Next time” you just procrastinate and most likely you will do it again and again later. Take a first step and say “No” to your bad habit today.
Break the cycle
With a bad habit it is like a loop. It usually goes in circles. You stop doing the habit and then with some trigger it can easily go back.
For example, you got used to eat unhealthy food and then you suddenly decide to start eating healthy. You might be doing well but then after some time, you might start overthinking and think why not to allow yourself eating some junk food again.
So you will get some burger or oily food and then you will enjoy it and might get back to your old routine. When you get a temptation to get that burger, break this pattern and distract yourself with completely different food such as carrot or banana or whatever.
It will be uncomfortable in the beginning but with time you will start doing it automatically and realise that you can eat something else that is beneficial for you. It will help you to be more resistant.
Another example – you keep saying yourself that you can’t do something and you want to get rid of this mindset.
Then anytime you find yourself saying this negative thought to yourself, stop and say something nice to you. Even if you don’t feel like it in that time or thing it is not true, keep saying yourself that you are smart or you can solve this problem etc. The more you practice it, you will start believe in it.
Think of positives that you gain by getting rid of bad habits
Think of all the benefits that you can get when you get rid of it. You can visualise it or even draw it.
For example – you might be spending too much money on shopping expensive brands or you might be drinking alcohol too much. Think of how much money you will safe by not doing that or how healthier you will be.
Imagine it in full colours, feel it, follow inspirational people who have good habits and learn from them. See who they are and how you can be like them if you get rid of your behavior that doesn’t serve you. Remind it to yourself anytime you start doing your repetitive bad habit routine.
Track your success
Are you doing well with not doing your bad habit again? Track all the benefits you got whilst you for example stopped watching the TV again.
It can be having more time for your family and doing something better together. It might be start learning new musical instrument and enjoying it or having more time for reading.
Track what works and what doesn’t. It will help you to keep going. You will have an evidence in front of you so that you will consciously know that you are on the right track.
Find a buddy to support you
We all have more motivation when we have someone around who can support us. Yes, of course it is important to start with your own motivation but after a while it really helps to have someone around you who you can keep your new good habit going.
It can prevent you to don’t go back once you feel weak or with some sudden switch to get back to a comfort zone.
You are free to share your progress, difficulties or anything you want to express.
Good luck with on your journey.