5 Tips to Break Free from Bad Habits

Everyone has a habit and there’s really no shame about that. Some are pretty useful — maybe you lay out your clothes for work the night before or automatically turn off the lights when you leave a room. Others, however, are not.

Some habits can lead us astray — whether it’s turning to comfort food when we’re sad, or taking a cigarette break when stressed. Breaking unwanted habits can be difficult, especially if you’ve been engaging in them for a long time. Here are some useful tips from francais casinos en ligne.

Map out your habit loops

The first step to breaking a habit (no matter what it is) is to figure out your triggers. If the habit is procrastination or stress eating at work, for example, pay attention to the circumstances surrounding you when you do those things. Do you have a big project you’re trying to avoid? Do you have too much on your plate to manage? Once you know your triggers, try to identify the behaviors you engage in when you are acting out. Do you check social media instead of doing work? Do you snack on sweets during challenging assignments? You must be able to name the actions you turn to for comfort or peace of mind before you can evaluate their reward values.

See what you actually get out of those actions

The second step is to link up action and outcome. Remember my patient who struggled to quit smoking? Just like I asked her to pay attention to the act of smoking, I am asking you to pay attention to how you feel when you partake in your habit. If you stress eat, how does it feel to eat junk food when you aren’t hungry? How does what you eat impact the state of your mind, and body, fifteen minutes after the fact? If you procrastinate, what do you get from surfing the internet for pictures of cute puppies? How rewarding is it in the moment, especially when you realize that it isn’t helping you get your work done?

Replace the reward with curiosity

Then find a new reward that is more rewarding than the existing behavior. The brain is always looking for that bigger, better offer. Imagine you are trying to break a bad habit like stress eating at work, and willpower hasn’t quite worked out for you. What if, instead of indulging in your candy craving to counteract a negative emotion, you substituted it with curiosity about why you are having that craving in the first place, and what it feels like in your body and your mind?

Enlist a friend’s support

If you and a friend or partner both want to break an unwanted habit, try to do it together. Say you both want to stop smoking. Dealing with cravings on your own can be tough. Quitting along with a friend won’t make the cravings go away. But they might be easier to deal with when facing them with someone else. Make it a point to cheer each other’s successes and encourage each other through setbacks, courtesy of best USA real money casinos.

Repeat a new habit until it’s on autopilot

The trick to building a healthier habit is to harness your mental system to work for you, not against you. Do this by building habits you can repeat without even having to think about them: Stash your phone in your glove box—or even your trunk—when you get in the car; ask your server to box up half your meal before serving it; grab an apple every night before settling in on the sofa to watch TV.

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