How to break a bad habit?

Among the most common bad habits are eating junk food , watching excessive TV or streaming services, and excessively using one's mobile phone. These habits begin with a trigger, whether that happens to be a location, time of day, or an emotional state. This trigger sets off a series of events, such as repetitions, and often ends with a reward. Although the word "reward" doesn't accurately describe a habit, it is the key element which keeps a habit-er going.

One way to make yourself less likely to engage in a habit is to eliminate any cues that prompt the behavior. Some cues are obvious, such as your phone buzzing, a donut box on the counter, or a TV in every room. The best way to address such cues is to eliminate them completely.

Also, many a times people judge themselves for their bad habits, instead of try to become aware of the bad habit and how often it occurs. Do not beat up yourself about having weakened a resolve and indulged in the bad habit again, instead- learn from such relapse and consciously try to understand the sequence of events that led to the weakening point. This way, you are address such events and ultimately get stronger towards breaking the bad habit.

Once you are aware of the triggers and the corresponding feelings, you can break the habit. Try writing down your cues, the routine, and the reward. Write down your feelings and incorporate them in your new plan. Write down the reward each time you break your habit.

The key is to identify the exact point when your bad habit begins and ends. It is important to note the moment you succumb to your feelings and trigger an action. This will help you to build a defense against it.

By analyzing the triggers and rewarding yourself for achieving it, you will be able to recognize the exact point at which you get yourself in the habit loop. Remember, a habit forms much faster than we realize it. You must make every effort to change the element of your bad habit.

The reward you give yourself can be a pleasant positive activity that you enjoy like a relaxing massage session, a trip to the beauty parlor or even dropping a small amount of cash in a jar. Later on, you can use this money to reward yourself, or donate it to charity. Rewarding yourself for your efforts and success will help to stay motivated towards breaking your old detrimental habit patterns. This in turn will ensure that over time you will be successful in breaking your bad habit.

Changing the specifics of a certain negative behavior could be easier than completely eliminating that action itself. For e.g. if you indulge in potato chips every afternoon as an in-between-meals snack, then try substituting with healthier options. Instead of chips or candy, try eating a handful of nuts of frozen yogurt. Eventually, this new choice will become a second nature.

Obviously some habits are easier to break than others. Your general awareness around healthy choices and actions will also help you kick off bad habits. For e.g. if you are health-conscious, are aware of the need to ensure proper nutrition and control calorie intake and are trying to lose weight, or are generally working toward a more positive life, it may be easier for you to kick your negative habit of indulging in junk food than someone who is not very health conscious and has the bad habit of eating junk food!

It is also important to note that some people are better able to keep themselves motivated on their own and hold themselves accountable for their choices and actions. Such people are able to better able to break their negative habits on their own.

On the other hand there are many others who prefer a group setting to stay motivated and prefer to be accountable to someone they are emotionally connected with or respect such as a partner, close friend or a parent. This helps them to stay the course of positive transformation.

Also, some habits can benefit from professional help such as taking help from a Fitness Trainer when you join a gym. There are others scenarios, which mandate qualified medical help, such as addressing those bad habits which borderline addictive behaviours with deep mental and emotional roots.

So, if you are wondering, "How to break a bad habit?" and the path ahead seems daunting. Then don't despair! You can do it... Just try one small step at a time. Every small progress will make you feel better and over time, you will get rid of your bad habit.