There are many ways to self improvement. Here are some tips for getting rid of a bad habit. Habits are as we all know some sort of automatic behaviours and most of us employ habits that are far from good, thus we want to change them. There are lots of examples; smoking habits, the habit of over-eating, the habit of forgetting certain things like umbrellas and gloves, the habit of interrupting other people when they talk etc.
Though there are many different bad habits, breaking a habit has certain things in common, whether it is a smoking habit, an over-eating habit or whatever. The tips below cover how to break a habit in general and can be applied on whichever habit you want to break.
The first question you should ask when you plan to break a habit is how serious are you about breaking it? If you are really committed to getting rid of it, your chance of succeeding is much higher than if you lack this commitment. Be aware that breaking habits requires focused energy and you need to concentrate on observing your behaviour over a period of time.
In which situations are you performing the habit you want to get rid of. How often are you doing it and are there special things from your environment that trigger your behaviour? You should set aside a period of time just to observe yourself and your behaviour. Write down and keep track of when you do the unwanted behaviour. It is also important that you find out exactly what your thoughts and feelings are each time you perform your unwanted behaviour. When you write this down, you will be much more aware of when and why you perform this habit.
Now, take your notebook, read what you have written and ask yourself, “Which function has this habit for me? What does it really do for me? What pleasure does this habit give me? Which pain do I avoid with this behaviour? Does it prevent anxiety, stress, nausea? Does it make me feel more confident?
Think about this and write down some alternative behaviours to the habit you want to get rid of that would be a better and more positive way to handle the feelings or the situation that is associated with it. How can this new behaviour or new habit make you feel pleasure or prevent you from feeling pain as well as the old one. Select one or a few alternative behaviours or habits and start to practice them.
Be careful to observe your behaviour and as soon as you notice that you are practicing your old habit, stop yourself and start the new alternative behaviour you picked out previously. Work with this every day in the beginning one or two times a day, and increase it as the time goes by. To break an old habit and replace it with a new, isn’t done overnight, but the more you practice your new behaviour, the more it becomes fixed and the more of the old one is erased.
Tell your family and friends that you are working with yourself to get rid of a habit you don’t like, and they will probably help and support you in your endeavour to get rid of your nasty habits.