Most of the time, bad habits are simply a way of dealing with stress and boredom.
Everything from biting your nails to overspending on a shopping spree to drinking every weekend to wasting time on the internet can be a simple response to stress and boredom.
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All of the habits that you have right now — good or bad — are in your life because they provide a benefit to you, even if they are bad for you in other ways.
And because bad habits provide some type of benefit in your life, it's very difficult to simply eliminate them. Instead, you need to replace a bad habit with a new habit that provides a similar benefit.
Habits have three main parts: a cue, a routine and a reward. Cues are the context where you tend to engage in the behavior and knowing your triggers can help you avoid them.
Capitalizing on major life changes can also help break an unhealthy habit. Shifts in lifestyle can actually be the ideal opportunity for eliminating a vice as you don’t have those same cues.
Make achievable commitments to test new routines and approach it as a series of experiments.
Try your new routine for a while and tweak it or switch to a new one if it doesn’t suit you.