5 Science-Approved Ways to Break a Bad Habit
Be specific on how you’ll implement goals into your daily life. Examining how you’ve responded to the situation in the past and determining what you can do to avoid reverting to the old habit, might be all it takes to break the habit.
It’s easier to react based on something you’ve already planned out in the past versus trying to come up with a new plan on the fly.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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Even if you replace a “bad” habit with a better one, sometimes the original vice will have a stronger biological “reward” than its substitute. This is where the importance of having an intrinsic motivation comes into play.
If that is the case, find as many benefits to the change as you can and try to use them as extra motivation.
The more you suppress your thoughts, the more likely you are to think about that thought or even revert back to that bad habit. Instead of trying to stop doing something, it’s easier to do something else.
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.
Many habits involve the brain’s dopamine (or reward) system. The first time you engage in a new, “rewarding” behavior, you get a euphoric feeling from doing it as a result of a dopamine and that increases the likelihood of you repeating the behavior
Reducing your stress level makes you need less reward to offset it.
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If you know that you will eat junk food because your refrigerator is filled with it, remove all the junk food.
Just as removing friction aids in doing the activity more often, adding friction can aid to remove the bad habit, by making it difficult or cumbersome to do so.
Example: Cigarette smoking declined due to adding taxes, banning in public places and removing from vending machines.
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Lack of sleep can result in you feeling lethargic, grumpy and tired. If you often feel this way, you may want to consider whether you’re getting enough sleep.
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Feelings of stress can mean that you struggle to concentrate, experience racing thoughts, difficulty switching off and tiredness.
Strategies to improve your energy levels include taking some time for yourself to relax, reading or going for a walk.
One study found that sedentary people with persistent, unexplained fatigue decreased their tiredness by around 65% just by regularly participating in low-intensity cycling.
Get up and move your body like brisk walking or cycling to boost your energy levels.
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