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5 Science-Approved Ways to Break a Bad Habit

Set Better Goals

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. 

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5 Science-Approved Ways to Break a Bad Habit

5 Science-Approved Ways to Break a Bad Habit

https://time.com/5373528/break-bad-habit-science/

time.com

5

Key Ideas

Set Better Goals

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. 

Have a Better Reason For Quitting

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.

Replace a Bad Habit With a Good One

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.

Know Your Cues

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.

Sink Your Stress Levels

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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Friction

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.

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