It gives you an automatic response to react to your cravings and makes it easier to replace a bad habit with a good one:
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Bad habits don’t go away overnight. But, you can use strategies to give you that extra boost of self-confidence and self-control required to change.
Understand that sometimes you will fail and sometimes you’ll succeed. But no matter how long it takes to fail and get back up again, your patience and perseverance will soon pay off.
Mindfulness practice helps to weaken the link between the craving and the bad behaviour:
Research has found that using the phrase “I can’t” results in decreased self-control when compared to using the words “I don’t”.
When trying to break bad habits say “I don’t [bad habit]” instead of “I can’t [bad habit]” .
Our habits are driven by a 3-part loop in sequence: trigger (the stimulus that starts the habit), routine (the doing of the habit and behaviour itself) and reward (the benefit associated with the behaviour).
Each repetition of this behavior pattern, it becomes more ingrained in your brain until it eventually becomes automatic—a habit.
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.
By classifying specific behaviors as things you will never do again, you put certain actions into the realm of “I don’t” versus “I can’t.”
Saying “I don’t” rather than “I can’t” provides greater “psychological empowerment.”
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.