3 Scientifically Proven Ways to (Permanently) Break a Bad Habit.
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.
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While popular, researchers say there is a serious lack of evidence to back up mindfulness apps, even though they are increasingly perceived as proven treatments for mental health.
A handful of studies have been published on the efficacy of mindfulness apps, thanks in part to Headspace, one of the most popular apps in the field. In hopes of getting its app scientifically validated, the organization has partnered on more than 60 studies with 35 academic institutions. In the meantime, in lieu of research proving that apps work, marketers tend to draw misleading, but attractive claims.
Mindfulness disrupts unhelpful habits. If you get distracted easily or have addictions, mindfulness helps curb these habits. But, in contrast, apps become popular and profitable by getting users lightly addicted to repetitive use. So, can an app really treat addiction, or is it inherently part of the problem? As of now, we don’t know the answer to that question.
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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.
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Pick a goal that is meaningful and doable, making sure it's coming from inside you, not imposed by others.
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Chances are you won't just wake up one day and suddenly change your life. To go where you want to go, you have to chart out a plan.
For example: If you feel the cue of smoking, replace the smoking with some other activity like having a cup of coffee.
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