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3 Scientifically Proven Ways to (Permanently) Break a Bad Habit.

Practice Being Aware Of Your Triggers

Practice Being Aware Of Your Triggers

Mindfulness practice helps to weaken the link between the craving and the bad behaviour: 

  • Next time you’re hit with an urge to do the bad habit, take a step back and be aware of the sensations of the trigger in your body.
  • Take note of where you were and when the cravings started, as well as who were you with and what happened leading to it.
  • Keep a short journal of your progress and take quick notes of the events that take place on the days you act on the bad habit versus the days you don’t.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

3 Scientifically Proven Ways to (Permanently) Break a Bad Habit.

3 Scientifically Proven Ways to (Permanently) Break a Bad Habit.

https://mayooshin.com/how-to-break-a-bad-habit/

mayooshin.com

6

Key Ideas

“The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit.”

“The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit.”

The Role Of Perseverance On Change

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.

Creating An “If-Then” Plan

It gives you an automatic response to react to your cravings and makes it easier to replace a bad habit with a good one: 

  • Identify the scenario that usually triggers your bad habit.
  • Specify a different response to the trigger. Ideally, this should be a good habit that would replace and prevent you from falling into the temptation.
  • Combine steps 1 and 2 into an “if-then” format.

Practice Being Aware Of Your Triggers

Mindfulness practice helps to weaken the link between the craving and the bad behaviour: 

  • Next time you’re hit with an urge to do the bad habit, take a step back and be aware of the sensations of the trigger in your body.
  • Take note of where you were and when the cravings started, as well as who were you with and what happened leading to it.
  • Keep a short journal of your progress and take quick notes of the events that take place on the days you act on the bad habit versus the days you don’t.

Use “I Don’t” Instead Of “I Can’t”

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]” .

The Mechanics Of Habit Formation

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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Set Better Goals

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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.

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Starting vs breaking a habit

The process of stopping bad habits is fundamentally different from forming new ones.

  • Creating a habit requires encoding a new set of automatic behaviors: the brain learns cau...
Progressive extremism

The process of “progressive extremism” utilizes what we know about the psychology of identity to help stop behaviors we don’t want. It works particularly well in situations in which substituting one habit for another just won’t do.

Identity helps us make otherwise difficult choices by offloading willpower. Our choices become what we do because of who we are.

"Don’t" vs "Can’t"

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.”

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What causes bad habits

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 ...

"Benefits" of bad habits

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.

How to break a bad habit
  • Choose a substitute for your bad habit
  • Cut out as many triggers as possible. 
  • Surround yourself with people who live the way you want to live.
  • Visualize yourself succeeding and avoid negative self-talk.
  • Plan for failure and find things that can help you bounce back when you make a mistake.