You shouldn’t try to eliminate a harmful habit, because you developed it for a reason and it gives you some benefit, no matter how bad it is. So, the only way to get rid of something that jeopardizes your health (both physical and mental), your social status, relations with people, etc. is to replace that habit with a good one.
Why We Develop Bad Habits
The two main reasons that make us develop bad habits are boredom and stress. You may have started drinking every day/weekend, smoking on the daily basis, spending hours online, and so on just because you were bored or tried to cope with pressure in such a way.
It’s very important to determine what the reason was for you and whether there are any deeper issues you should address to get rid of that stress.
Getting Rid of a Bad Habit
The “just don’t do it” algorithm won’t work for the majority of people. If something has developed into a habit, an addiction if you will, it’ll lead to even more stress if you just try to eliminate this part of your life. Instead, an amazing tip is to find a healthier and more useful substitute that will meet the same needs.
It will take at least 3 weeks for the new thing to start becoming your habit, so keep in mind how much patience and persistence you will need. But please believe that it’s worth it, it will improve your worldview, your life, and your health.
Here are some small tips that might help:
- Find a healthy substitute to your bad habit.
Try a healthy diet, a gym, yoga, swimming, etc. Physical activity will boost your mood, and a healthy diet will fill your body with micronutrients that will help you cope with stress better. You can get into such a lifestyle by reading and trying recipes, visiting demo classes in any healthy activity of your choice, etc.
- Do your best to eliminate as many triggers as possible.
Especially at the beginning of your way, you’ll think about your bad habit a lot, and everything will remind you of it, don’t doubt that. However, do your best to get rid of as many things that remind you of that habit as possible.
- Find a buddy with the same goal.
It’s much easier to go through this with someone who has the same amount of determination and motivation to reach the same goal. You’ll support and inspire each other, which is crucially important, especially during the harder times.
In a complex, all these tips will help you replace a harmful habit with a healthy one.