Frankly, you’ve probably got certain habits that are less than preferable. You more than likely would like to stop with these habits, but you’re not willing to give them up just yet because, honestly, you quite enjoy them. Habits range from relatively harmless ones like biting your nails and procrastinating, to more serious ones like drinking excessive alcohol and smoking. With some help and deliberate effort to overcome habits and addiction, you can emerge from the other side feeling lighter, happier and healthier. However, you have to recognize your habits and want to change them before you can do anything. It has to come from you, so acknowledge your habits and learn how to quit them.
If your habit has developed into an addiction, then you’ll need a helping hand to overcome it. The first step is admitting you have a problem, and there’s no stigma in admitting you need help and reaching out when you need it. Thousands of others will be going through the same thoughts and concerns at the same time you are, so you’re not alone.
Your habit or addiction won’t be new so take steps to be getting help and learning how best to help solve or deal with it. If you or a family member have a serious addiction that is impacting the quality of life, then you will need immediate help to try and get better.
You can get effective and potentially life-saving help by seeing a professional and getting medication, counseling, and treatment. Dual Diagnosis Treatment incorporates both therapy and rehabilitation in a residential setting so consider such treatment to help you get to grips with the reasons for your addiction and begin to solve it.
Stress can be the catalyst for developing coping strategies like self-medicating through the use of alcohol and smoking cigarettes. These bad habits can have significant health complications so it’s best to avoid such methods and quit them as soon as you can. You need to look for the cause of your stress and tackle it. If you’re stressed because you’re taking on too much at work, then you’ll have to cut down and notify your manager. You shouldn’t put that deadline before the state of your health and wellbeing. Your health should be number one and should come before anything else. Before toxic habits are allowed to take hold on how you cope with stimuli, do your best to limit the amount of stress you’re exposed to. Learn to look after yourself and turn down work and refuse situations you’ll find stressful like public speaking or the drive to work.
If you’re just beginning to cut down on smoking for example, then you must stay busy and occupy your mind. If you’re bored, then you’re far more likely to muse over the possibility of having a quick cigarette. The first two weeks of giving up nicotine are the most challenging, so ensure that have enough to do during this time. Try and channel your energies into different and more healthy practices like meeting friends for coffee, exercising and learning to eat more healthily. Think about planning the days of your week in advance and sorting days to visit friends and family, to go to the gym, to cook a meal with your partner. You must try to avoid boredom so get out and about and wait for your cravings to subside.
Don’t Listen To Bad Advice
Bad habits interrupt how you live your life and in some cases, accomplish your goals, so breaking them now is going to save you time and energy. Breaking bad habits isn’t as easy as just telling yourself you’re just going to stop doing something unless your willpower is constructed from hard steel. Advice to just stop doing something is far too simplistic and doesn’t acknowledge the emotional attachment you have to a habit. Don’t listen to people who tell you ‘you’re weak’ or that you’re not trying hard enough to quit something, instead surround yourself with those who believe in you. During a time of overcoming a habit or addiction, you will need supportive and caring friends and family around you to cheer you on.
Choose A Substitute
Try and break your bad habits and replace them with good ones. If you’re inclined to come home from a hectic day and sink two or three beers or glasses of wine, then finding something to replace these with is going to allow you to break free from the cycle of habit and addiction. For as long as your habit is a habit and not an addiction, you have more likelihood of being able to help yourself using simple methods like keeping busy and choosing a substitute. Replace alcohol for exercise to achieve a mental and physical high, or instead make yourself a mocktail using fruits and garnishing.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Don’t beat yourself up about not being able to quit your habit straight away completely. In fact, you can expect this. Learning to give up a bad habit can take time, trial and error and letting go of learned behaviors over time. If you can gradually phase a habit out, then you’ll have far less craving for it as opposed to suddenly stopping engaging in it. Remind yourself that breaking bad habits can take time, but you’re doing all you can to try and help yourself and your health. If you’ve managed to cut your alcohol intake in half for example, then congratulate yourself for what you have achieved so far.
Write Down Your Goals
Set your goals in stone. Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve, and when, you can look back and review your progress and remember how you felt when writing your goals down. If your goal is eventually cut out junk food and lose weight, then write down the reasons why you’re taking steps to become healthier. Get yourself a calendar and mark off the days of the month you’ve been without junk food. This way, you’ll have a tangible record of how well you’re doing. Tell yourself when you’d like to have stopped engaging in your bad habit and work towards this date.
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