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We all have bad habits; it’s just part of being human. But what happens when a habit is really harming your health or happiness? Often we know something is bad for us, but we find it almost impossible to overcome. Here are a few tips to help you kick that habit once and for all, and live a more fulfilling life.
Ask for support
Your loved ones care about you and want you to succeed. But they can’t help you if you don’t invite them in. If you think it would help (and if it’s possible for you), let your friends and family know about your habit and the fact that you’re trying to overcome it. If they are keen to help, it might be a good idea to let them know specific ways they can best support you. They might not understand if this is outside of their experience, but if they are interested, you could point them to some useful resources they can read. If your habit is more of an addiction, it might also be a good idea to seek the help of a support group. Having a network of people who care about your wellbeing will do wonders.
Get in the right mindset
Habits can stay with us for a long time and become part of our identity. So it’s vital that you get in the right mindset before you attempt to quit. It can help to get clear on all the reasons why you want to make this change. What effect is this habit having on your life? How do you envision your life being once you overcome it? It can also help to identify any triggers or potential pitfalls that might make you fall back into old ways. What can you put in place to prevent this from happening?
Seek professional help
Depending on your habit, you might find it’s useful to get professional help. A psychologist or therapist could help you to understand what role the practice has played in your life and why you’ve found it hard to break out of it so far. They could also support you to put a plan in place or to find healthier ways to replace this habit. For some addictions, like smoking, hypnotherapy can help, whereas for others, self-help books are useful.
Get the right tools for the job
There are lots of tools available to help kick habits to the curb. For some habits, you might want to use a habit tracker to help you identify the role this activity plays in your life. Then there are deterrents, for example, people who have a terrible nail biting habit might use sour tasting nail polish to help deter them. If you want to quit smoking, you might use nicotine lozenges or vapes to replace cigarettes. The best vape flavors can help you not to miss tobacco anymore.
Overcoming a harmful habit is never easy, but it is possible. You might be more likely to succeed if you give yourself credit for what you’re doing. Factoring in rewards can help you to stay on track, so think about what treats you can give yourself for each milestone you reach.