Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Healthy Mama || 4 Simple Ways to Break a Bad Habit

Healthy Mama - Collaborative Post

If you’ve been wanting to break a bad habit for a while now, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to know exactly how to go about breaking a bad habit, and it’s even harder to actually accept the responsibility that it is completely up to you to do it. Although it's common for people to wait until new years to start a new challenge like this, there is a no better time than now, especially if it's something negatively affecting your lifestyle or health. Here are some straightforward ways to help you get started on breaking a habit.

Offer yourself a reward

Put together a calendar to easily track how far you’ve gone without imbibing in the habit, and when you reach a specific amount of days, weeks or moths past, reward yourself. Make sure you are not rewarding yourself with the habit you are trying to avoid though. If, for instance, you are trying to not buy fast food, make sure your reward is something totally unrelated, like getting a new hair cut, or by trying a new workout class. Make sure your reward is something that makes you feel good in a positive way, that's good for your well being and not something you'd treat yourself to normally.

Tracking the habit can in-and-of-itself be pretty eye-opening. You may think that you’re engaging in the habit just a couple times a week and might be surprised to find you’re doing it much more often, and simply rationalizing it away. If you need a little help, there are lots of quitting apps to help you track your progress, and to log how much money you've saved etc which can be really useful.

Try hypnotherapy or meditation

Hypnosis might sound a little extreme, but it's not like the dramatic versions you’ve maybe seen on television where hypnotherapists are telling audience members to suddenly go to sleep and wake up acting like barking dogs. In reality, a licensed hypnotherapist helps you go into a relaxed and very focused state in which you are completely aware of your surroundings and you can “wake up” at any moment. During a hypnotherapy session, you will be introduced to ideas to help combat the feeling of wanting to partake in that habit. You’ll also be given exercises to continue outside of the sessions. This is a great way of re-training the mind to get on the right path and stop you craving for whatever your habit may be. Meditation however can be used much more for a distraction, especially if your bad habits are triggered by feelings. Distracting the mind for five or ten minutes with a simple meditation app ot YouTube video can be just enough to calm you and enable you to think a little more clearly.

Transition from one habit to another

Not all habits are bad! Brushing your teeth, for instance, is likely a habit you keep every morning and night and has been ingrained in your daily life for most of your life. Consider trying to replace a bad habit with a different habit, such as drinking water before reaching for the fridge. If you're trying to quit smoking, try switching to sucking on sugar-free lollipops, or even switching over to a vape option like those found at greyhaze vape store. You can switch to a low or no nicotine vape option and for me this has been a real game changer. Some people have found that the habit of smoking is easier to break if the physical part is not taken away, even if the nicotine is reduced. For me, it took me a few vapes to find one that felt good enough to get me to skip smoking, but after a few weeks I no longer wanted to smoke and it's no doubt done great things for my health.

Find out what your triggers are

To break a habit, you need to know why you continue with it to begin with. If you’re trying to cut the habit of stopping for an expensive coffee on the way to work every day, analyze what is causing you to do this. Is it because you don’t make enough time in the morning to prepare a cup of coffee, or is it because the coffee shop is on your route to work? Take a different route or bring your homemade coffee in a pretty mug with you in the car. You may find that your mood, stress levels or job trigger your habit and these are all things you can keep track of and adjust them so they're not making you go into that spiral. When you take the time to really understand why you behave in a certain manner, you’re more likely to change that behavior because you have more knowledge about it. 

Do you have any bad habits to break?