Wondering How to Break a Bad Habit? We Have 9 Easy and Effective Ways

How to Break a Bad Habit
Breaking a habit is a very tricky game. It is very easy to quit one that you have recently developed but can be difficult if you have had it for years with you, though this is not a hard and fast rule. There are many people who have quit their bad habits after 20 years and not gotten back to it, or even craved for it again.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
A habit is an established customary practice developed in the form of an automatic pattern of behavior. There are both good and bad habits. A good habit could be you making your bed as soon as you wake up, brushing your teeth twice a day, or wiping your shoes on the doormat before entering, and a bad habit could be not rising early, biting your nails, talking loudly in public, and swearing unnecessarily.

We all have habits that we want to break free from. These are habits we know are not good for us in some way or the other. A habit is an activity that we have conditioned ourselves to. It's not that it can't be changed, but we have got accustomed to it, and it has become a source of convenience.
Accept That it is a Bad Habit
guilty as charged
We are so accustomed to our bad habits that most of the time we don't even realize that we have them, until someone points them out to us. And even after someone has pointed them out, changing is a choice based on perspective. So the first step that will lead to changing a bad habit is accepting and acknowledging it. Let yourself know that you have something that is not good for you and in some cases, those around you.
Make Yourself Aware
overcome addiction
Now that you know you have developed a bad habit, its best to find out why you developed it in the first place. This will help you understand why you're so tempted to perform that act. Sometimes the reason can be minuscule and sometimes it can even reveal ghosts from the past. There is nothing to feel scared or uncomfortable about. You have to face it and then get rid of it. There is no point in running away from a bad habit without understanding why and how you adopted it.
Know What the Consequences Are
smoking kills
A bad habit is termed as 'bad' because its consequences are detrimental. Find out how this habit has spoiled things around you. Your mom must have yelled at you a million of times for it, but after all she is your mother and you tend hear what she says from one ear and throw it out from the other. But it's now time to change that. Say for example, getting up late can actually ruin your entire day's schedule. And if this is what you do everyday, then imagine how many days has it already eaten up. Realize this and without further ado, make up your mind to quit it.
Use a Trigger
choose health over addiction
A trigger is something that will prevent you from performing your bad habit. For example, let's consider a habit like getting up late or biting your nails. To avoid getting up late, set an alarm and decide that you will get up the moment you hear it. Keep it a little away from where you sleep so that you have to make an effort to reach out to it to switch it off or even snooze it.
Target - 21 Day Cycle
change in 21 days
A study says that it takes 21 days for the human mind and body to get used to something. So quit your bad habit for 21 days straight and the tendency and the craving will certainly reduce.
Determination - Is the Name of the Game
determination
Leaving a bad habit is like throwing a boomerang, you throw it and it will come back to you. So don't just impulsively decide to quit a bad habit; do it after understanding it and being determined not to do it again. Take it as a test of your will power and make it a matter of your ego. Don't be laid-back about it. Be firm that this time you'll break free from it.
Find a Substitute
forgetting bad and learning new
When you've figured out why you adopted this bad habit, you will automatically find a substitute for it. Let's take an example of biting your nails. One is said to bite one's nails, when one is either nervous or anxious. If so, then realize that you are getting anxious, which triggers this habit. You may benefit by talking to someone about the situation rather than biting your nails to alleviate the anxiety. Also dealing with it confidently will help you be a little less dependent on your habit to support you in times of stress. It is about challenging yourself and fighting something that is not helpful for you.
Take Help from Family and Friends
family support
Tell your family and friends about your resolution, so that they can prevent you from performing the bad habit and also remind you about the promise you made to yourself.
Keep an Incentive
incentive
By this I mean that reward yourself every time you stop yourself from the performing the habit. This will keep you motivated to quit it, and at the same time will also make you happy.
There are habits that people have carried with them for years; it will definitely take some time and will power to get rid of them. Take it up as a personal mission and achieve it. Breaking a habit is a better option than letting it grow with you to become an addiction. Try breaking free from a bad habit, and feel the difference in yourself. You'll be proud of yourself.