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How Can I Break Negative Habits?

How Can I Break Negative Habits?

Negative habits are one of the worst parts of being human. They’re often hard to break and can cause headaches, anxiety, and stress. But with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can easily stop these bad behaviors from ruining your life. Here are some tips on how to break negative habits.

Identify Your Triggers and Deal With Them

You must first figure out what triggers you to engage in the bad habit. This may be an activity, person, or event that makes you want to do it. The next step is to identify what’s not working for you at the moment and why it’s happening. For example, if you are having trouble breaking a negative habit like biting your nails or being late for work every day. Then try identifying some of the things that are causing this problem so that we can come up with solutions on how we can manage them better in order to stop doing these bad habits altogether. 

In addition to identifying these things, however, there should also be an actionable plan on how exactly we’re going about dealing with them effectively so as not only to overcome but prevent future relapse as well!

Work on Identifying and Breaking the Habit Loops You Have

The first step to breaking a bad habit is understanding the chain of events that leads you to engage in this behavior. Behavioral scientists use the term “habit loop” to describe the series of actions that occur before and during a routine, as well as its consequences. A habit loop can be made up of several components: an associated cue or trigger, a routine, and finally either reward or punishment.

Replace Rather Than Eliminate

Being able to identify bad habits and make a conscious decision not to engage in them is an important first step. If you want to break the habit of biting your nails, for example, don’t look at it as something that has to be eliminated altogether. It’s more effective if you replace negative behavior with something positive. For example, instead of biting your nails while watching TV or while sitting at your desk at work, practice meditation or deep breathing exercises instead.

This approach will help keep you on track and prevent any feelings of failure if you find yourself engaging in an old habit after all, which is likely going to happen. Sometimes our most ingrained behaviors are difficult to let go of entirely. This is why many experts recommend focusing on only one new activity at a time when trying to change our behavior patterns. However small or insignificant this new activity may seem compared with the destructive one it replaces. It’s important for us all, not just because we need those positive reinforcements but because they give us something else besides our bad habits upon which we can focus our attention.

Get an Accountability Partner or Coach

A big part of breaking negative habits is having someone to keep you accountable. The importance of having a partner or coach to help you stay on track cannot be overstated. They could be anyone who’s willing to help you with your goal, but it’s important that they understand the role they are playing in your success.

An accountability partner could be a friend or family member who wants to see you succeed. But don’t let this person pressure or guilt-trip you into giving up if things get hard. An accountability partner is there for support, not judgment. Their role is simply to hold your feet to the fire so that nothing gets in the way of reaching your goals!

If you don’t have any friends or family members who would make good accountability partners for this particular goal of yours, consider hiring someone else to help keep everything going smoothly.

Focus on the Positive and Keep It There

When you’re trying to break a negative habit, it can be helpful to focus on the positive. For example, instead of thinking about how much you don’t want to smoke and all the times that you’ve failed in the past, try focusing on what you want: being a non-smoker. Think about how nice it would feel if that happened. 

Try to think about what might happen if you quit smoking. The things you could do because there’s no longer an obstacle between yourself and them. Think about all the money you’d save by not having to buy cigarettes anymore! And think about all those hours you’d have back in your life every week because they’re not spent smoking anymore!

Don’t Think About the Things You Can’t Do; Focus on What You Can Do

The way to break negative habits is not to focus on the things you can’t do but to focus on what you can do. In other words, don’t think about all the things you can’t do, but just think about the things that are possible for you. Instead of saying: “I can’t walk upstairs.” Tell yourself, “I will walk up these stairs.” It may seem like a small change in wording, but it makes a big difference because now, instead of thinking about all the obstacles in your way, you can focus on getting from one place to another.

Breaking negative habits is a lot easier than you might think. It just takes the right approach and a little time and effort. You can start making a plan today on how you are going to change some of the negative habits you carry in your life. It starts with one decision: you want to make a change. When you need to make a change in life, start by committing to it and holding yourself accountable. If you or someone you know is struggling with negative habits, we can help you make a plan to start combatting those. For more information about how Acera Health can help you, call us at (949) 647-4090.


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