Right now you’re wondering how to break a bad habit. Whether it’s sleeping in, eating more than usual, drinking a bit more on the weekends. This Pandemic has forced us all to abandon the good structure we once had in favor of a new way of living, when your commute is from the bedroom to the office (or living room). So it’s only natural that our habits are slipping. Bad habits sometimes feel impossible to break, but they don’t need to.
Try some of these proven tips to help you get out of that funk and get back on track right now.
1. The carrot and the stick
The carrot and the stick is an effective habit-breaking tool with results that speak for themselves. From a young age, we are socialized into a system of punishment and reward in response to good and bad behaviors. From the star chart to the naughty step.
The carrot and the stick basically works like this : you treat yourself after a week of good behavior, and sanction yourself if you give in to the bad habit. Sanctions can be anything, from putting money in a jar to the removal of certain privileges. This method trains your brain to recognize the rewards of habit breaking. We will always choose the carrot over a stick.
2. Be accountable!
Accountability is essential when it comes to altering habits. In monitoring our own behaviors through journaling and tracking, we have a record of our performance. When we track our goals, meals, and water consumption we are able to see patterns in where we excelled and where we fell short. When you can see your own behavioral patterns and poor performance, this accountability will motivate you to do better tomorrow.
3. Relax and replace
The best method to beat a bad habit is to replace it with a better one. A habit that benefits you physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you indulge in fast foods, replacing this habit with learning to cook delicious, healthy meals that will satisfy your body’s cravings, without the feeling of sluggish guilt that follows. If you are stuck in a rut of social media scrolling, increasing your screen time, try picking up a book or practicing meditation to improve your mindset. You get the picture.
4. Get hypnotized!
80% of our learning is completed by the subconscious mind. When you form a habit, it is the unconscious mind that maintains the desire to fulfill this habit. Both conscious and subconscious choices are pivotal in breaking a habit. Sleep hypnosis podcasts can be found on Youtube and Spotify targeting the most common bad habits such as emotional eating and poor sleep patterns. In harnessing our subconscious brainpower through hypnosis, we reprogram our mindset to change for the better.
5. Be kind to yourself
Bad habits are often our comfort blankets during emotional turmoil. And right now, we’re all in emotional turmoil. Poor eating, drinking, and sleeping habits can be signs of unhappiness or stress in aspects of our personal and professional lives. In looking at the stressors behind the habit, we are able to truly understand it, therefore, we are able to target the root of the problem and we are better equipped to combat this behavior.
But remember, if you’re taking extra comfort in food or lying in bed for an extra hour – it’s normal. We’re all doing it at the moment because these are uncertain times. Once you forgive yourself and give yourself permission to be human, you’ll be much happier.