Healthy Living A to Z: K

Kick [Your Bad Habits!]

We all have a bad habit (or a few) that we have tried over and over again to kick. Whether it be smoking, overeating, nail-biting, binge watching a TV show, or a caffeine addiction, these actions that have become habits can be hard to kick. So what’s the trick? Here are some helpful tips to try and kick your bad habits once and for all!

  1. Pinpoint WHEN and WHY you are doing it. When we take the time to think about and analyze our habits, we can usually find an underlying reason, whether it be boredom or stress. For instance, overeating may occur when you are home alone or nail-biting may occur when you are placed in a stressful situation. By realizing what triggers these certain behaviors, we can begin to take the appropriate steps to find a strategy to change our unhealthy patterns.
  1. Don’t eliminate your bad habit, REPLACE it. In order to successfully kick a bad habit, we often need to replace it with a new habit. Something needs to take the place of the old habit to help us maintain focus. We can replace bad habits with other actions such as meditating or exercising. When replacing a bad habit with a positive one, we are more likely to kick the bad habit for good.
  1. Don’t try and suppress your thoughts. Often when we try not to think about something, it leads to only thinking about that one thing. This can also occur when trying not to think about the bad habit we are attempting to kick. We try and suppress our thoughts about the particular action, which only leads to having more, stronger thoughts about the action instead. Recognize your thoughts and deal with them head on, do not try to continuously ignore them or you will only be setting yourself up for the thoughts to come back even stronger than before!
  1. Reward yourself! Be sure to acknowledge and reward yourself for the steps you take to kick your bad habit, even if they are baby steps. Every step you take to kick your bad habit will help better your future. Keep sight of your goal, keep going, and remember to reward yourself in a positive way every now and then for the progress you have made!

If you are currently trying to or want to start kicking a bad habit, hopefully these tricks and tips can help. Changing your unwanted habits can change your life!

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