You may have heard that we are creatures of habits. So what exactly is a habit? a habit is simply an action or way of thinking that is so common that it has basically become automated, the subconscious mind has placed the action on autopilot. This automated process is great if it’s a good habit, however bad habits can be destructive and ideally need to be changed.
Examples of bad habits
- Eating habits such as always going for the junk foods or soft drinks. Sometimes we get accustomed to going for the quick and unhealthy foods.
- Drinking alcohol at the end of each day, perhaps to blow off some steam and relax after a hard or stressful day at work.
- Smoking is often just out of habit, similar to the effects of alcohol, smoking is used by many to help with stress.
- Even the way we treat people can become a habit, a bad habit would be taking out stress and frustrations on other people.
These bad habit examples can be very damaging to our overall health and state of mind. So how do we break these habits and can we replace them for more positive and productive habits?
Tips on how to develop good habits
- The first step would be to understand what a habit is, they are merely just automated ways of thinking. It’s also very important to understand that habits can be changed with enough effort, desire and persistence.
- What are your habits? you need to have a good think and consciously understand and identify what your bad habits are. Only when you’re self aware of your habits can your correct them.
- Make the commitment to change, it may not be easy, it may require hard work and time, however it’s worth it.
- Find a replacement habit, if your habit is drinking to deal with a stressful day, maybe it’s the only way you know how to unwind. You need to find a replacement for drinking, exercise for example is a great way, possibly the best way to deal with stress.
- Find somebody who will support your change, they can help to motivate you, also when you commit to something and you tell somebody about it. Not wanting to let that person down may help to keep you committed.
- Reward yourself for your continued effort and success, ideally not something that conflicts with the habit you’re trying to change.
- Visualize your success, visualizing can be very effective for making an ambition become a reality.
- Use affirmations, affirmations are positive self talk sentences. You repeat them to yourself over and over, make them about what or who you want to be, or what you want to achieve. They can be a very effective way to reprogram the mind.
It may seem like a lot of hard work and effort, however it’s important to understand that things will get a lot easier, with time the new habit will seem as natural as breathing. The potential benefits of making your ambition of developing good habits could be life changing.