How to Break a Bad Habit - Dr Kamal Khurana
Indeed Bad habits can disrupt anyone's life. Also, they can become hurdles in achieving goals. Habits can impact one or more areas of life including career, health, family, etc. And of course, one ends up wasting time and even money.
The funny thing is that despite knowing it all, we still do them?
It is because we are habitual. We don't even realize that we are in it.
The mind when under Stress and boredom (idle time) goes into auto-response.
The mind uses an auto-response to handle the stress or boredom. Be it nail-biting, shopping to gambling, or anything, the mind (without your awareness) has learned to go in auto-response cycle the moment you see the trigger to in the habitual response to create the outcome of satisfaction.
The fundamental that needs to be remembered is -
YOU CAN'T GET RID OF A HABIT - YOU REPLACE THE RESPONSE
WHAT CAN WE DO ?
1. Replace the compulsive response with the new constructive response and building the new habit with continuous practice.
2. Build courage to confide in any person in your support system and share what you're experiencing and seek support to work together on your habit.
3. Explain any person in your support system, the need for seeking professional help related to the habit of treatment if it is impacting your life in a big way.
4. Talk with any person in your support system to identify underlying factors, such as stress, relationship conflict, so that you can work on them
5. Build understanding around the sensitive link between compulsive habit & emotional concerns that you need to work upon instead of feeling embarrassed
6. Identify specific triggers(time, situations, things) that lead to stress-related thoughts, so that you can isolate patterns to your triggers that can help you proactively avoid them
7. Make it difficult to indulge in anything that triggers you to get in the response cycle. Create a new environment that makes you focus on any productive & progressive objective of your life
8. Consciously replace your triggers with other pleasant thoughts and topics like scenic outdoor views, underwater scenes, puppies, sports bloopers, or chess strategy.
9. Take it up as a challenge to keep yourself away for compulsive thoughts and reward yourself on accomplishment, while not going into a guilt trip if you occasional flip back
10. Have a confidant who can motivate you and make you accountable for your goal of refraining from compulsive thoughts
11. Transform your compulsive drive into creative energy and take up some goal which is very meaningful to you and which you are emotionally connected with.
12. Focus on health building by exercising, healthy eating and balanced sleep such that the overall culture of health promotes you to refrain from indulgence in compulsive thoughts
13. Continuously remind yourself that life is way larger than compulsion and consider it as one small part of existence
14. Fill your idle times in your day with constructive routines while consciously practicing mindfulness so that you can focus on the task instead of taking it as an escape
15. Maintain a positive self-esteem and remind yourself that compulsion habit can happen to anyone while working on yourself and improve gradually without expecting an overnight change