criado em: 08:57 2023-01-11



How to (Finally) Break That Bad Habit

The article suggests that breaking bad habits involves understanding the cues that lead to the behavior and addressing them in order to change it. To break a habit, experts recommend making a list of the behaviors you want to stop and putting them in priority order. Attempting to address all habits at once is not recommended as it can lead to feeling overwhelmed and giving up. Changing an established habit will be harder the longer it has been a part of one's life, so it's important to take it slow and tackle them one at a time.

The Power of Data, Environmental Factors, and History

Once you’ve made a list of habits you want to break, experts recommend thinking about the history of the habit: When did it start? What triggers it? If you’ve tried to break it before, what approaches did you take that didn’t work? “Identifying what might be a trigger that generates the behavior” is a key step, says Wendy Wood, provost professor emerita of psychology. By identifying the triggers and environmental factors such as marketing and advertising, you can begin to understand how a habit is formed and how to break it. Reviewing past history may be difficult and a therapist may be helpful to overcome this problem, especially if the habit was established when the person was younger. Additionally, keeping track of the data on the habit is also a good starting point.

Picking Your Habit, Digging Deeper, and Creating a Plan

The article advises that after identifying the habit one wants to break, one should pick one habit to focus on first and make it as hard as possible to perform the habit. For example, if you spend too much money and this is the habit you would like to stop, you can remove your cards from all online payment services so that each time you want to buy something, you have to physically go and pull out the card. This gives you a bit more time to think about the purchase itself. If you’re trying to check your phone less often, you can lock it in a lockbox for part of the day. For unhealthy eating, changing your environment like driving home a different way instead of passing a fast food restaurant can help break the habit. For procrastination, breaking tasks down into smaller parts, writing them down on paper can be helpful. Sometimes, substituting a negative behavior with a more desirable one can help block it, but the alternative behavior has to be both easy and rewarding.

So don’t get discouraged if it’s taking a while to break your habit. Sometimes you just need to approach it a different way or dig deeper into the context or cues that lead you to perform it in the first place.