Useful Tips

How to Break a Bad Habit

Habits are automatic behaviors that can be changed with patience and persistence.

1.Decide how serious you are about breaking the habit. In addition to a strong commitment, you'll need time and energy to pay attention to your behavior so that you can change it.

2.Keep track of when you do the behavior. Keep a notepad or journal handy.

3.Write down when it happens (what is the situation) and what you were thinking and feeling. Writing increases your awareness of when and why you have this habit.

4.Read and think about what you write down. What does this habit do for you? Is it a way to deal with feelings of boredom, anxiety, stress, anger?

5.Think of what you could do instead of the habit that would be a more positive way to deal with the feelings or situation. Write down some simple alternative behaviors that you could do instead. Pick one you want to practice.

6.Try to catch yourself when you find yourself doing the habit and stop yourself as soon as you can. Start the alternative behavior you decided you wanted to do instead.

7.Aim to do this once a week and increase the number of times per week over time. The more you practice a new behavior, the more it becomes the new behavior habit.

8. Get support from others by letting them know you are working on the habit and telling them what they can do to help.

Be patient with yourself. Habits are so automatic and unconscious we don't realize we are doing it until we are already doing it. Be kind to yourself. Please note beating yourself up is another bad habit to be broken.