Tips to Successfully Create Good Habits That Break Repetitive Cycles
Learn the three most simple yet effective ways to reverse bad habits!
Have you ever wondered why it can be challenging to break simple bad habits that we know keep us stuck?
Millions of people worldwide all share this similar challenge. However, most people have reversed it at some point in their life and you will too. Despite our many attempted efforts to be different, we still get up each morning and find ourselves thinking, behaving, or feeling the same way that we did yesterday, the month before and even last summer.
There comes a time when we must acknowledge the role we play in our success or lack of and ask some drilling questions to see where we need to put our focus.
Albert Einstein created an infamous quote that states, "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." That kind of insanity is so common in our lives that it’s not even fair to call it insanity! It is just human.
What is a bad habit?
A bad habit is considered to be any negative behavior pattern that is repetitive. Some of the most common examples that most people tend to repeat include: procrastination, stereotyping, overspending, abusing drugs, smoking cigarettes, lying, forgetting to call your loved ones and spending too much time watching television or using a computer.
Have you ever wondered how we can be drawn to the same kind of destructive relationships and never ask ourselves why do we self sabotage?
It can even be as serious as continually making abrupt financial decisions that is counterproductive when we are trying so hard to make improvements?
This behavior is a result of the fact that we as a society contribute to the blocking of our immediate blessings whether we know it or not.
How long does it take to break a habit?
Psychologists swear by the fact that it takes a minimum of 21 days or three weeks for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to form!
That's why as we introduce new foods to babies it is encouraged to try for three weeks before concluding whether they like it or not since it takes time for their taste buds to get used to new tastes.
How Is a Bad Habit Reinforced?
By having "cues" it's easy to forget that a habit like brushing your teeth is often triggered by a routine such as waking up or going to bed.
Expert therapists believe that every habit comes with a reward of some kind even negative behaviors offer a reward of some satisfaction.
Perhaps it can be anxiety relief, or mental/emotional relief for the moment. But it should be understood that once that moment is over reality sets back in.
This may be in the case of drinking, cigarette smoking or clubbing 'til 4 AM. Some people crave social contact and find it the easiest having multiple drinks at the bar after a stressful day at home or work.
Seeking balance outside of yourself can be a very dangerous situation that can lead to a downward spiral.
Unless we try to dissect the powerful components of the reasons for the habits existence, we are likely to repeat the bad habit over and over again.
What does it mean to break a cycle?
We all have bad habits, although we may not always like to admit it.
Breaking a cycle means to not participate in any dysfunctional or unhealthy behavior. Often, such behavior is commonplace in one's family, and the person breaking the cycle does so to keep it from continuing through future generations.
Take into consideration that habits are a valuable part of our lifestyle because some good daily behaviors can get locked in as they become automatic.
Three Ways To Prevent Bad Habits
Studies proves that the most effective way to reverse any bad habit is to first identify that there is an issue. Second would be to accept the issue and then take action to rectify the issue.
Once this is acknowledged it is suggested to write down at least five events that occur the moment the urge for the automatic behavior hits. To reveal the cue ask yourself what happened immediately prior? Take note for a few days, the cue should become evident.
Sometimes a simple tweak can derail an entrenched habit because small changes will make a vast difference.
If it's confidence to follow through thats your main struggle, commit to one new goal for 21 days.
Maybe social interaction is what you desire, plan a chat with a random person if it's a calm centered mind, consider a mini-meditation session to bring mental focus.
When we get a better picture of our unconscious mind, we discover something that is critical for the change process. We soon discover the ways in which we are actively perpetuating our troubles. I know it can be hard to admit, but this part is crucial.
We all unconsciously fight against the very changes we seek to make. Which is why it's imperative to seek self awareness. If we don’t know these things about ourselves, it's easy to remain stuck believing that we are a victim of our circumstances, other people or life itself. Until we realize that we play an active role in our repetitive cycles then we truly discover we have more power than we thought we had.
No one has to remain slaves to their unconscious fears. So now that we know them, we can face them. And facing them is the way out of our insanity.
One of Freud's famous phrases is where id was, there ego shall be." The modern version of this quote is the same as saying where the unconscious is, the conscious shall be present.
There are vast secrets that we keep subconsciously, even from ourselves. It is these buried secrets that are also the key to the possibilities of real change. If we ever want to make real lasting changes we must go deep within to make them.
About the author
She expresses her gift of writing through each piece. She studied writing in college and has been inspiring people for 20 years. She gives back to the community & enriches them with enlightenment. Philanthropist, Empath and Nature lover.