Getting Rid of Toxic Habits
If we’re not careful, our bad habits can consume and control us. Today is a good day to think about which of your habits are toxic to you and others.
The first step in freeing yourself from toxic habits is recognizing the trigger. Why do you do what you do? What happens right before? For many people, their negative habits are ways in which they respond or cope with stress. For others these habits are a result of boredom. Something we do to pass the time. For instance, many people smoke when they are bored or nervous.
Once you’ve identified your triggers, it becomes less difficult to cut them out!
Chances are, you’ve tried to eliminate a habit before. It is never easy because habits are like daily routines; once you are accustomed to them, they become hard to stop. You can’t just tell yourself not to do something, especially if you have been doing it for a long time. One good approach is to try replacing an bad habit with a good one. For example, when you wake up, if your first instinct is to smoke, replace that act with running. Then after effortful repetition, you would’ve added exercise, a good habit, into your daily routine. If your bad habit is negative self-talk, try using the “but” technique. For instance, “I couldn’t finish my workout today, I’m so out of shape. BUT the more I try, the easier it’ll get.” Replacing a habit is hard work and requires discipline and practice. If you stick with it, you'll see positive change!
In trying to stop a bad habit, especially one that few people or no one knows about, it is often helpful to have accountability partners. These are people in your circle who will help you stay accountable for the change you are trying to establish. It may be a friend or relative. Ask someone to check in with you regularly to see how you are doing and encourage you on your journey to rid yourself of toxic habit. You never know, they may want to get rid of some habits too, and you can have check-ins with one another. Let’s say you have decided to stop gossiping or speaking badly about others behind their back, find a friend who would like to make that same commitment. Have a secret sign you make to one another when you are mistakenly breaking that commitment. That reminds you to adjust your attitude and speech.
Getting rid of toxic habits helps you become a better version of yourself!