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How Can I Break a Bad Habit?

man tries to break bad habit

Recently, Arbor Behavioral Healthcare spoke about how habits are formed. The next thing you should know is that you can break bad habits! Not only can you break a bad habit, but you can also replace them with healthier ones. In James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, he notes how we can break a habit and replace that habit with a new one.

How Do I Break a Bad Habit and Replace It With a New One?

  • Choose a substitute for your bad habit: Habits are easier to break when you have something else to replace it with. Plan ahead. How will you spend your time when you aren’t using a substance? Keep yourself busy by doing something else that is healthier.
  • Cut out as many triggers as possible: Triggers make you want to engage in a bad habit. If you’re trying to stop drinking, throw away all of your alcohol. The less it is there as a reminder, the less of a trigger it will be.
  • Join forces with somebody: Getting a team together is helpful because it keeps you accountable. If you and your friend want to stop drinking, do it together! You can root for them and they can root for you. You can also push each other if need be.
  • Surround yourself with people who live the way you want to live: If most your friends drink alcohol and you are trying to quit, try to make a new friend that doesn’t drink. You don’t have to cut out your old friends completely, just try to hang out with them in settings that don’t involve alcohol.
  • Visualize yourself succeeding: You’re going to want to imagine yourself succeeding without the triggers and habits in your life. Visualize what it is going to feel like to get rid of the alcohol. Imagine what it is going to feel like once you stop drinking. Envision your success and it will come true.
  • You don’t need to be someone else, you just need to return to the old you: You don’t need to become someone new just because you are breaking a habit. You do, however, need to be fully invested in returning to who you were before you were drinking regularly. Don’t try to do a complete transformation, just return to your roots.
  • Use the word “but” to overcome negative self-talk: When you’re trying to break a habit, you might come across some negative self-talk that gets in your way. If you see a negative thought popping up, try to add a “…but,” and continue the sentence with something positive. Revamping how you think is a great coping skill.
  • Plan for failure: You are probably going to fail a few times before you are able to completely kick your bad habit. Don’t get too down on yourself. Cut yourself some slack. No one is perfect.

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help you break your bad habits of relying on substances. Call us today at (844) 413-2690. We can’t wait to speak with you today.