What are BAD Habits?

What are BAD Habits?

We label bad habits as ‘bad’ because we think from a general perspective that they harm us in some way. But if that is so, why do bad habits seem to make us feel better? Take smoking or drinking for example. Both of the habits are considered bad but people still smoke and people still drink, not because they’re forced to, but because they enjoy it. They like how it makes them feel, relived, calm or otherwise.

So why do we call bad habits, bad? It’s because bad habits usually gives us instant gratification, gives us the joy we need in the moment. Smoking a joint, drinking after work, snoozing the alarm, all these habits give us the instant relief we need in the moment that constantly motivates us to do it again and again. Imagine if you were suppose to do 50 burpees before smoking a joint, or putting your hand in freezing water before you can skip the alarm. All of a sudden the bad habits wouldn’t seem so pleasant and you’d think twice before doing it.

Basically, bad habits gives us the reward instantly while damaging us in the long run. It gives us the pleasure now while we pay for it later. On the other hand, good habits are on the opposite spectrum. Good habits will make you work first, put your efforts, sweat like hell, cry in pain for a long time before you’re rewarded. Good habits like working out will constantly put you in pain on a daily basis before you can see the muscles or your lean body. That’s the reason why good habits are so difficult to be consistent with.

With that said, how do you break bad habits? We have to understand that bad habit is a repetitive process executed by you. So in order to stop it, the break needs to come from you. It is simple, but its not easy, but if we have to follow step by step, it will look something like this.

  1. Identify the reason for the habit: You only have a habit when it gives you something. Identify the reason. If you drink a lot, what is it that drinking fixes in your life? Is it your emptiness, stress, tried long day, not having a fun life. Try to find the reason why you repeat the same stuff everyday.
  2. Try to replace it: Let’s assume you drink because you’re so tired after work and drinking makes you feel calm and appreciates the efforts you’ve put throughout the day. Now try to replace the calmness requirement with something else. Try meditation, hot soaking bath, or a mild workout. It will seem pointless and stupid at first but give it a couple of weeks and see if it gives you similar gratification as the alcohol you’ve been consuming.
  3. Make it difficult to access your bad habit: If you drink, put your booze in a closed drawer and hide the key, if you eat a lot, put your food in the topmost drawer so it’s hard to reach. If you have a bad habit of snoozing alarms, put your phone at a distance where you’d have to wakeup and walk in order to snooze it.

Once you do this detoxication for a month with full determination, you’ll find yourself not just without the bad habit but acquiring some good habits along the way. Because ditching bad habits is actually a good habit.

Artwork: https://dribbble.com/shots/3235924-Stop-Smoking

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