The New Year is a great time to tackle those habits that have been affecting your health and life negatively for years. Whether it’s not getting enough sleep or smoking or drinking too much, you should try as hard as you can to kickstart January with a bang. Of course, it’s easier in theory than it is in practice. In reality, breaking bad habits is one of the hardest things to do in life. Every wonder why? One word: Brain Elasticity. The fact is the more we do a certain behavior or think a certain way, we literally map our brains to do that thing. The more we do it the stronger the connection in our synapses. Luckily this thing called brain elasticity means we can remap those pathways. Just takes practice! So never feel you are weak when doing something new is difficult. It is literally biology and brain chemicals. Imagine what you can do if you learn to map them in good ways! Below are a few ideas to help.
It’s not easy to snap out of a particular way of thinking. If you’ve had the attitude for a long time, it will almost be ingrained in you. Therefore, it’s essential to have a powerful motivator that makes you want to break the habit and stop it in its tracks. The trick is to understand what drives you and to incorporate it into the process. If you enjoy rewards after challenges, then you should make sure there is a big enough one that it drives you forward. Try to start with small things. Choose one and do it daily for 45 days. That’s the amount of time needed to get your brain changing for your benefit!
Yes, an addiction, such as smoking, has a mental aspect that you must break if you’re going to be successful. However, you can’t underestimate the impact of your mental health, too. Underlying conditions will encourage you to quit before you’re ahead of steam, which isn’t healthy in the long-term. While searching for ‘dual diagnosis treatment centers near me’ is an option, you can also take smaller steps. Quitting social media is a smart move if you suffer from the Fear Of Missing Out. Or, cooking recipes in advance might be useful if you know that the blues stop you from preparing meals as you feel too tired.
Probably the main reason bad habits are difficult to break is the fact that they make us feel good. A drag on a cigarette or a spoonful of ice-cream instantly provides positive reinforcement. And, it causes you to perform the action over and over, making the habit harder to eradicate. If you can, you’ve got to try and get positive feels from healthier sources. Sometimes, the satisfaction from a long gym session is enough to replace the chemical imbalance when you quit a habit.
Fear of failing is going to impact your success. When times get tough, you’ll think, “how am I going to get through this part?” It can hit you like a ton of bricks, forcing you to take the easy route. The way to swerve this obstacle is to reduce temptation as much as possible. If you’re trying to cut down on eating junk food, for instance, don’t have any in the house. Don’t even hide it for ‘special’ occasions. The fact that you know where it is too tempting to pass up when you’re at your lowest point. Now you understand why habits are hard to break, do you think you are better equipped to tackle them?