Get Rid of a Bad Habit
Edited by Debbie, Eng, Doug Collins, Rob
How glad we feel when we have conquered a bad habit! We feel a sense of accomplishment. But sometimes we can fall back into a bad habit too. How disappointing to discover that the bad habit believed to be gone forever, has made a surprising, and powerful return! You may begin to doubt your ability to abandon the unwanted practice permanently. Any bad habits may be overeating, "addiction to sweets", overdrinking, impulse buying, habitual lateness, gambling, smoking, and other bad habits. It would seem that once you have lived through the initial withdrawal stages of a bad habit, avoiding it would become easier. However, various studies show that this is not the case.
In the book Selfwatching, authors R. Hodgson and P. Miller explain: "Relapse is most likely to occur in the first three months after treatment". In fact one study indicates that approximately 66 percent of smokers, alcoholics and drug addicts return to their old behavior within 90 days of their initial resolve to change. However, those that were able to curb their addiction during the first 3 to 6 months, have an excellent chance of maintaining that control. Why do bad habits reoccur for some? One reason is certain pressures in life may resurface, and bad habits were sources of temporary relief in times past. So even if you feel like you have overcome a bad habit, if you come under stress, such as caused by a financial setback, health problems, disappointments, beware of a relapse! If you are bored or lonely, don't be surprised if your former habit comes back. What can help us to prevent relapses?
- 1Use Strategies.Your broke the habit already, so use whatever technique you employed to help you when you feel stressed or tempted to fall back into the habit.Advertisement
- 2Keep Written Records.You'll help keep yourself accountable if you keep track of your dark moments. Not only that, but you'll also be able to watch your improvement. There's nothing wrong with a little pride in having bettered yourself.Advertisement
- 3Reward Yourself.Reward yourself when you avoid a relapse. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way toward helping keep yourself honest.
- 4Resist By Substitution.Keep yourself busy and you'll be less likely to do that thing you're avoiding. Take up hobbies, read a good book, or visit with friends - anything to keep your mind occupied.Advertisement
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