Breaking Bad Habits
We all have them, yes even you. Bad habits are considered bad because they can be or are harmful to us. For instance, if you chose to handle your stress on a regular basis with eating candy instead of going on a run or doing yoga, that may be considered a bad habit because in the long run it can actually hurt you more than help you. Other bad habits include not using proper hygiene etiquette (i.e., deodorant, toothpaste), using tobacco, drinking alcohol when you are underage, or using mind and body altering substances. We know these are bad for us, but how do we kick those habits and form new ones?
The first step is to understand how habits are formed, whether good or bad. So, the first thing that helps us form habits is a trigger. A trigger can be anything ranging from a bad day at school to a fight with a parent to acing a test. These things “trigger” your reaction, which is the second part to forming a habit: “reaction.” After you react, usually you are “rewarded” somehow, like feeling better or gaining something.
You can’t change a “trigger,” which goes to say that you can’t control people’s actions or what they say to you, but you do have the option of changing your “reaction.” Even making a mental note to try to change your behavior will have drastic effects, but if you add in actual moves to change what you do you will slowly make progress in breaking those bad habits. This is not easy, but I did read in an article that said even being somewhere completely different, like going on a vacation so to speak, will make you change your usual routine.
Some things you can do to relieve stress would include exercise, which could be just going on a walk or playing a round of basketball with friends or doing yoga. These are great because instead of turning to alcohol or smoking which is harmful, you will still be getting a “reward” for your good “reaction” and helping you in return. Maybe instead of always having sweets after a frustrating day, chose almonds and dried fruit or even fruit and yogurt mixed together every other day. There are various things you can do that will help you be healthier all around. Also, things are always better when you have friends to help you, so talk to them and make it a weekly thing!