How to break bad habits – the psychology of habits.

There are many theories on how long it takes to develop a habit. I have come across different numbers: 21 days, 30 days, 66 days, 90 days… and there are probably more. It is also said that it is possible to create only one habit at a time and it is not worth trying to create several at a time. I personally agree with all these offers and could put all the other missing figures in front of, behind and in the meantime as well.

The development of habits depends on so many factors that it is absolutely impossible to establish a universal, always an appropriate number of days. It depends on habit, person, situation, environment, knowledge, skills, experience, etc., etc., etc. So your new habit may develop in 21 or 90 days or not at all.


The development of habits depends on many factors, and if they are not taken into account, the habit may not be created.


It’s easy to think of habits that fall into the black and white categories – doing a good workout, biting your nails badly. But habits are also in our ability to control them: some are mild as if you were taking your shoes off every night; others are moderate, such as eating dinner in front of the TV or drinking too much when going to a party; and then those that are strong and addictive – like smoking

practically good. They keep us from re-inventing the wheel of our daily lives, making an infinite number of decisions throughout the day, which in turn gives us more room to think about other things. The downside of these routine patterns’ comes when these patterns fall into more of a bad column than a good one.

But habits are also patterns’ of behavior, and it is the breaking of patterns’ that is the key to breaking the habits themselves. There is usually a clear trigger to start the pattern. Sometimes triggers are emotional – wanting a drink or a cigarette or biting stressed nails. Sometimes the trigger is simply based on the situation and the environment: you see the TV and the couch as soon as you hit the front door, and now your brain connects the dots, and eating dinner on the couch in front of the TV is not far behind. More often than not, it is a combination of both – a mixture of social anxiety and a party environment that will lead to your stronger drinking.

But these patterns’ are usually wrapped in larger ones as well: routines come to guide our lives. Here’s a place where as soon as you knock on your door after work, your shoe runoff, you grab a beer, sit in front of the TV with dinner without thinking anymore, just as your morning break automatically takes you and your friend Kate to go outside and chat when you both have a mid-morning cigarette.

General, such routine behavior is evolutionary wise and So if you have habits that you want to break, then you can start:

Identify the specific behavior you want to change or develop

 

At this point I would like to tell one story, for example, her name is Kate she is about 40 years old was not used to tidying up her bed, unless her mother or friends came to visit. He thought for a day and a couple and gave himself a try for a week, about the fourth day after tidying up his bed he picked up socks from the bedroom that were left floating on the floor and took the rest of the dirty laundry to the washing machine, then took the dirty dishes from the sink and put them in the dishwasher and another arranged what had been standing for a long time and was not even touched. Later, he made himself a coffee and sat down in the living room, thinking it was not so difficult and impossible, and felt like a decent adult for a long time.

He experienced a domino effect. Scientific interpretation is one of the good emotions that leads to the following acts of feeling good, which leads to the fact that if before it was necessary to make great mental and physical efforts to do something, then it happened absolutely of his own free will and desire without any extra effort.

Some examples of even more difficult cases. One of my close friends decided to quit smoking and tried different options. He smoked from an early age, started at the age of 13. Today, he has reached the age of 40. The stasis is long, he tried to quit smoking cold turkey but it didn’t work out. I think his stasis is too long to do that. Then he started exploring different possibilities tried different possible still unsuccessfully. And finally came to a solution that suited him. He found a solution in an article that originally did not talk about quitting smoking, but something else.

The system is the following because he is a long-term addict, then it seemed that it should suit him. The system is as follows, he divided the day into an hourly system and the first stage was he could make smoke every 60 minutes it meant that in the morning when he woke up he made smoke then only the next smoke he could only do after 60 minutes so as not to always count time then he set the phone to alert for every full hour. Every next month he added 5 minutes / every 30 days /. The first time he reached 2 hours and then he fell back. And now he has reached again in 1 hour and 30 minutes. And it seems that he realized that he was not quite ready the first time.
Such a system can be suitable for a wide variety of dependencies.

 

Another story I definitely wanted to share One man say his name is Jim was/is an alcoholic his story on alcohol started when he realized that in his early youth he was too shy to approach girls but when he had drunk a few beers and became brave and even throw in a joke and so many girls noticed him. His drinking habits became more and more common, and even that did not help him in the end, that his wife and children threatened to leave him.

He decided to give up and try. He had an ampule put on him, which would no longer allow him to consume alcohol. The first weeks were very difficult, but the need for alcohol remained. He had to give up his habits and also have to replace his old friends with something. He started eating and cooking, which was his big passion, he took a few more pounds, spend time with the children more, and spent more time with his wife, and the family was happy again. But his inner desires are to drink alcohol and sit with friends and discuss world things as in the old days. Although he didn’t talk about it at home, his wife and children thought that everything was fine, although all sorts of thoughts were circling inside him.

The paradise had lasted for about three months, on one particularly disgusting day when he was going home from work, just according to old habits, he stepped into a bar where he was used to drinking. His old friends were already there and wondered where he had been and were immediately ready to offer him his favorite drink of whiskey. He kindly accepted but did not dare to drink, only seriously his lips made his face as if it were very good, but did not actually drink. Since these old friends were already full to the ground then the pretense did not cause him any problems and sat and listened to what they were talking about.

He realized that he had lost absolutely nothing, that he had stopped drinking. When he realized that no one really cared what he had done in the meantime, and when one of his old friends started telling the same story 5 times in an hour, he got up and went straight out of the bar to the flower shop and went home to his family. He put on his sneakers for a long time and went for a run when he reached the forest, he shouted from his throat so that his voice became hoarse and he ran back home. To this day, when he has reached 50, he has not started drinking again. And since his passion is food, he opened a restaurant and is quite successful.

Identify the specific behavior you want to change or develop

Do you want to start training or at least start eating healthier? Then, at first, very high expectations cannot be emphasized here, and very small steps should be taken. In the case of training, it helps if you put your sneakers on your feet at least every night. The feeling that you have sneakers on your leg gives you the readiness to do something more. It would be recommended to behave like this here for at least a week and then take the first exercise. In the same way as with a healthy diet, try something you like and try to do more of it, remember that the development of habits starts from 30 seconds every day

Identify your triggers

There are a lot of them here, and everyone has their own way. Not all of them have to be bad. Some people have a fridge for it, some have a TV set, some have a couch, some have a pack of crisps left on the kitchen table.

But some people have a difficult time doing this. If this is true for you, that you have a difficult time knowing what emotional triggers you, you can work backward — notice, for example, when you are craving a drink or biting your nails, and slow down and use your awareness of these behaviors as signals to ask yourself: What is going on emotionally?

Deal with your triggers.

You should take it seriously if you want to change your habits. Move junk food and alcohol away from home. And if you still can’t find out how it all started, then do reverse gear, and also see what emotions dominate you or dominated you at that moment.

 

Develop a plan.

If you have a habit of drinking harder stuff when going out in the evening, then try to limit yourself to two drinks and drink water for the rest of the evening, or switch to thinner drinks instead. The next morning you will thank me

If you have a habit of watching TV in the evening and eating while sitting on the sofa in the living room. It would help against this when you get home in the evening to start dinner first and when you prepare the food from the beginning, and also feed at the table.NB at the same time also put a ready night snack. The TV could be done so as not to watch until the time is, for example, 8 in the evening. And try to read something or engage in some hobby instead.

Use prompts

These are reminders to help you break the pattern by creating positive triggers and alerts to keep you on track: Putting your running shoes at the side of your bed so you see them first thing in the morning, or putting an alert on your phone to leave for the gym, or checking in with yourself and gauging your stress level on the way home before it gets too high and out of your control.

Be persistent and patient

That’s the name of the game, of course: realizing that it will take time for the new brain connections to kick in, for the old brain-firings to calm down, for new patterns’ to replace the old. Don’t beat yourself up for slip-ups or use them as rationales for quitting. Take it one day at a time.

Seeking professional help is not a shame.

If it is not immediately possible to go to a professional financially, then the internet and books will help us here. Surely there is someone who has experienced something similar to you and found a solution.

Some book recommendations

Charles Duhigg////The Power of Habit

BJ Fogg///Tiny Habits

Gretchen Rubin///Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life. Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life.

Nir Eyal// How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Lea.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “How to break bad habits – the psychology of habits.”

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