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Starter Steps To Breaking Those Bad Habits!

Updated on May 29, 2015
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Breaking Those Bad Habits!

by Tara Wright

I chew my nails. I squint. I slump. I crack my knuckles. I'm addicted to coffee. And chocolate. And most junks foods. I don't pay enough attention and watch to much TV. I compulsively correct pother peoples grammar.

These are bad habits.

But are worse ones. Smoking, drinking to much, overspending and being pathologically late are worse.

No worries. These all can be overcome. It's not easy, but here steps to get you started.

Step 1: Figure out the way. Why you bite your nails, why you're always late. Why you chain smoke. "If you can notice when you are doing it and under what circumstances and what feelings are attached to it, you might be able to figure out why you are doing it and be able to stop," says Susan Jaffe, MD, a psychiatrist in New York City.

Learn your triggers. Reduce and avoid if you can.

Step 2: Put it down on paper. Keep a log, "This will make your bad habit more conscious." Write down the where, when, who you're with, what you're doing when you drink, and you feel.

Step 3: "Find a...temporary or permanent replacement for it."If you are a nail biter, try gum," Jaffee suggests. Replace cigarettes with toothpicks or some activity where your hands are occupied, such as swimming or knitting. Try replacing diet soda with flavored waters. "Anything that will keep your mouth and your mind busy."

But be careful replacing one bad or dangerous addiction with another, called "switching", is a danger, Don't for example, alcohol with excessive shopping you can't afford. yourself for successes.

It's certainly going to be a long journey; full of trip wires, setbacks, temptations and relapses. Some addictions, such as alcohol, will require more then willpower; look for the help, it's out there.

Surround yourself with supportive people. Keep on that horse and you'll get there.

sources: LaVert, Suzanne, and Gary Mclain. The Complete Idiot's Guide To Breaking Bad Habits. New York: Alpha Books, 1998

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/strategies-for-breaking-bad-habits-and-cultivating-good-ones/

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/3-easy-steps-to-breaking-bad-habits


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