We all have them and we all love to hate them. Bad habits can be hard to break, but not impossible. I am here to tell you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Every one has bad habits and I mean everyone. Whether its nail biting or chewing on pencils or clicking your gum in your mouth, there is some kind of quirk that every person on this planet has in some shape or form. It is way easier to form a bad habit than it is to break one. Researchers have said it takes about a week to form a bad habit, and only twenty-one days to break one. I find it so crazy that our brains can work in such a way. The fact that we can form a habit in one whole week, but to be able to break the habit that took seven days takes almost three times as long break. I find it rather strange that we as humans are programmed like this.
It really is easy to form a new bad habit. Regardless of it taking about a week, it is simple for us to form new routines so to speak and as a result create a habit out of them. Stress can also be a key factor in forming habits as well. The more stressed a person is, the more they will fall in to routines, which form into habits such as watching Netflix instead of studying. (I am guilty of this ever since I started at Gannon) I can say though I broke the habit after many, many months. An everyday routine such as watching Netflix when you are bored can become familiar and comfortable than you start to do that activity all the time to compensate for boredom or stress.
Another personal example is nail biting. For me it was a means to de-stress, little did I know that it was one of my bad habits. It was not until my doctor addressed it that I even realized I had a problem at all. The habit formed as a result of transitioning to college and not being able to decompress from the stress as easily as I did in High school. According to CBS News almost six out of every ten Americans have a bad habit and have trouble breaking that habit. A few tips to help you transition to breaking a habit is:
- Choose a substitute for your habit. If nail biting is your thing, than try chewing gum to try and compensate.
- Decrease triggers. If stress is causing your habit, than try to relax by exercising or meditating for 20 minutes a day.
- Have a habit buddy. Join forces with a friend that way each of you can hold the other accountable.
- Seeing success is key. Visualize yourself overcoming your habit, this makes succeeding so much easier.
- Stay positive. This is important. Negative thoughts breed negative attitudes which breeds negative actions
These tips are designed to enhance the overall success of every person combating bad habits.