- Habits are routines of behaviour that are repeated regularly, they tend to occur subconsciously, and some Habitual behaviour go unnoticed in persons exhibiting them, because it is often unnecessary to engage in self-analysis when undertaking in routine tasks.
Habits, good or bad, make you who you are.
- The key is controlling them. If you know how to change your habits, then even a small effort can create big changes. In particular bad habits don't necessarily make you feel good, but you can't help doing them. Many of our bad habits come down to curiosity or a deep-rooted grooming instinct. Be warned that giving up one bad habit could mean that you just replace it with another.
1. Phrases like y'know, sorta, like, knowarramean at the end of every sentence can be heard in television interviews and in the office. They're used by supposedly intelligent people, but all they do is fill the air with meaninglessness. Try and avoid overusing phrases such as right and innit.
2. Being Contradictory
A friend of mine argues with everything, this is most definitely a habit, as it seems he just does it without even thinking about it, I often agree when I get bored of arguing.
Procrastination is something that a lot of people do: putting off things until the last minute, or just not doing them at all. As a consequence you can spend a lot of time rushing to meet deadlines and/or making excuses. This creates a lot of stress that you could have avoided by just doing things as soon as they come across your desk. It's a very self-destructive thing that can cause you to really lose control of your life, and can sometimes even affect those around you.
Sobering thoughts sometimes do the trick - here's the wise words of one Researcher:
I tried to give up smoking for 20 years before I hit a method that worked for me.
I had a heart attack. Luckily I recognised the symptoms and called an ambulance, thus when I had the second heart attack, which would have been fatal without medical assistance, I was already in hospital. Shame I didn't listen to my wife and children who'd been nagging me for 15 years.
5. Pulling Out Hair
I’m a guy and I know a thing or two about this little habit, this compulsive condition is called trichotillomania. Unfortunately, it seems that it might be in some way related to OCD and depression.
I have no idea why I did it or what finally changed that caused me to stop, though I remember the first time I pulled my hair out, the fascination I had with the twinge of pain/pleasure that came every time I plucked a hair. I'd also feel for the odd-textured hairs and go after them first. I'd pull them singly and always inspect the root.
- A researcher now keeps tweezers handy and plucks hair out of her legs instead. Even though she says that she starts to feel nervous and edgy when she can't find her tweezers, at least it is an area that she would remove hair from anyway so it's less destructive than hair on her head. It is however, embarrassing, so she can only do it when there is no one around, which means she does it a lot less.
It wasn't so long ago that I was in Sixth form in North London and swearing was just part of my everyday language. In fact, everyone swore so much that I didn't realise how many expletives I used. Anyway, I left home and eventually joined a church, I ended up swearing while having a conversation with a friend IN CHURCH, luckily enough for me everybody heard me. I was obviously horrified and suddenly became acutely aware of how much bad language I was using so I used this awareness to cure myself; every time I swore I wrote it down, carrying a notebook and pen wherever I went. I had to ask friends and family for help but I soon began to use less and less bad language and am pleased to say I am now completely cured.
7. Nose Picking
Perhaps the worst bad habit, picking your nose is horrid, yet every day it happens and just a few centimetres below your eyes. Lost in thought, bored with nothing to do many people find there's nothing like having a good nose pick.
- Time to Make a Choice!
It's no longer an involuntary act because each time you start to do whatever the bad habit is now you have to actively choose.
- Substituting Better Behaviours
The whole reason you formed your habits in the first place is that they filled a need. As you break the old patterns you still need a way to fulfil these needs. You will be not only making an active choice to not do the old action you will also be making a choice to perform a better, alternative action in its place. Instead of letting dirty dishes pile up you may decide to use paper plates when you are eating alone. What the new habit is that you substitute isn't as important as whether you feel good about the choices you have made. After all, the reason you consider it a bad habit is because it leaves you feeling bad about yourself.
- It's Up to You
By now you should realize that the only way to continue with a bad habit for very long is to sink back into denial of why you are doing it in the first place.
- One easy way is to announce it to the world - tell your friends, especially those who see you the most, what habit you're trying to kick and give them free rein to give you grief if they catch you in the act.
So what are your bad habits and how are you planning to stop them?