Bad habits happen to everyone. These unconscious choices are oftentimes inconvenient to others and destructive to ourselves. Whether it’s seemingly insignificant like chewing with one’s mouth open or something life threatening like smoking, bad habits aren’t forever.
So often a bad habit is a coping mechanism that has worked itself into our routine; that’s what makes them hard to beat. The first step is to identify the bad habit(s) and become mindful in identifying when and how it works its way into your day-to-day. Take responsibility then take action.
Bad habits are not life sentences. Minor adjustments to your behavior are the best approach to self-improvement. With a little mindfulness, turning a new leaf can feel quite natural. Remember, the first and most critical step is acknowledging the behavior along with what triggers it. While this may be difficult, don’t forget that you were the cause of your habit and that you’ll be the end of it too.
Mindfulness is an amazing healer. For example, do you bite your nails? You may be nervous or feeling anxious. Search for ways to ease your nerves such as silent prayers or mantras for positive outlooks. Be proactive and replace your bad habits with good ones. Take a yoga class, or walk outside. Direct your energy and attention to peaceful or healthy alternatives.
Surround yourself with reminders of progress you’ve made. Mark your calendar. Visually witnessing your journey will only motivate you further. Reward yourself after reaching a milestone. If you fall off track, remember that you are just one choice away from moving forward. Be kind to yourself and remember, progress not perfection!