Breaking Bad Habits

Dr. Purushothaman
January 12, 2014


I'll let you in on a little secret. Habits cannot be broken! Stop feeling frustrated and stop criticizing yourself for not being successful at breaking that bad habit you’ve been stuck in for years. Habits cannot be broken…they can only be changed.
Habits are energy patterns created through repetition. We create habits to help us establish a familiar world, and then rely on them to help us feel in control. We have many habits that move us through our day.
We categorize our habits as either “good” or “bad.” For instance, we usually begin our day with a series of morning habits. Waking at the same time, stopping off at the bathroom, brushing our teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast, taking the same route to work, stopping in the coffee shop for a familiar brew, etc. We would probably label these habits as “good habits.” They are the habits that positively support us in beginning our day.
In contrast, the habits that sabotage us from living a healthy and balanced life, we label “bad.” Let’s say in our daily morning rituals we’ve developed a “bad habit” of hitting the snooze alarm one too many times, causing us to rush through our morning in haste rather than relaxation. What makes this habit “bad” is it does not support us in feeling balanced as we begin our day.
How do you break a “bad habit?” The first step in breaking a bad habit is to stop trying to break it and create a plan to change it. Next, identify a habit that sabotages you living your best life. Ask yourself “What good habit can I replace it with that would be most supportive in my living a balanced life? Create a plan to shift your energy from a sabotaging pattern to a supportive pattern. In this scenario, you could choose to set the alarm earlier so you can continue to hit “snooze” and wake up slowly; you could move the clock further away from the bed so you have to get up to turn it off; or you could purchase another alarm clock without a snooze button. What a simple solution! Once we look at the situation in a different light, we realize we have many choices that support us in living a fulfilled, balanced life. What a wonderful wakeup call!

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