how to break out of bad habits

How To Break Out Of Bad Habits Using These 5 Positive Affirmations

This article was last updated on September 5, 2017

You probably don’t know a single person who doesn’t have some sort of bad habit. It seems like all people develop a personal ritual to make it through the day less with less stress. Bad habits usually serve as stress-fighters, keeping our minds occupied with small addictions instead of everyday problems.

But besides being bad, the habit can be more or less embarrassing or even dangerous. Recent studies have proved that people are mostly aware of such problems but they don’t really do anything about it. Some of the worst bad habits are smoking, overspending, eating even when not hungry, drinking alcohol, or spending too much time using social networks.

However, there is a number of smaller but still very annoying rituals such as knuckle cracking, biting nails, or drinking too much coffee. All those habits can be irritating both for you and the people around you. It’s a clear sign that you should change such behavior.

How To Break Out Of Bad Habits Using These 5 Positive Affirmations

Behind the bad habit

We mentioned that bad habits are usually actions that people undertake to overcome stressful situations. It means that you probably developed this type of behavior due to certain circumstances in life. For instance, a lot of people started drinking following the job loss or death of a family member. At the same time, you probably know a few people who started smoking during high-school. Most of them did it in order to establish new friendships or to be socially accepted.

Since we all face so many stressful situations in our lives, it’s obvious that we get too many chances to acquire a new habit. And so we do. Some individuals are mentally stronger than others and they create bad habits less often. But no one is immune forever and when they create the bad habit such persons usually stick to it even more passionately than others.

And once established, it becomes extremely difficult to get rid of the habit. Think of it like this: if you exercise each day and do it for a long time, you’ll become very healthy and strong. But if you skip training for a day or two, you’ll feel uncomfortable because your body is sending you signs that you need to get up and practice. It becomes both the physical and psychological thing. The same principle applies to bad habits, too. Repetition makes it awfully powerful.

How to get rid of bad habits?

We’ve seen how and why bad habits develop. But it is our duty to explain the most difficult part – how to get rid of it. That’s why we created a list of the 5 best ways to deal with your bad habits. Let’s check it out!

  • Admit and commit

If you really want to get rid of the bad habit, you need to admit that you have a problem. Most people are actually aware of this issue but they are not willing to work on it. They make unsustainable rationalizations and create a mindset which neglects the problem. For example, they don’t want to quit smoking because “my grandfather was smoking his whole life but still he died at the age of 85”. It suggests that you honestly have to admit that your habit is serious and that it demands substantial commitment. Therefore, don’t enter the battle if you don’t believe in the positive outcome from day one – failure will only give you the additional excuse not to try quitting ever again.

If you truly feel like changing or quitting your habit, be prepared for many challenges and doubts throughout the process. You need to stay strong and positive, respecting the plan that you had developed.

  • Determine targets and time frame

You won’t do any kind of business or activity without a proper plan. It’s the same with bad habits: you should set a precise time frame and target certain achievements if you want to succeed. Let’s analyze the alcohol problem and imagine that you drink 15 bottles of beer each day. The target here is to quit completely but it probably can’t happen instantly.   Of course, you can try to do it in an “all or nothing” manner but it’s much more complicated. On the other hand, you can do it gradually and set the milestones that you would like to achieve. You are free to find the most suitable rhythm.

Our advice would be to determine a five-week program and reduce the number of bottles by three each week. The first week, you start with 12 bottles a day and then decrease it more in the coming weeks. This is just a simple suggestion and it doesn’t have to work with you, but it’s important to understand and respect the process.

  • Change one habit for another

Sometimes the pressure of quitting the bad habit can be too gigantic and you could use a little distraction. In that regard, we advise you to try shifting from the bad habit to the healthier one. You obviously have a potential to acquire a habit so you can use it to your own advantage. For instance, you can begin with yoga classes or bodybuilding exercises instead of cigarette smoking. It’s a great compensation for two reasons – new daily routine will keep your mind off the bad habit, while it also contributes to your health and body condition.

You’ve probably noticed already that the new habit here takes much more time and hard work than the bad one. But that’s just the way it goes – we told you already that avoiding your long-term behavioral pattern is going to be difficult. Don’t let it distract you. Just do your best and stick to the new habit.

  • Find support

Be aware that it’s hard to go through this thing alone. That’s why most people need extra help and support. You can let your family members or best friend know that you have a plan to terminate an old habit. You’ll keep them informed about the progress and they should be patient enough to listen to you talking about it every day. Some people don’t want the listener by their side, though. They require active partners in this process instead. If you feel like you need such person beside you, try finding someone who is dealing with the same type of problem and you’ll be able to support each other and give a helping hand when hard times come.

If your habit is a dangerous addiction, you should probably search for professional help. Don’t be afraid to schedule a meeting with a psychologist or a social counselor. They have a lot of experience with these cases and know how to help you. Support is crucial in this case, so don’t hesitate to ask for it.

  • Don’t break down

We will say it again: moving away from the bad habit takes a lot of time and dedication. You will fight inner battles every once in a while and you probably won’t be able to resist the temptation sometimes. You will lose patience and smoke the cigarette or bite your nails again.

However, you should not break down because it doesn’t mean that your plan is ruined. Such thing will get you two steps back, yes, but you need to go on. It’s all about endurance. Keep in mind that you already made substantial progress and remember how proud you were to make previous achievements from your plan. Don’t give up but continue with even more confidence that it will end up perfectly.


Bad habits in your life, however small, are not your advantages. They are actually disadvantages and burdens that make you less productive and annoy people around you. It obviously means that it’s time to improve your life and break out of the bad habits one by one. You’ll be surprised how smoothly it can be done if you make a good strategy and work in smaller increments. Using these five positive affirmations, it takes but some willpower to quit your ugly habit and become a more advanced version of yourself. Make sure to seize this chance!

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