We all have a good amount of experience when it comes to engaging in unhealthy habits. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either blatantly lying or just severely ignorant of what their unhealthy habits actually are.
Firstly though, I’d like to start off by talking about the moralization of habits and how that just adds more fuel to the fire of the momentum of these unhealthy habits.
The Moralization Of Habits
Let’s get this straight, habits are neither “good” nor “bad.” Habits are simply ways of acting that we have repeated over and over again until they have reached a point of unconscious repetition.
The very act of calling a habit “bad” just allows more of that given behavior for a few reasons:
Human beings are naturally rebellious
We usually don’t like when others are telling us that we’re engaging in a “bad” habit and because of this, we want to feel in control of our lives. As a result, we compensate to the other extreme and simply fall deeper into the trap of the “bad” habit.
When we’re told to stop eating junk food, we’ll eat more junk food.
When we’re told to stop smoking, we’ll smoke even more.
When we’re told to treat others properly, we’ll treat others in an even worse manner.
Rebellion is a natural tendency for the human species and because of that, it is not wise to moralize habits as either “good” or “bad.” This causes us to get the opposite results of what we intended in the first place.
We fear change
As a species, we also fear change because it means that we must get uncomfortable.
This is the last thing that we want to do because we love to stay within our zone of comfort and usually, we require life to shove us in the back to really get ourselves in order.
Below, we’ll discuss the solution to moralization of our habits.
The Solution: The solution to moralizing our habits is simply this — shift your language from using ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to using ‘healthy’ and unhealthy.’
This simple shift in language totally changes the dynamic in which we interact with the habits that we engage in because it shifts from the attitude of “I’m not supposed to be doing this” to “It’s not wise to be doing this.” There’s a big difference.
Using the word ‘healthy’ simply means that the habit that you are engaging in is empowering you and aiding you to becoming a stronger version of yourself.
Using the word ‘unhealthy’ simply means that the habit that you are engaging in is dis-empowering you and moving you away from becoming the strongest version of yourself.
It really is a form of self-compassion in context to changing one’s habits.
Now, let’s discuss why you struggle with unhealthy habits in the first place and how we can solve this problem.
Why You Struggle With Unhealthy Habits
It doesn’t matter what the bad habit is because at the end of the day it’s just you relying on something to give you emotional support. It’s a crutch that you use to make yourself feel better in the present moment.
In essence, a bad habit is just a groove that’s been etched in your brain through repetition.
There are a number of reasons why you could be struggling with unhealthy habits:
There could very well be a deeper trauma that you have gone through within your life that has caused you to reach for this unhealthy habit as a form of comfort.
Many of these deeper rooted issues usually stem from childhood.
Often times, unhealthy habits are just simply more convenient than another from of acting within the world.
For example, it’s easier to go to Taco Bell than it is to shop for, cook, and prepare your food for the rest of the week.
Remember, human beings love comfort and this, in combination with convenience, is a very understandable reason why we become attached to our unhealthy habits.
We eat unhealthy foods when we are stressed.
We smoke when we are stressed.
We hide when we are stressed.
These reasons pretty much sum up the whole of why we engage in unhealthy habits. Now, what can we do about them? This is what we’ll explore below.
How To Get Rid Of Unhealthy Habits
There are five key steps as to how to overcome unhealthy habits. Every single step is necessary in the process and cannot be ignored. If you do ignore any one of the following steps then you will find yourself in a state of frustration as to why you can’t make progress when it comes to your own personal growth.
Key #1: The most important thing to consider when trying to drop a bad habit is asking yourself, “Why am I trying to drop this bad habit of __?”
Key #2: You have to take 100% responsibility for your bad habit. You can’t blame others or circumstances for your habit because it all comes down to you.
Key #3: You have to believe that you can get rid of the bad habit. You must believe that you can change.
Key #4: The law of attraction simply means that you get what you focus on. Shift your attention to great habits or high quality activities.
Key #5: You really have to commit 100% to changing the habit. Not 99% or 90% but 100%.
This is the process. Follow through with it and you are guaranteed a path of meaning and self development.