Tips on How to Successfully Break Bad Habits

How to Change a Bad Habit

With the New Year, many of us start thinking about changes we would like to make in our lives. We often think about the bad habits that we would like to break, but this can be a very negative approach to change. Instead of focusing on breaking bad habits, it is sometimes helpful to think about CREATING NEW GOOD HABITS instead.

Here are some tips to make positive change:

  • Frame the change you want to make in a positive light. For example, instead of “I want to quit smoking” you can reframe this to “I want to breathe fresh air every breath, every day”.
  • Be specific. Instead of “I want to eat healthy”, try “I want to eat 4 servings of fresh fruit or vegetables every day”.
  • Use visual cues. Working on eating more vegetables? Put a note with photos of veggies on your refrigerator or on your grocery list. Buy vegetables and put them in clear containers in a highly visible part of your refrigerator. Put a pretty bowl on the table with fresh fruit inside.
  • Try short periods (3-10 minutes) of meditation. There are a number of apps available that focus on “health” meditation. You can use this process to help you focus your attention on the positive change you want to make.
  • Get support. Let family and friends know the change you are planning to make. Ask if they would be willing to help you – if they are give them a specific task “please help me keep fresh fruit in the bowl on the table”.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne

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