Breaking a bad habit can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. In a Ted Talk, psychiatrist Judson Brewer explains the relationship between mindfulness and addiction. From smoking to overeating to other unhealthy habits, Brewer examines the mechanism of habit development and offers a simple but profound tactic that might help you overcome your next urge to indulge.
The first step to breaking a bad habit is to become curious about it. Brewer suggests that when we feel an urge to indulge in our bad habit, we take a moment to examine what is happening in our body and mind. Instead of giving in to the urge, we should observe it with an open and curious mind. This simple step can help us understand the triggers that lead to our habit and the reward we get from it.
The second step is to become aware of the consequences of our bad habit. Many of us indulge in bad habits without thinking about the long-term consequences. By bringing awareness to the negative impact of our habit on our health, relationships, and life goals, we can strengthen our motivation to break the habit.
The third step is to focus on the positive outcomes of breaking the habit. Instead of thinking about the things we will miss out on by giving up the habit, we should focus on the benefits of breaking it. This can include improved health, increased self-control, and a sense of accomplishment.
The fourth step is to practice mindfulness. By paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, we can become more aware of our habit and the triggers that lead to it. Mindfulness can also help us develop self-awareness and self-control, which are essential for breaking a bad habit.
The fifth and final step is to make a plan. Once we have identified our triggers and the rewards we get from our habit, we can make a plan to avoid the triggers and find healthier ways to meet our needs. This may involve changing our environment, seeking support from others, or finding alternative ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
In conclusion, breaking a bad habit requires curiosity, awareness, focus, mindfulness, and a plan. By following these five steps, we can overcome our bad habits and create healthier and more fulfilling lives for ourselves.