There are a lot of habits people slip into that aren’t conducive to positive mental health. A habit can be something someone is doing or not doing physically, like not getting enough sleep, smoking, or overusing social media. It can also be something someone feels emotionally, like excessive feelings of guilt, regret, or fear. Any behavior that has a negative effect on the way you think or feel about yourself is a bad habit that you need to overcome.

Replace your bad habits with new positive habits.

Identify the bad habits in your life that are causing you stress or anxiety and replace them with new habits. Look at it like you’re replacing the unhealthy with healthy. Habits follow routines. If you can identify what triggers the routine, you can address the change that needs to be made. Breaking bad habits takes time and effort, but it’s always possible.

Get together with a buddy or a group.

If you’re trying to cut out smoking, drinking, or even a social media addiction, finding a friend, a family member, or a coworker who’s also trying to quit the habit can be quite a motivator. Being a part of a group of people who are all trying to quit the habit can be even more powerful. Hold each other accountable and when you make progress, be sure and celebrate together.

Visualize yourself without the habit.

See yourself getting a good night’s sleep, eating healthier, or throwing away those cigarettes. Picture yourself healthy and happy. Visualizing success is a great way to start overcoming anything you’re trying to get past.

Change your environment.

Your surroundings have a big impact on your habits. Having the things you’re trying to stop using lying around you will make it that much harder to break the habit. If your friends smoke or drink and you’re trying to break the habit of smoking or drinking, being around them won’t make it easy.

Don’t give up.

Changing habits takes time. Not many people have stopped smoking immediately, but a lot of people have stopped. Don’t beat yourself up for not accomplishing the impossible. Give yourself time and reward yourself for even the smallest victories.

Track your results in a journal.

Sometimes it seems like you aren’t getting as far as you’d like towards your goal. Journaling is a great way to keep track of how you’re doing, along with being a positive habit itself. If you don’t have anyone to talk to about your bad habits, writing in a journal can give you that same experience of getting it out.

Talk to a therapist.

Therapy can be an important step in breaking bad habits. A therapist can help you deal with the habits you’re having trouble breaking, and supply you with other ways to help.

Working with a professional at Chenal Family Therapy can help you break habits. Contact us to learn how we can help you improve your mental health.