Although it’s tough to admit, most of us have at least one bad habit that we would be very pleased to live without. Whether it is smoking cigarettes, or less harmful things such as biting your fingernails or cracking your knuckles, it would be nice to one day just not have the craving. However, habits and especially bad habits are incredibly hard to break because we have been doing them for so long. Here are some tips that might make it a little bit easier to stray away from your tendencies.
Make It Conscious:
Try to take note of when your habit seems to be most prevalent. For instance, are you biting your nails or smoking a cigarette when you are anxious? Are you cracking your knuckles when you are working on something with your hands? By figuring out when and why you are performing that habit, you will become more self-aware of the habit. This will make it easier to start holding yourself back.
Put It In Writing:
By writing out the habit and when you tend to do it, it will also help you become a lot more self-conscience about it. Perhaps try keeping a log for a few days to a week and write down every instance you perform your habit. Log the emotions you were feeling and what you were doing at the time. At the end of the trial period, look back and see when were the situations that you were most committing the habit. This will allow to you to see the triggers that might cause you to bite your nails or whatever it may be and allow you to be aware of it, to try to refrain from it.
Find A Better Option:
Once the tips above help you identify when and why you are performing your bad habit, find an alternative! If you are biting your nails when you are anxious, try having gum on you at all time and chew on that instead. Most cases of nail biting are simply people looking for something to chew on in times of stress and gum can be a great way to steer away from nail biting. If cracking your knuckles is your vice, try and find something else like a stress ball to keep you from taking it out on your knuckles. There are many different things that you can do instead of your bad habit that can help you break them.
Change Your Environment:
Over time, when performing the habit in the same place repeatedly, the environment you are in can become a trigger. This may be hard to do because you might not always have the choice to change your environment whether it is in a classroom or an office for work. However, be conscious of your surroundings and how it is affecting your habits. This will help you become more discipline in noticing your habits and trying to avoid them.