We all have our vices. Unfortunately, many of them are bad for us and when they get out of control, they can take over our lives. Some habits are based on dependence, whether to alcohol, smoking, or drugs. Others are about behaviors we wish we could control, such as outbursts of anger or episodes of unbearable stress. Here, we’re going to look at the approach you need to take with unhealthy habits when they start getting self-destructive.
Be open and honest about it
The first step to coping with any problem is admitting you have it. It can be a hurtful step because it lays you vulnerable to some of your darkest thoughts. But it’s crucial because otherwise, you will keep making excuses for yourself until it’s too late. It’s worth thinking about telling your family and friends about it, too. Beyond providing support, they could help keep you accountable through your journey. If you have an addictive personality, you need to know it.
When bad habits get truly out of control, then you shouldn’t try coping with them alone. Your family and friends can be a good start, but there are other places that can lend support in ways they can’t. If you have anger management issues, then getting to the route of them could be a lot easier with counseling. If you find yourself dependent on a vice, addiction services have systems to help you battle through them step-by-step. Support groups can be a huge source of helpful information. Otherwise, it can feel like you’re only getting assistance from those taking an outside perspective, not those who truly have an idea of what your experience is like.
An important step in keeping yourself away from your most harmful behaviors is applying the same concern and value to yourself as you would to some of your closest friends and family. Treat your body right by getting the right exercise, diet, and sleep. Forgive your transgressions as you would someone you love.
Know your triggers
Beyond getting out of the initial cycle of bad behavior, you want to be equipped to continue fighting temptation for a long time. Knowing and avoiding your psychological triggers is one of the most effective steps to take in doing just that. For instance, if stress at work makes you smoke, consider a career change or scaling back your ambition until you’re able to cope better with it. If you’re prone to taking party favors, then avoid parties.
Make your new day
Once you identify your triggers, you should think about getting rid of some of the worst of them. This is truest of friends who pressure you into behavior you’re trying to stay away from. If you’ve admitted to a friend that you have a drinking problem, for instance, and they keep pressuring you to go to the bar with them or join them at a party, it’s seriously worth considering cutting them off. You have to prioritize your well being over people who don’t want to show show the right concern for your health.
It might not be as simple as saying “you’re cured” when you do all of the above. If you have a personality prone to bad habits, you have to keep yourself in check. It’s a lifelong journey, but it’s one worth making.