How to Break a Bad Habit
Bad habits have adverse effects on people’s lives. Unlike other mistakes, these are repeated constantly. Bad habits are hard to break; however, they must be broken for one to live a meaningful life. People with bad habits rarely realize this. Before breaking a bad habit, a person must first realize they have a bad habit, and then show willingness to move away from it.
A person may break a bad habit by practicing abstinence. This is appropriate for habits such as drug abuse, which cause physical harm. When a person abstains from a bad habit, an immediate turn is taken on the bad habit, and a stop is put on the bad habit. Abstinence is advantageous because it ensures quick transformation from a bad habit to a good habit. For example, a person may decide that starting today; they will never smoke, and then stick to their decision.
Secondly, a person may break a bad habit by tapering off, which highly bases on harm reduction. Bad habits result in harm, so one may choose to reduce the harm by reducing the number of times they engage in the bad habit. A person will start cutting back on the bad habit, like gradually rolling back the bad habit until it finally disappears completely. For example, a smoker used to five cigarettes daily may decide to smoke only two, then one, and finally quit smoking.
The two ways present different conditions, so one may choose depending on how well they can cope. Comparing the two, abstinence may be harsh and hard considering that a habit, which has existed for many months or years, needs to be broken within a short period. This makes abstinence appropriate for habits such as gambling, but inappropriate for others, such as procrastination. With tapering, one risks prolonging their relationship with the old bad habit if they lose focus. However, tapering is effective as it enables gradual deviation from bad habit, which is less stressful than abstinence.
In conclusion, bad habits bear adverse effects on lives, therefore should be abandoned. Before breaking a bad habit, first, it needs to be identified, and then one decides to break it. Different ways of breaking it may be chosen depending on effectiveness and nature of the habit. Abstinence may be useful in addictive behavior influenced by environment, while tapering may be used together with other methods due to its weakness.
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